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Should I hire a guide?

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I've travelled a fair bit and have never felt that hiring a guide was necessary, but having just read a reply to a post on here, I'm wondering if I may need to re-calibrate my opinion.

The post said that despite having visited a particular city previously (this is the Fodor's Europe forum, I'm sure you can guess which one) they hired a guide for two full days and gave their reasons for doing so. The reasons make perfect sense and it got me questioning whether I could break the habit of a lifetime and hire a guide on a personal trip.

I've used and experienced guides whilst organising and supporting school trips, and they've ranged from the incredibly mediocre to the life altering (a French resistance fighter who ran away from home at 15 to fight the occupation), but can't see myself ever inviting one to join me on a family holiday.

I'm not looking for recommendations per se, but would genuinely like to hear Fodorites' opinions on using guides on a personal trip and maybe convince me that I've been missing something all these years...

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