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Seeking advice on how to become a tour guide...

Seeking advice on how to become a tour guide...

Old Jul 29th, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Seeking advice on how to become a tour guide...

know this might sseem like a troll post (especially since I'm posting it on multiple boards), but it's really not.

I graduate from college in about 5 months (December). I've been sort of going through college thinking that I'd evntually figure out what I want to do with my life, or at least with my life-after-graduation, but so far I hadn't really found anything that I got excited about. I'm an English major with a minor in Psychology and "clusters," which are mini-minors, in Mass Comm and Art, mainly photography. I spent a semester abroad in Coleraine, Northern Ireland (thus my Fodors' sn), and I absolutely fell in love with it. I desperately want to return to it (I miss shopping for groceries at Tesco and driving on the "wrong" side of the road and all that... d'oh!)Anyway, I didn't really think any of this lead to any sort of career path- not enough experience in some fields, not enough interest in most.

The one thing that has not changed in my life since I was about 5 is my love to travel. I love all of it, even when things go awry like lost luggage or getting mugged on the last few days of studying abroad and thus not having money to get down to Belfast Airport (yeah, that was not so great, but at least it's an interesting memory).

So, I realize this post is getting long, so I'll get to my point: my mom suggested I look into being a tour guide, especially to Ireland/UK since I am most familiar with those areas, and something inside of me clicked. I'd never thought about it before, and now I can't stop thinking about it.

So, if anyone out there is a tour guide and can give me advice, or is close to a tour guide and can give me advice, please, please, post here, or e-mail me at [email protected] (I created it specifically to communicate on this issue so that it won't matter it spam starts to get sent to it!)

Thank you for reading this! This scared college kid really appreciates any advice at all!

Thanks!
ColeraineCutie is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2006, 02:11 AM
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EF Tours has guides/chaperones that seem like they fit your life situation - my kids have both taken tours with them. They do tours within US and internationally and I know there used to be a place on their website for employment opportunities.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 02:45 AM
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I talked to a tour guide once- I was curious as to how/why she became a guide. This was in DC.

The gist- some cities allow "official" guides, most don't (DC is one that did). Some guides work independently, some work for travel companies. A lot of places you can't work as a tg, but I wouldn't think Ireland is one of those places. She said that most of her business came from word of mouth- so reputation is very important. You must love history, must love dealing with people and public speaking, and you must love the place you "show off"! I don't know how many work full time- most seem to work part time or as a retiree (our guide was a former teacher).

So- my advice would be to take a few upper level history classes (400 probably, as they're the most interesting/detailed), to research different travel companies, and to search for a back up job to pay the bills straight out of college.

Best of luck! Please let us know how it turns out- I'm sure you're not the only one here who has thought of this
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 11:55 PM
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See my response on the Europe board that you consider travel writing...
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 03:38 AM
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I would suggest you contact some of the big tour companies, i.e. Grand Circle, Globus, Tauck, etc. You should get some very good suggestions from them. Or..start in your own area and see if there are any tours available there.

But, of the tours we've taken with one of the above, our guides have always been FROM that area...our Mexican guide was from Mexico but lived in the US, in Canada our guide lived in Canada, in Chile & Argentina..they lived there. And we had "step-on" guides at various points in our tours who were very knowledgeable about the particular area we were touring.

Or take a tour and talk to the tour guide and ask how he/she got their job and what they had to do.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 03:50 AM
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Don't be discouraged! It's a fabulous idea. (Aren't Moms great? ! )

I'd also inquire with local travel agencies in your area. Some might offer escorted trips to Ireland. Since you have lived there, you'd be a great candidate.

Also consider your local area. Is there a city near you that would be considered a travel destination? Call a company there and ask what the requirements are for employment.

Congratulations on your graduation. Let us know what turns up in your research. Best wishes for your success!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 03:58 AM
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Agree with mamjo that most guides are from the area they're showing (ie locals). So if you want to do that, I suggest you find out about taking some graduate classes in Ireland and maybe get a tour guide job while going to school.

There are also graduate programs in Hospitality and Tourism. Here's one
http://www.isenberg.umass.edu/htm/Graduate/

Then I just googled how to become a tour guide and guess what? I got this page
http://www.ehow.com/how_138394_become-tour-guide.html

with lots of good info,including a link on how to get a job abroad
http://www.ehow.com/how_138163_work-abroad.html

and a school for training. (have no idea if it's any good)
http://itmitourtraining.com/

That should give you a good start.
mclaurie is offline  
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