Whether you’re an independent traveller or part of a group, taking a private tour guide is a great way to learn about a new destination. Private tours can be expensive, but they’re also a lot more flexible than group tours and offer the luxury of seeing sights in your own private vehicle (typically air-conditioned) with a local by your side who tailors your experience to fit your interests.
Showaround is an online marketplace that connects travellers with local residents who are ready to share their favorite parts of their home city. Locals who want to lead private tours can register on the website and create a profile to showcase their knowledge and passion for a specific area, and travelers looking to take a guided experience can easily find and book one.
In addition to cultural, historical, and contemporary heritage interpretation, private guides can also provide tips, recommendations, and advice to help travelers maximize their experience. They can point out a more authentic, hidden gem or suggest restaurants and activities that might not be included in the standard itinerary. Some guides are also able to adapt the trip to accommodate special requests, such as dietary restrictions or mobility issues.
A great guide is a storyteller who can bring a dusty art museum to life or use a pile of ancient stones as a time machine. Having a private tour guide means having a local by your side who is an expert on the local culture and history, which adds to the overall enjoyment of the experience.
Travelers who book a private tour say they enjoy the flexibility to customize their itinerary with the guidance of a local and stay as long as they wish at each site instead of having to abide by a group tour’s schedule. Many travelers also appreciate the ability to avoid tourist traps, allowing them to get more out of their visit.
Another advantage is having the flexibility to visit places off the beaten path and see things that would be difficult to discover on your own. For example, a private tour guide can recommend a restaurant where you can taste the best local cuisine. They can also point out local traditions and explain the significance of a particular landmark.
While a private tour can be more expensive than sightseeing alone, it includes transportation, entrance fees, snacks/water/meals (depending on the experience), and a local guide who is an expert on the local culture and sites. Some guides will even be bilingual, which can make your experience that much more enjoyable.
However, if you’re the type who likes to read the inscriptions on every piece of artwork in a museum or wants to see every temple in a city, then a private tour guide might not be the right choice for you. Some museums and other attractions include a guided tour with the price of admission, while others have dedicated guides available for an extra fee. They may be able to meet you at your hotel or outside the entrance of an attraction. private tour guide