I’ve been on good tours and not so good tours. So, for you here are my 7 top tips to get the best from a guided tour:
Ask questions – a tour isn’t just a one-way thing; it’s about engaging in the culture and history and learning more, and the best way to do that is to ask. Don’t be put off by speaking out or feel like you’re being rude – at the end of the day it’s your tour!
Be on time – out of respect to the tour guide. It can come across as slightly rude to turn up late. It’s also up to the tour guide to keep to time and not over indulge – the tour shouldn’t be a marathon!
We do have limits – tour guides don’t know everything, but should be quite knowledgeable about their area of interest, however they are only human, and will not know everything and you should also expect a follow-up afterwards if they can’t answer a question.
Snap away – most smartphones have cameras built in nowadays, so there aren’t any excuses. If you see something cool and want to get a picture? Then go ahead!
Know the recipe – tours shouldn’t be overtly detailed; you aren’t going to remember 300 facts at the end, but you will remember a good story or anecdote. It’s not revising for an exam; it’s about being informative, relevant and fun!
Check the menu – before going on any tour, check on sites like Trip Advisor, Google and Facebook to see the tour’s reputation. Many reviews help you know what to expect, and tell you how to make the most of the tour experience.
Home, sweet home – most people reserve guided tours as something they do on holiday or away from home, often ignoring the culture and history of where they live. There could be a lot more of interest on your doorstep – and a guided tour is a good way to find out!
Oh and by the way tours don’t have to be boring – mine aren’t! Here is an example of some of the great street art in Nottingham – but where is it? Let me know!