Choosing to become a travel guide can be a fun and rewarding career. The job can provide a great income while you’re travelling and there are plenty of opportunities to work in different countries. But before you start looking for work as a travel guide, you need to make sure you’re qualified. In this article, we’ll look at the necessary prerequisites, the types of training courses you can take, and the steps to get your visa to work as a travel guide.
Regardless of the type of tour guide you are interested in becoming, there are some prerequisites that you should have in mind. These include an ability to organize your tours and an eye for detail. You may also need specialized skills, such as bilingual proficiency or first aid training.
Some employers provide on-the-job training for travel guides. These programs may be offered through community colleges, professional schools, or other training organizations. For example, TripSchool has a global reputation for providing industry-leading tour guide training programs. They offer in-person and online certification programs.
Some travel guides need to have a college degree. This includes museum tour guides, who usually have a Bachelor’s degree in history or other related field. Others, such as those working for companies that specialize in nature-based tourism, need a degree in science or ecotourism.
Earn a living as a travel guide
Often seen as a side job, tour guides can turn this into a full-time career, just like travel nursing. However, you need to be smart and ambitious to get the most out of it. And you can offer people experiences like a guide for islands in London.
There are two main types of guides: full-time and part-time. Full-time guides typically work 10-20 trips a season. They are paid to show travelers around, but also have some freedom to explore and try new things. They can travel to attractions, restaurants, and villages.
Part-time guides usually have set schedules that depend on their availability. They can earn as little as $20 an hour.
Some markets don’t require a guide license, but you still need one to be legally authorized to lead tours. A tour guide who gets good reviews can ask for more compensation.
Peer-to-peer travel guide websites
Using peer to peer travel sites can help you find new places to explore while saving money on hotel costs. It also helps you slow down and appreciate the differences that exist in the new destinations you visit. If you’re a first timer, you may be able to find a local guide to show you the best local hangouts.
Some of these websites aren’t exactly free. While they are free to join, you will have to pay a small service fee to make a booking. Other sites charge up to 30% of your final bill. The good news is that you are still likely to get a better deal than you would at a traditional travel agent.
Trippy is an online trip planning website that lets you organize your trips around your friends. The site’s itinerary-planning features include social features like a visual grid of “travel boards” and tie-ins to popular social networks. The site also has an iPhone app to help you plan your itineraries.
Whether you’re just starting out as a tour guide or looking to advance your career, there are training courses available to help you meet your goals. These programs are designed to teach you the skills you need to design and lead tours, as well as learn how to find and keep jobs.
The International Guide Academy offers several online and in-person training courses that can take you anywhere in the world. The courses cover everything from how to plan and lead tours to how to work with a tour operator. The program is endorsed by the American Association of Tour Professionals and the International Association of Tour Managers. They also offer lifetime job placement assistance.
The International Tour Management Institute is another popular tourism training program. Their one- to two-week online self-study courses cover how to manage a tour business. ITMI also holds an annual symposium and has the largest database of tour resources.
Getting a work visa
Getting a work visa to become a tour guide is an option many people consider. However, there are some things to think about before making the leap.
The first thing to know is that you will likely need a work permit. This is a special type of visa that will allow you to work in the U.S. for a limited amount of time. You will need to obtain this permit when you arrive in the United States.
There are several types of work visas available. The most common is the H-1B visa. This is a nonimmigrant visa that is designed for highly qualified workers. It requires that you have an academic degree and you must meet certain labor sector requirements.