Choose a Fully Qualified Guide
Firstly, I would ask for a fully qualified guide.
An unqualified guide has usually learnt a script and can only lead clients on public pathways, as the guiding profession is not a regulated profession outside of museums, monuments and sites.
A Guide-Conférencier can guide in all monuments, museums and sites in France. In order to achieve this, guides must hold a Masters degree, have completed of a guiding course and exam, and have a high level proficiency in a relevant foreign language.
When you book a tour you pay the same rate regardless of guide certification level, so it makes sense to go on tour with a Guide-Conférencier, a fully certified bilingual guide!
Choose an Experienced Guide
My second tip is to ask for an experienced guide who knows the site, monument, city and country inside out from years of living there and guiding. Inexperienced guides tend to rely on set routes and scripts, as they are yet to have that experience to draw on.
So if you are looking to discover the very best of your chosen tour location, an experienced guide will make all the difference!
At Boutique Tours we only hire experienced professional guides.
So book an experienced guide to maximize your tour!
Ensure Good Value for Money
Our third tip is to make sure you get good value for money. You may assume big commercial tours will be the cheapest option but that isn't always the case. Large group tours are a challenging dynamic due to the range of interests and cycling abilities. Smaller tour companies will often have competitive pricing whilst guaranteeing a maximum number of participants. We recommend you always enquire about that that limit.
Private tours will be a little more expensive than a group tour but you get the guide’s full attention and a tailored experience. If you are travelling as a family or with friends these tours can be very cost effective.
So ensure you stay away from large groups and double check those ‘small group guarantees’!
Maximise your Time with your Guide
A top notch guide will come with fantastic recommendations for your trip, local spots to explore and secrets on escaping the crowds, skipping lines and where to locate the best wines, baguettes and croissants.
So ensure you ask plenty of questions whilst on tour!
Our final tip is book early. If you leave your booking to the last minute your chances of touring with an experienced fully licensed guide will be slim! Though you can always try your luck!
So try to book as early as possible and ask for a Guide-Conférencier!
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