How to become a Tour Guide

Malene exploring Singapore while working as a tour guide.find out how to become a tour guide
Malene exploring Singapore while working as a tour guide

So, you want to travel forever and make money on the road? After giving you ideas on how to travel for free and how to make money while traveling. Now I’m talking to people who are doing just that!

Maybe they can inspire you to also make your dreams of a life of travel a reality?

How to Become a Tour Guide – Interview with a Malene 

If you love travel then working as a Tour Guide might be perfect for you! I asked Malene Kruuse, 33, from Denmark about her lifestyle working as a tour guide for Bravo Tours, a career that has taken her all over the world. Malene is currently in Mexico

So you get to travel, A LOT, and get paid for it! What made you want to become a tour guide and how did you make it happen?

At first I wanted to become a tour guide because I love the sun. I just wanted to enjoy myself, the heat, the parties, the good food.. . So I completed a training course to become a tour guide. The guide school that I took cost about €1,500, it lasted for 1 month and was held in Spain with a company called Service & Co (for Scandinavians only )

After the training it was super easy to get a job in one of the charter companies and start working in popular tourist destinations in places like Turkey, Greece, Spain. I worked in: Greece, Turkey, Tunisia Romania, Portugal (the Azores), Malaysia (Borneo and the Peninsula), Singapore, Spain, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala as a tour guide/ destination manager/rep.

At first I did not mind about the job or the destinations.. but later I got really into discovering the places so that I can tell the stories of the people to the tourists. I was also super lucky that the company that I work for expanded their program and started using the reps for more advanced jobs as tour leaders, otherwise that job can be a bit more difficult to get. The reason why it is possible in the first place is because many Danes do not speak fluently English and thus prefer danish guides on their holiday.

Wow! What do you like the best about life as a tour guide?

Free flight tickets! And thereby the possibility to travel very cheap. I can stay in the destinations after my job is over or come before it starts and thereby explore a region for my own pleasure. And i always get a ticked back to Denmark, so I can even see my friends and family on quite a regular basis.. which is indeed a pro and a con!

Tour Guiding in Mexico
Tour Guiding in Mexico

And what has been the greatest challenge?

To realise the possibilities of the job, to understand that it can be more than parties, that I don’t have to work all year round, and to find a balance of giving the kind of information that I find important and what the tourists wants to know.

Please describe your life as a tour guide in 3 words.

 Information sharing, Exploring, Independence.

Do you have one stand out highlight of your time as a tour guide?

I was the first person that my company ever sent to Borneo and that allowed me to go check out the place on the company’s account, this took me to the top of the Kinabalu Mountain, to watch baby turtles going to the ocean and meeting wild orangutans in nature.. but in general I would highlight the random travel of not really choosing your destinations completely on your own.. this adds so many surprises!

Views like this are all perks of the job

But nothings perfect right? Are there any downsides?

 I would say that much of the work of tour leaders are done in mega touristic areas, where real everyday people and lives can be difficult to spot behind international restaurants, beach chairs, and fancy drinks.

What do you miss the most about home and do you have any tips for dealing with homesickness

I decide the length of my trips myself and have so far not been out of my home country for more than 9 months in a row.. so I’m usually fine, if not then Skype helps!

What about the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Ha ha..  I never plan more than one trip at a time.. but maybe living in a community of love and self sustainability in warm country? That sounds nice

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what tips would you give for people wanting to follow in your footsteps and become a tour guide?

Try to find a company that fits your values and also have a look at the destinations offered by the company. This job is easy to get if you have some specific language skills.

Wow, thanks Malene, sounds like an amazing job. Keep enjoying your trips and your work and thanks for taking part.

Global Gallivanting is still looking to interview people working abroad, if you are interested in being featured email [email protected] 

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