Become a Tour Guide and Discover Freelance Writing Opportunities

Updated: Mar 23rd, 2010

So, you would like to be a travel writer but need a steady paycheck as well. No problem, become a tour guide. You could start in your own backyard before you decide to go abroad. However, if you love international travel, go ahead and pursue a job giving tours of London, Edinburgh, Barcelona, or where ever it is you would like to call home for some time. It’s not a job, it’s a travel adventure!

Steps to Becoming a Tour Guide

  1. People skills are a must as well as patience. If you do not like people do not become a tour guide!
  2. Have a sense of humor. Everyone loves to laugh, don’t they? Be friendly and use humor to diffuse any “hot” situation.
  3. Become a certified tour guide. Check out International Tour Management Institute.
  4. Work for a tour guide company. For example, if you would like to give tours of Savannah, GA, visit Savannah Tour Companies and inquire as to whether or not they’re hiring! Also visit Cruise Job Finder for the tour guide job that is right for you.
  5. Start in your own backyard. Getting a work visa for a foreign country can take some time. Become a tour guide locally before you go abroad, it will be good experience.
  6. Purchase insurance. You’ll be hired as an independent contractor and you’re responsible for your insurance. But, the company pays for your transportation, hotels, and meals.
  7. Choose locations familiar to you. Research the areas even if you’re knowledgeable about them. You never know what you may learn.
  8. Time Management and organization are key. You’re in charge of many logistics such as luggage, meals, etc…Being well organized will serve you and your tourists well.
  9. You set the tone for the tour. Be upbeat, happy, and love what you do. People will feed off of your energy. So — if you’re a Debbie or Denny Downer, the tourists will know it.

Being a tour guide can lead you to many travel writing opportunities. For example, you’ll have many ideas for travel articles, so create a blog and start writing. Also, submit your articles to local newspapers and magazines. Plus, being a tour guide will give you an “edge” over other travel writers. You’ll gain many insights about the travel industry by working in it.

If you’re looking for a fun travel job, consider becoming a tour guide. You’ll meet different people on every tour and may even make some lasting connections. Who knows, you may meet someone who works at a magazine or newspaper. Become a tour guide today and tomorrow write about it!


Do you think you have what it takes to be a tour guide? Have you been a tour guide? What’s the story?

About Amandah Blackwell 198 Articles

Amandah Blackwell is a creative, freelance and ghost writer for industries that include but are not limited to the arts & entertainment, travel, publishing, real estate, pets, personal and professional development, and much more.

Amandah's personal writing projects include screenplays, teleplays, YA, non-fiction, short stories, and poetry. 

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