Pros and Cons of a Private Tour Guide

A private tour guide is a person who gives one-on-one tours to individual clients or small groups of travelers on custom-designed tour itineraries. Often a private tour guide is an expert in a field of travel or culture such as a celebrity historian, film maker, college professor, author, or retired teacher. They may also have a recognized tourism guide qualification such as a license or a certification from a professional organization such as the Association of Tourism Professionals.

In contrast, group tour guides usually work with larger groups of people and provide cultural and historical heritage interpretation to visitors on a pre-determined itinerary. Many travelers are opting for the more personalized experience that a private tour guide offers.

Pros: Local knowledge

A guide will know more about the city and region than any guidebook can ever hope to convey. They can tell you the stories of a city’s past, reveal hidden corners and offer amazing anecdotes. They can make a museum’s collection come alive and answer all of your questions. They can tailor a tour to your specific interests and budget. They can also give tips on restaurants, shopping and transport options.

Cons: They can be expensive. It is always worth a discussion with a potential guide to understand their costs and how you can save money. They will often require a higher tip than a group tour guide. However, remember that they are working hard to make your day phenomenal.


Private driver tour guides can accommodate your schedule which is ideal if you are travelling with children or elderly relatives. Victoria from Cotswold Teacup Tours for example explains in our recent podcast that she can often visit the busier places such as Bibury or Bourton on the Water early in the day to avoid crowds and coach tour buses. This is especially helpful in areas where parking can be tricky.


Punctuality is a sign of professionalism and one of the characteristics you should look for in a tour guide. A good guide will plan their pick-up times for the tour and advise travellers in advance if they are running late. They will also be punctual at the sites and attractions that they are taking clients to, which is particularly important when visiting museums or other places where you are expected to enter and exit within a set timeframe.

Overall a private tour guide is an invaluable asset when traveling abroad. They can make the difference between a mediocre tour and a memorable experience. If you are planning a trip and are thinking about hiring a local tour guide, we encourage you to check out the options available to you through our partner company ToursBylocals. Their team of local guides is vetted and approved by us and they have all passed a criminal background check to ensure your safety. The local guides are also able to meet you at your accommodation or the site of the tour to give you an in-person introduction. private tour guide

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