How to choose a guide for outdoor activities

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Hiring a guide for your next outdoor adventure can make your trip more fun and rewarding.  Below we’ve provided some tips and information to help you plan your trip and find a guide.

There are certain things you should take into consideration while preparing for your trip so that you can have a fun, safe, and successful time away.

  1. Know where you want to go; what town, county or country would you like to visit?
  2. Decide the purpose of your adventure – what activity will you try?
  3. How many will be in your party?
  4. How long do you plan to stay?

Once you have decided these important and basic items, you can then proceed to find a guide that best fits your needs. The internet makes this easy! But keep these points in mind:

Reading reviews

Check out any public reviews of your guide, for example on Facebook, Google My Business, Trustpilot or Feefo. Read through the reviews page and see what others may have said about the guides that provided you with quotes. Remember that any reviews appearing on the guide’s own website might not be genuine.

Interviewing the guides

Going on an outdoor adventure and being in the hands of a guide service takes trust.  You want your trip to enjoyable, memorable, and most importantly, successful.  As guides contact you with quotes, make sure to ask them questions; a reputable guide service will be glad to answer your questions and explain how they can provide the experience you’re looking for.

Ask for references

If you can’t determine whether the guide provides a good service from reviews alone, ask the guide for any available references.  Most guides will be glad to show you examples of satisfied customers or have others contact you with their own stories and advice.

Ask how long they’ve been in business

Not to discredit new businesses, but a great way to determine if a guide service has provided a good value for its customers is to check how long they’ve been in business.  A business that has endured for years will usually have done so because they have proven that they’ve provided a good service to their customers!  This certainly does not mean a business that is young is not reputable, but you know for certain that a poor business will not stay in business for long.

Consider how many guides they offer

Again, make sure you know how many people will be in your party.  Then determine how many guides will be assisting you.  With larger parties you will want more guides assisting you on your trip.  Find out specifically who your personal guide will be, get to know them and build a healthy business relationship with them.

Verify certification and insurance

Depending on the activity, the guide may need to have liability insurance coverage.  Ask for this information and verify that it is current and acceptable to you.

Guiding on a mountain

Frequently asked questions

When should I start planning for my trip?

The earlier you begin planning for your trip, the less stressful it will be for you and the better chance you have of booking your desired guide service company, who can provide you with a fun and successful outing.    This tends to be a case of the sooner the better, but if you’re looking to book a last minute trip, don’t fret, there may still be availability with a number of guide service companies.

How far in advance should I book?

Several of the most reputable guides are booked a full year in advance.  Often guides attend trade shows and do a lot of booking then, so you may want to begin searching for guides prior to the big hunting / fishing shows that come to the area.  If you are planning a trip in a certain region, call the guides and ask how far in advance you need to book to secure availability.

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