Travel Guide

Accompany sightseers through foreign lands.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Travel Guides do?

As a Travel Guide, you escort your charges on a tour of the places of interest in a given locale. An expert on the area, you’re a living, breathing encyclopedia of everything that the tourists in your group could possibly want to know. You likely have a set route that you take your groups on, with rehearsed facts and observations about each significant point along the way. A natural ease in front of large groups and an ability to make something that you’ve seen a million times before seem fresh and new are important to this job.

In addition to walking visitors through a predetermined path and providing them with information, you also answer questions as they come up. Once the tour is over, you may give them additional information about the best restaurants around; various beaches, parks, and recreation areas nearby; or where they can get the best deals on souvenirs. As most tourists don’t know anyone in the place that they’re visiting, they turn to you for advice and place their trust in you.

Travel Guides are often employed by cruise companies, local tourism boards, or vacation package providers, but some work independently. Either way, you may sometimes be called upon to take payments and handle tickets. The safety and cohesion of your group is also your responsibility. You have to make sure that the group stays together, especially if a bus or other type of transportation is used when traveling from place to place.

Knowing additional languages can be useful as well, as it helps you communicate better with tour groups from various countries. Being a Travel Guide is not a standard “day job,” although most tours do take place during daylight hours. Your schedule will be heavy during tourist season, but you may need to supplement your income during the off months.


Should I be a Travel Guide?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Driver/Guide, Guide, Alpine, Guide, Domestic Tour, Guide, Excursion, Guide, Foreign Tour, Guide, Itinerary See More

    How to become a Travel Guide

    Most Travel Guides have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:z9rsea&chl=no+college+%2833%25%29|certificate+%2840%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2812%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,33,40
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