It is often a question mark for most travelers: shall I book a tour guide for my Turkey trip or plan a self-guided trip? The travel tech is developing as well, and even some booking engines started to offer customized trips, but, still, the Oscar goes to the guides. Yes, even if you are travel savvy. Not convinced? Well, here are some reasons to book a professional tour guide while in Turkey!
1. Guides are always up-to-date with destinations.
Turkish guides are not only great in your native language but also, they are fully equipped with the history of each destination on your list. No, that is not all! The best places to eat, the best time to visit, best angles and light for the perfect photo (not only the 1 million-time repeated Insta shots), distance in-between places, the traffic hours, and tens of other factors that will make a trip a lifetime experience or a wasted one. So, no matter how many guide books or so-called traveler blogs you have read, you can beat this! (most of those could be written then thanks to the Turkish guides as well)
2. A good Turkish guide never stops learning!
Turkey is renowned for its ancient history, being home to numerous civilizations since the beginning of human history as far as our knowledge goes. Welcoming more than 30 million tourists annually and growing, Turkey has hundreds of new excavations, places to visit, activities, under-the-radar things that are newly becoming trendy. It is like a traditional recipe that has been repeated for hundreds of years; it is alive and changing every day. So, it is nearly impossible for someone to keep track of those trends, but a tour guide can do. Their passion for their job and their engaging commentary will make yours a journey to remember!
3. A guide can point out the important stuff that most people don’t get to see.
While visiting museums and historical monuments, there are numerous things most tourists don’t realize they are missing some of the little but most important details. Either it is a pile of stones, or a tiny little artifact might come alive with a guide’s expertise. A tour guide will put what you see in its historical, religious, and cultural context. Liked what you heard so far about that story? Ask more questions and anything else that sparks your curiosity.
4. A guide is the wisest when it is timing.
There are indeed museum pass tickets, even audio guides available if you are really trying to avoid booking a tour guide. However, all that hassle of obtaining the necessary items is just the beginning; using them wisely and getting the most out of it is another challenge. The hassle of booking tickets, making reservations for places if needed (e.g., Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul), checking opening/closing times (and some days, some museums in Istanbul are not open) is way easier for a tour guide. Most importantly, a guide will know when it is less crowded, places most important or what to skip, and if there are any insider tips and tricks to avoid crowds. In the end, you will get to see more without any hassle and save time and cash for other places.
5. Turkish guides are all educated and trained to become a guide.
Studying tour guiding is a serious business in Turkey. While there are easier courses available today, it is still a university degree that covers history, archaeology, history of art, tourism, foreign languages, services, and many more. Once a guide successfully achieves this study, an educational tour of entire Turkey is next to complete. On this tour, they are trained and educated by one of the top-expert guides with an idea of passing the service quality to the newbies.
We don’t like the terms “certified,” “official” or “licensed” for the fact that if your guide is not licensed, this person is naturally not an official one, but highly probably a scammer. So, make sure you are hiring an official licensed tour guide (carrying the Turkish Ministry of Tourism’s badge and that they have to wear while on duty).
6. Guides are always flexible, and they are great decision-makers.
As travel agents, we experience times when we forgot to double-check the guests’ travel type, and there are times guests do the same while inquiring or even during the booking process. Here is another time you will be thankful for booking an expert guide for your Turkey trip, as guides are always flexible and ready to make great decisions to customize your trip even further to match it to your interests. Sometimes, this happens naturally, even you without realizing it.
7. We bet Turkish guides are the friendliest in the world!
It is no doubt there are not many countries that can compete with Turkey when it is hospitality. Turkish guides, also known as the true ambassadors of Turkey, are always passionate, and it will not really matter for an expert tour guide if your tour is the very 1st one or the 10,000th.
They can offer you extra little tips like where to find the best local restaurants for dinner, what other best things to do during your leisure time, or where to buy the non-touristy souvenirs.
You will enjoy the accompany of a new friend you just made overseas, and you will not even realize how time flies by. Once you are back home, you know who to recommend for your lookalike friends around your own environs.
How many guides are there in Turkey?
There are more than 9,000 guides that are officially licensed and actively doing this job as their life.
Can I find a guide for my travel style?
As noted earlier, guiding is a never-ending study. That is another reason that matches the character of those who are eager to learn for their lifetime.
Since travel became broader and way before people started to look for themed-travel, either as a personal interest or coded genetically, a tour guide can also be:
- Family traveler
- Wine expert
- Historian (or even better)
- Art historian
- Surfer / Diver
and many other special interests you might imagine.
Still, where in Turkey is it ok to avoid booking a guide?
If you are planning a scenic ride itinerary, such as driving along the Black Sea coast from Sinop all the way to the Georgia border, that is fine. The same applies to the nice ride and the Mediterranean coast, but don’t miss out on the important notes of driving in Turkey.
Without a tour guide, you will still miss the important stuff en route, but that is the end of the world if your first wish is to drive.
Why people prefer self-guided tours then?
There are two possibilities: either they had a bad experience, and they don’t want to risk it again, or they think the opposite of what we explained above. While we operate only on private tours, we offer small group tours as well. Unlike the overcrowded buses and hordes of tourists, we make sure you are getting a personalized experience. Gone are the times of boring tours jam-packed with tourists. So, invest in your valuable time and book your expert-guided trip to Turkey!
At Made in Turkey Tours, we connect you with amazing, authentic, personalized tours unique to each destination. We love our guests and want to do everything in our endowment to seal our all-time service quality of a safe and delightful tour. Next time you are thinking about planning a self-guided tour of Turkey, try booking one of our guided tours instead. Sit back, sip that Turkish Raki and enjoy everything your perfect trip has to offer!