Travel Tips

5 Things to Consider When Booking a Guided Tour

5 Things to Consider When Booking a Guided Tour

Guided skip the line tour of Versailles and the Hall of Mirrors
Booking a guided tour or planning your next trip can be a daunting task, especially when choosing which activities to do from the available thousands online. A guided tour can be a lottery depending on who shows up to lead it. We have compiled some need-to-know essentials and tips to make the process easier and ensure that you do not leave disappointed.


Request a Licensed & Experienced guide

Firstly, we recommend requesting a licensed guide with at least a few years of experience.  An unqualified guide has usually learnt a script and can only lead clients on public pathways, as the guiding profession is not a regulated profession outside of museums, monuments and sites

In France only a Guide-Conférencier can guide inside all monuments, museums and sites. In order to achieve this, guides must hold a Master’s degree, have completed of a guiding course and exam, and have a high-level proficiency in a relevant foreign language. 

Do note that when you book a tour, you pay the same price regardless of guide certification level, so it makes sense to go on tour with a Guide-Conférencier, a fully certified bilingual guide!


Ensure Value For Money

Our next tip is to make sure you get good value for money. You may assume big commercial tours will be the cheapest option but that isn’t always the case. Large group tours are a challenging dynamic due to the range of interests. Smaller tour companies will often have competitive pricing whilst guaranteeing a maximum number of participants. We recommend you always enquire about the limit as many providers do consider 25+ a small group experience!

Private tours will be a little more expensive than a group tour but you get the guide’s full attention and a tailored experience. If you are travelling as a family or with friends these tours can be very cost effective.

So, ensure you stay away from large groups and double check those ‘small group guarantees’! 


Research & Book Directly with the Provider

As travelers we often find ourselves overwhelmed reading reviews and comparing tours and activities hoping to make the right choice and not waste precious holiday time. We do recommend reading independent review sites such as Trip Advisor and Google but booking directly with the provider on their website. A visit to the providers website, Instagram and About Page should give you good insight into who runs the tours and their values.

We recommend booking directly with the provider rather than through a third-party platform as they often have restrictions. This can prevent the tour company from contacting you directly so that you have all the information you need for the day.

Furthermore, by booking directly with the tour company you are supporting small local businesses, especially following the impact of Covid-19.


Maximise Your Time with Your Guide

A top-notch guide will come with fantastic recommendations for your trip, local spots to explore and secrets on escaping the crowds, skipping lines and where to locate the best wines, baguettes and croissants. 

So ensure you ask plenty of questions whilst on tour!


Book Early

 Our final tip is book early. If you leave your booking to the last minute your chances of touring with an experienced fully licensed guide will be slim! Though you can always try your luck!

 So try to book as early as possible and ask for a Guide-Conférencier!

Looking to book a guided tour in Paris?

Bonnes Vacances & Happy Travels!