How to Maximize the Value of a Guided Tour
I get it! I used to be the one who hated paying for a tour. "Why would I pay money to have someone lead me around all day when I can do that myself?" I quickly found myself on my own and overwhelmed with questions with no body to answer. It didn't take long to realize the value of a guided tour.
To stretch your money even further whem it comes to the price of a tour, here's my best tip:
Ask, ask, ask.
You are paying for your guide's knowledge of certain subject, but they are happy to share additional information about their homeland as well. And you get to ask in your native language.
Just be sure to tip accordingly, if they provide you with answers and you ate happy with their assistance.
City Walking Tour
Ask your guide where’s the best place to replace something you forgot to pack? Think phone charger, adapter, curling iron, etc. Chances are they will even allow for a stop if you pass by a store that has one.
Ask where are the best places to buy locally
made, authentic items to take home as gifts.
Wine Tasting/Vineyard or Food Tours
Take advantage of your guide’s vast knowledge of local wines and restaurants. Ask your guide ahead of time to find an OTBP trattoria either for lunch (if it’s part of the tour) or for a meal after the tour.
Drivers also know local spots as well. If they speak English, ask.
Most likely your guide will be an Art/Architecture Historian AND a local. Ask them for their recommendations for free art or architecture you can view on your own.
Ask where the local spots are for the best sunsets, best picnics, best panoramic views, best photo ops, etc.
Private tours are even better for any of the above. Especially because they can alter the tour according to what you communicate to them.
Again be sure to tip accordingly, if the guide provides you with answers and or results you are pleased with.