Things You Should Never Say To a Tour Guide

Taking a tour is a classic way to learn about a new place. However, there are certain goes-without-saying guidelines tourists should follow to make any tour more enjoyable for all those involved. We’re blowing the lid off of the ‘goes-without-saying’ box and providing sayings that are never to be uttered during a tour. Keep the below questions and phrases in mind for the next time you find yourself on a guided tour.

Sorry, I’m late.

You’re wasting everyone’s time. | iStock/Getty Images

“Being late, even by 10 minutes, not only holds others up but can also mean you miss out on important moments,” Gary Willment of Trafalgar, a US-based tour company, told Smarter Travel. Show up on time for the tour ready to go. When preparing for a tour, remember there are other people on the tour with you. Being late will waste your time and theirs.

“Do you have ____ or ____?”

Woman hands putting sunscreen

Unless it specifically says they’re bringing it, it’s your responsibility. | travnikovstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Come prepared on a tour. Don’t ask your tour guide for a bottled water or sunscreen. “Your guide is not your babysitter,” Johannes Reck, of GetYourGuide, told Smarter Travel. “You’ll need to pack accordingly for your trip, especially if it’s to multiple destinations, or abroad,” Reck added.

“Are you sure?”

Tourists on bikes in Amsterdam for guided tour

Don’t question your guide’s knowledge. | thehague/iStock/Getty Images

Don’t question a tour guides knowledge. No one likes the person who brings down the morale of the group by constantly asking questions. “Asking too many questions can get annoying to a tour leader, especially if you’re holding up the tour group or you question an expert guide’s knowledge,” Reck told Smarter Travel.

Nothing at all

Tourist in Florence on guided tour

They want to hear your feedback. | slovegrove/iStock/GettyImages

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s saying nothing at all. “Tours aren’t lectures, they’re conversations,” Reck says. If you’ve got a question, ask. If you’d like to ask your tour guide additional more in-depth questions about a specific topic, wait until after the tour is over.

Is the tour over yet?

Children and tour guide discuss museum

Children even know better. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Make no complaints about the tour being too long. Comments like this annoy your tour guide and other tourists. Here’s what one tour guide has to say about people who complain. “Someone else that is interested can take your spot, and you can find something else to do that day,” writes Todd Sarouhan, of Go Visit Costa Rica.

This is stupid, dumb, etc.

Group of Hikers checking route on map

Be respectful to those around you. | criene/iStock/Getty IMages

Be respectful of the place you’re visiting, the people around you, and your tour guide. Don’t make snide comments or insult your guide. They’ll most likely be thinking, “If you think this is dumb then why are you taking this tour?” Keep any negative comments to yourself. If you must discuss the negative aspects of the tour, wait until you’re at least out of earshot of your guide.

What did you say?

Tour guide speaking to group in front of blue door

Listen and pay attention. | ablokhin/iStock/Getty Images

Asking a tour guide to repeat themselves once or twice is acceptable. The question becomes unacceptable ask any time after that when those on the tour are clearly not listening to the guide. If the guide’s voice isn’t loud enough for everyone to hear, ask them to speak up at the beginning of the tour. Pay attention from then on and listen to what the guide’s saying. After all, it’s what you paid for.

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