What I Realized From My First Hikes in the Dolomites on How to Be a Good Guide

Two years ago, in May and September 2018, I made my first hikes in the Dolomites for around 20+ friends from Moscow. This is what I realized as a local guide to them (equals: insights to participants of such a hikes and advices to other guides).

Ivan Kuznetsov
Outdoor editor from Dolomites and Karelia

Travelers are experienced and not.

— Someone is coming to you for the first time, someone’s already been in your country. People can have their own idea of the place and impose your own vision saying “Yes, we have the best [something] here in the world” is wrong.

I tried to be objective and, in fact, asked as much as I told my guests about their own impressions about Italy.

Quality is important for travelers.

They pay attention to many details you may not pay: breakfast at the hotel, punctuality of the guide, physical activity during walks… It is expected. If people ask for an excursion, they ask for a certain level of comfort.

I tried to keep the bar.

Travelers expect different things.

For one is important to get more historical information and different details, others are interested in modern life. Some are sociable, others are silent. But you can’t please everyone and, what is more important, you do not.

I tried to find a medium. What I did not know — I said so, and what I studied deeply — I gladly shared.

Travelers need rest.

Yes, during the vacation. Active walks and communication with a guide and locals even for one or two days in a row can be tiresome physically and morally. And even on trips, we want personal space.

I tried to give it and did not follow the guests on the heels.

Travelers must be satisfied.

This is the most important thing that a guide should do. Just like after watching a good movie, we are inspired to do things, also after the excursion, a person should have a new life. At least, a small one.

I tried to get it started.

So, how to be a good guide?

The most important: you need to be yourself. No matter of the guests, country, activities you do, a place you visit, or people you meet. Without being yourself, nothing works well.

I tried to be myself.


Cover photo: participant of creative hikes in the Dolomites.

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