Personal guides, or local fixers who can guide you one-on-one or in small groups aren’t always cheap, but can enrich your travel experience. If you work with one, you want to get your money’s worth. Here is what to look for to make sure you do.
When searching for the right fixer, create a list of qualities are most important to you. Travel writer Brook Wilkinson has some suggestions to get your list started:
- They can help you skip the long lines: They can do this in a number of ways, pre-buying the tickets, having guided or group passes, or just knowing the right person. However they do it, ask them before booking to make sure you won’t end up paying to stand in line with them. Also make sure they can access any site you want to see. Some sites require certain guide licenses and you want a guide with those licenses.
- They’re knowledgeable in the areas you care about: They won’t know everything, but they should at least be an expert in the areas you’re interested in. For example, if you plan to visit a lot of art museums, you want a guide who knows about art and art history.
- They take you to excellent restaurants and shops, not just the ones giving them kickbacks: For a truly authentic experience, you want to dine and shop in good, local, authentic places without worrying that you’re missing out on something better just because your fixer had their wallet in mind over the service you hired them for.