International Tour Management Institute (ITMI)

The Premier Training Institute for Tour & Travel Professionals Since 1976

8 Lame Excuses for Not Becoming a Tour Director / Guide

Encore Careers, Tour Guide/Director Jobs, Travel InspirationITMIComment

Whatever your reasons are for not pursuing your dream career, they're probably not good enough. 

Depending on your current life or financial situation, becoming a tour director / guide might seem far-fetched. Perhaps you've told yourself that now just isn't the right time, or that it's just not practical. Well, the fact is there are plenty of passionate travelers that once experienced similar doubts and since have made their travel dreams reality. 

Whether you're a freshly minted college graduate or an empty nester looking to begin a new chapter, a wealth of fulfilling, life-affirming opportunities awaits you. 

Don't let the negative voices in your head make your life decisions. Here are eight lame excuses for not becoming a tour director or tour guide. 

Training costs too much: If you're seriously considering a career in tour directing or tour guiding, you must be willing to invest in it. The price of tuition can make would-be applicants nervous, but if you're a passionate traveler and people person, you won't have a hard time making that money back soon. While certification is not required to get a job, it greatly improves your chances of landing one with a reputable, well paying company. Don't short change your dreams.  

Traveling isn't safe: This is a sensitive, complicated subject, to be sure. Recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, among others, can make a career in tour directing or tour guiding seem like a dangerous prospect. We're not going to downplay anyone's concerns. We live in frightening times. However, that is no reason to abandon the path you know would make you happiest. Let your heart guide you. Living in fear is no life at all.  

My family thinks I'm crazy: So your parents see in you a third-generation doctor, but you don't see it in yourself. You told them you want to be a tour director, and they looked at you like you're moving to Los Angeles with a guitar to start a rock band. Unfortunately, this type of misinformed reaction isn't uncommon. Tour directing / guiding is a well respected, stable career with perks and benefits unlike any other. They'll see. 

I have a steady job: Your 9-to-5 isn't so bad, you say. Sure, you sit in a gray cubicle for eight hours with your boss standing over your shoulder at least half the time, but the pay is decent and the potlucks are great. Wait, did you really just name company potlucks as a highlight of your job? Is Charlene's delicious redskin potato salad really that delicious? There's inherently nothing wrong with this kind of life; it works for a lot of people. However, you know it isn't for you. 

Changing careers is too risky: You have equity in your current line of work. Nearly 10 years on the job, lots of paid vacation time, a nice 401(k) match. Why would you give up a sure thing for uncertainty? Valid question, but here's a better one: Will sticking with a pays-the-bills job make you happier than living your lifelong dream of traveling the world? Others have struggled with your same doubts, made the right decision, and haven't looked back since.  

People won't "get me": So you think of yourself as a little different. Your closest friends are odd ducks, and you feel as if most people just don't understand what makes you tick. Maybe that's true, but guess what? The world of travel is filled with friendly, talented weirdos just like you! Those who share a passion for travel tend to see the world differently than the average Joe. It's time for you to be with your people. 

My budget is too tight: Stacks of bills are huge weights. They can cloud your judgment and encourage you to make decisions that aren't in your long-term best interests. Don't be paralyzed by debt. Get a handle on your current situation. If you're up to your eyeballs, start chipping away so that you can put yourself in the best position to start pursuing your dream career. You owe that to yourself.  

I can't work full time / I can't work part time: Are you at a crossroads in your life? Starting a family and unsure of what your ideal work / life balance is? Tour directing / guiding is a great choice for people in transitional stages. Determine your desired level of commitment and find the position that will offer you the flexibility you need. There are so many types of jobs available - full-time, part-time, seasonal, local. You shouldn't have trouble ramping up or cutting back at any point.