I know most of us (or at least a majority of us) are on a budget when traveling. Before we go, we are sticking to a number that we need our airfare, transportation cost, hotel costs all to fit within. Then we start adding in tours and the immediate reaction is to keep the cost in check because why oh why would I spend the extra money on those?
|Cappadocia, Turkey, 2011|
|Tan, our guide for Kusadasi/Ephesus|
This post includes photos with the three amazing, wonderful, insightful guides and now life-long friends from our office trip to Turkey in 2011. Atil was with us in Cappadocia, Tan in Ephesus and dear Arzu, who Boss Lady found in the Washington Post years ago, in Istanbul (check out her website at www.walksinistanbul.com).
So what does that extra cost in a private guide give you? The ability to see important sites the non-crowded direction, insights you don’t get from the audiovox and the ten people who insist on being right up front with the leader (ok, that might be me.), help with ordering during lunch <– that right there is probably my FAVORITE part; we ate some delicious food because Atil, Tan or Arzu ordered for us and there was no language barrier.
|Who else would’ve known this was the appropriate way to greet us in Kusadasi?|
I don’t want to leave out the fact that it I believe your personal travel style always determines how well this works for you. I may plan travel day in and day out but I love to be taken care of when I’m traveling. I do not like dragging a map out, trying to ensure we see the check mark list of important places – that’s not enjoyable, that’s work actually. Instead, a nice man or woman, an expert in their field, picks us up in our hotel lobby around 9AM to start a memorable day where I don’t have to be in charge! That sounds like heaven on vacation, right??
|We all shed tears at some point in the Hagia Sophia with Arzu. It’s one of my favorite places Ever.|
And let’s not forget, this isn’t only for European or Asian or South American trips – it’s a fabulous idea to head to the hotel concierge at your all inclusive resort in Antigua and ask them to arrange a driver for half or all of the day taking you to private beaches and a local lunch along with sharing the island’s history and in the Caribbean it’s very affordable! I promise it will be your favorite day of your getaway!
|Here’s a memory I won’t forget. At St. John’s Basilica in Kusadasi!
If you can only afford one day of private guiding, do so on the first full day – it’ll ensure you get your bearings of your destination!