Amateur Traveler Podcast: The Life of an Adventure Travel Tour Guide

The most fun I've ever had while also getting paid was probably when I led week-long cycling tours in Italy, but it was also the most work of any job I've ever had. 

I've since noticed that lots of people have the skills to do this job and (from their comments when I try to encourage them) that they don't realize it. For example, people assume that being able to lead biking and hiking tours means you have to be fit enough to say, train for the Tour de France (not even close) or have a Ph.D in Art History and be a sommelier (again, not at all necessary). 

I get quite a few questions about how to work in Italy, so I started writing a blog post about the critical and not-so-critical skills for this job – which I think is a great way to work in Italy without going through any work visa issues. But the post became too long, so I contacted Chris Christenson of The Amateur Traveler to do his magic with a podcast. He agreed, so here it is: everything you ever wanted to know about how to be a tour guide. 

Amateur Traveler Episode 217 – The Life of Adventure Travel Tour Guide

Disclaimer: I should mention that in this podcast I talk about my own experience only, working for Butterfield & Robinson in Italy. Other companies may have different requirements, and required skill sets may change with the economy and applicant pools. I am not currently in the business of hiring tour guides, so if you're interested in a job like this and have additional questions, contact the hiring manager at the company you're interested in.

Italy Beyond the Obvious will help make your trip truly memorable. Take advantage of our Italy trip planning services for a customized itinerary, or get coaching assistance with our Italy travel consulting services. And if you like what you read, why not subscribe to the Italy Beyond the Obvious blog and get free updates?

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Posted by on Jan 31, 2010 in My Stories | 3 Comments


  1. Lucia
    February 3, 2010

    Another great podcast, Madeline! I think tour guiding must be one of the most exhausting jobs…it exhausts me just to keep up with the details of “guiding” two kids, can’t imagine being responsible for a big group, especially if they are whiny! It sounds like you have quite an interesting mix of jobs. Thanks for sharing the podcast link.

  2. Madeline
    February 3, 2010

    Thanks so much Lucia, glad you enjoyed it – most of the credit really goes to Chris.
    Your comment made me laugh though because being a tour guide was a piece of CAKE compared to keeping my with my 3- and 5-year olds! 🙂

  3. travel recommendations
    June 6, 2011

    I go the Italy and it is a nice for thr travel . i like the leading travel of the pizza . I like the their people and they are so co operative also .


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