10 Things I Learned as a Tour Guide in the Rockies

  1. Running water and flushing toilets are a gift. (I also have a strong appreciation for all buildings that don’t have mice)

2. Someone on your tour will absolutely do that thing that you told them not to. They will let go of the dog sled, and they will step in that ‘puddle’ on the glacier you warned them about that turns out to be 4 feet deep.

3. Always have a few stories or jokes saved in your back pocket. My tour bus once had an unexpected delay, and I found myself entertaining my guest two hours instead of the five minute planned ride.

4. Pack extra of everything. Have extra pairs of mitts, toques, and most importantly, snacks. Most of the people you are working with have travelled a long ways and are now in a new environment, and its not uncommon for them to feel unwell as a result, an extra Gatorade/granola bar in your pack could save your tour.

5. Tour groups love it when you sing. I personally can not sing, but the musical guides that I worked with were by far the most mentioned on TripAdvisor reviews.

6. Plenty of snacks are better than packing a full lunch. There’s not often time to sit down and eat a full meal, so it’s good to have things you can eat on the go.

7. You will clean up pee, poop, or puke more often than you think.

8. You will always be learning little lessons and anecdotes from your guests. I had new stories every day about interesting tourists I spoke with and loved meeting so many new people.

9. Squirrels are not afraid of sled dogs. They will break in to your pack and steal your lunch while your 8 dog team watches.

10. You will work long hours and be out in the elements all day, but you will enjoy every minute of it.

Happy touring!