Why Hire a Guide?
Many people planning a trip to Israel or visiting never think of hiring a guide. Actually there are some advantages. Here are 10 good reasons for hiring a tour guide:
- A guide will work with you to create a tour customized to your interests.
- A guide can handle all the logistics (itinerary, accommodation, food, transportation) for you and probably save you money.
- A guide can take you to places that you would never know about even if you spend a lot of time reading guide books or searching the Internet.
- A guide will point out things that you would never notice.
- A guide will explain and make sense of what you are looking at.
- A guide will put what you are seeing in its historical, religious and cultural context.
- Using a guide is the best use of your time, you’ll get to do and see more.
- A guide is educated and trained to guide and then licensed by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
- A guide is experienced and up-to-date.
- A guide is your personal resource, answering your questions and able to suggest things that match your interests, both before and during your trip.
So on your next trip, think about hiring a guide, maybe for part of your trip or for a special site or subject that you are particularly interested in. Consult with your guide about recommendations for less expensive accommodations, interesting hotels, hostels or B&Bs, best deals on car rentals, cheap but good restaurants. Get together with friends or others at your hotel and together hire a private guide, it will turn out to be cheaper than a larger, fixed itinerary group tour. But don’t take my word for it, ask your friends or Google “Why hire a guide” to read other peoples’ views; here is one article I found on the Independent Traveler website “When Do You Need a Tour Guide” – good advice.
Why hire this guide?
Here are some things that clients have said:
I guided two people, one a young woman who is a jazz singer currently living in NYC and she sang a hymn in the Church of Santa Anna – now that was a treat.
“Thank YOU for such a wonderful morning in Jerusalem. Your tour was one of my favorite experiences on my trip, and I take your lessons with me into the world, eager to share them with everyone I meet. Keep up the fabulous work – I have been describing you as a must-do to anyone traveling to the Holy Land.”
I guided a couple and her 70 year old mother focussing mostly on Christian sites in the Old City.
“… a very professional and dedicated guide – Shmuel was super – he went above and beyond what was expected and left us with one of the most beautiful days of memories of our trip – He was patient and kind and incredibly knowledgeable!
Again, an exceptional guide who I highly recommend!!!” (posted on TripAdvisor)
I guided a father and his 22 year old son, both engineers. It’s not the first time I’ve had a client who has a Nikon digital SLR and iPhone but this is the first time a client is blogging about the tour. Check it out here
I guided an extended family of 8 (both sets of grandparents, parents and children, 11 and 13) for 5 days.
“A million thanks for being a great guide. Your high energy but mellow demeanor was perfect for our group and your deep historical knowledge kept it all interesting and in context for us.”
I guided a mother and her 16 year old son on their first trip to Israel.
“Thank you for helping to make our trip to Israel so memorable!
Without your vast grasp of the beautiful land of Israel and Jerusalem we would have been lost…
Thanks for your great service. Take care and good luck with your guiding.”
I guided a couple who were interested in archaeology and specifically Herod’s palace/fortress at Herodium.
“The tour of Herodium was awe-inspiring, largely because of Shmuel Browns, our guide. He is highly knowledgeable, and comes equipped with graphic documentation that fills the gaps of what one sees. He gave us a taste of the detective work of archaeologists. Further, Shmuel is very professional and a real “mensch”.”
I guided a Christian couple interested in archaeology and Israel.
“Mr. Browns was a 6 star guide. His knowledge of his subject was encyclopedic and made our visit to the site come alive. We will heartily recommend him to anyone we know who may be planning a visit to the Holy Land in the future!”
I guided a couple who were visiting their daughter who is studying International Medicine here.
“We are back in the US with lots of wonderful memories from our time in Israel. We want to thank you for being our guide in Jerusalem. You well earned your fee and we are grateful… Know that your skills as a guide are recognized and deeply appreciated.
I guided a father and his 2 grown daughters around Herodium, visiting for a family bat mitzva.
“… my thoughts often drift back to that memorable afternoon with you and my kids at Herodium. I appreciate the time that you took and the knowledge that you shared.”
I guided a couple and his older parents (the father used a walker or wheelchair for longer distances). We drove from Tel Aviv through the Negev down to Sde Boker.
“We really enjoyed the day we spent with you, and now that I have digested all that we accomplished that day, I am even more pleased! Thanks for the update on the argan nut. Your pictures of Nahal Zin in today’s Arutz Sheva are beautiful!”
- I am registered on the Viator travel site as a guide. This website/blog was chosen as the #1 site out of more than 100 guides.
- I am registered as a local guide for Israel by ToursByLocals, a site designed to connect travelers with local, qualified guides.
- I offer tours through TourHQ.
- I’m one of eight guides recommended by Frommer’s Jerusalem Day by Day guidebook (see page 21).