My tight budget and desire to explore came together when I hired local guides on my far-flung trips. Here are my top 3 tips to finding your own local guide for your next adventure
1. Start asking around
You have friends who are travellers, or you have friends yet to be made who have been to the place you want to go. Join some facebook groups, here in Australia there are Mountaineers Down Under, or Sydney Rock climbers FB groups. If I ever have a trip related question I megaphone it across those big cable networks and crowdsource some recommendations. Getting a recommendation from a friend is often the best and easiest way to trust a local company from the get go.
The internet. It is a wonderful thing. For sure there are forums, blogs and websites that will help you find the right operator for you. Dive into the rabbit hole and spend some hours researching.
3. Ask questions
If your trip requires high safety standards, such as most mountaineering and rock climbing trips, ask the questions. What happens if you break an ankle on a route and need to be evacuated? What high altitude wilderness first aid training have your guides done? Who do you talk to if you have been approached or interacted with in an inappropriate manner? I have often, when travelling alone and with friends, made a list of all the things that scare us or situations that could happen. On that list are things like being raped, carbombed and kidnaped. No joke. Make the list. Exclude nothing, however silly it sounds to say it out loud, then make another list mitigating those risks. And/or ask the right questions to your operator about how they and you can mitigate those risks together.
My Personal Recommendations
Are you wanting to travel to Nepal or South America? These are the two companies I have booked climbs with, used and who I would recommend:
Nepali, chat to Subin, the owner and all round fantastic person:
South America, email Rodrigo about your ideas:
By Steph Quirk