Author of the material: Manager of Kyiv, Yuliya Bevzenko
In Ukrainian, in Russian
Hi everyone! I am Yuliya Bevzenko and I am Manager of Kyiv. I provide tours across Kyiv starting from 2014 and here is what
11 rules for the tourist
Guide's work is very intriguing – you have to find common language with strangers within 2 seconds, to be charming, to love kids and to know how to treat them.
At the same time, you need to speak properly by the phone, to come in time, to know which place to recommend for dinner or for coffee, where the closest first-aid point or shop with icons are, what is the schedule of transportation and how many stations in your city are, how much time it takes to get to the airport etc.
But today I would like to speak about work of a tourist*.

Here is what I understood: the fact of how perfect the tour will be on 50% depends on the guest. Out of my experience, I will propose you tourist rules. I really think that if a tourist has in mind all these rules, both tourist guide and the guests will get pleasure from the tour. So, let's go.

*For me a tourist is equal to a guest.
1. Come to the tour in time.

It is perfect if you are late a little bit. Seriously. One, two, five minutes late. In this case, I personally get lower degree of worrying. If I know that the guest came fifteen minutes earlier and I am not there yet, I start worrying much more than if he comes in time or one minute later. If you still came a little bit earlier, do not call the guide, asking to start the tour earlier. Wait till the starting time of the tour. Take it as a performance, which starts not when you come, but according to the schedule.

Don't do: come much earlier or be much late.
Do: come in time or be one minute late (just my personal bosom).
2. Check online where the meeting place is

If the guide appoints you a meeting place, check in advance where it is, in order not to be half hour late. Download Google Maps on your phone. For example, I appoint meeting place near the Golden Gate fountain. It takes some time to find the fountain, but it is cool that the place is not obvious. Don't do: half hour before the tour find out that you don't know where to go. Do: one day before the tour check in Google Maps where the meeting place is and how to get there.

Don't do: half hour before the tour find out that you don't know where to go.
Do: one day before the tour check in Google Maps where the meeting place is and how to get there.
3. Go behind the guide, not in front of him

Look, if there is a team of three of more people touring across the city, there definitely will be formed subgroups, which will lag behind or in opposite – get close to the guide. So, try to keep pace with the guide or go just behind him.

When you go in front of the guide, you will turn back and distract him with questions "Where to go next?" or he will be distracted by calling out to you "Guys, now turn left". If you don't hear him from the first time, he will have to call out to you for the second time. But the guide is holding a discussion during this moment with the person, who is close to him and also controls those, who are left behind.

The guide knows where to go, and you – don't. That's why follow him.
I also sometimes leave the group a little bit behind, allowing them to discuss something, exchange their opinions, share impressions.

I am silent for a purpose, making a passage from one place to another.

Don't do: outpace the guide.
Do: go just behind him or keep pace.
4. Prepare exact amount of money up front

For example, I work on 100% advance payment. But in those rare cases, when payment is planned during the tour, there happens the following.

It happens that the guests have only dollars. For example, tour price is one hundred eighty euro, and the guests have only two hundred euro. The guide doesn't have the change. What to do in this case?

Next: the guests have euro, payment should be done in hryvnas, the tour is already finished, the guide needs to run to the next tour, and the guests should look for money exchange place.

The guests want to withdraw money from a credit card and postpone this till the end of the tour, without informing the guide. The tour is finished and then the gusts inform the guide that they need ATM machine. But there is no ATM machine nearby. All together they waste time and look for ATM machine. But it doesn't work or doesn't give as much money as necessary, and then they have to keep looking for ATM machine again.

You give a tour as a present to your special one, and say him: "please, step back" for him not to see how you make the payment. And then you start looking for money in your bag, pocket or purse. If you haven't prepared exact amount of money in advance, you will have to slip out of awkward situations with money change and exchange.

Prepare money in an envelope and give it at the beginning of the tour, then the guide will love you. Because at the end you will just say each other "Goodbye" and go apart.

These are just trifles, but they save time.

Don't do: postpone payment till the last second.
Do: prepare money without change in advance.
5. Give tips easily

You don't have to squeeze money in fist, staring at the guide's eyes and at this moment holding out to him with a closed fist.

If you have already prepared money for the tour and added tips to it, just say: "Yuliya, here are money, a little bit more than necessary. Thank you very much!".

If you have paid the tour in advance, and you want to give tips at the end, just say: "Yuliya, we want to thank you for the tour. Please take this. Denial is not accepted J». And give money.

Don't be shy that you give a small amount of money and say it aloud. Be sure, this is much better than poking money into guide's pocket.

And about the question "to give tips or not?". I like tips and accept them with pleasure. My tour price starts from one hundred euro, so I highly value my time, but if I am given tips, I am very thankful and honestly saying, jump till the ceiling inside myself.

Don't do: feeling shy and poking money to the guide.
Do: openly give tips.
And the most important.
6. If you are local, - trust.

Let's say that the local Kyiv person organizes leisure time for his foreign colleague and everything should be arranged at the highest level. The colleague will be in Kyiv for the first time and you live in Kyiv. So, if you go on the tour with him, confide in the guide.
Your friend, most probably, will initiate or accept guide's invitation to have some coffee in cozy cafe.

But you will be nervous, thinking that we are losing time, that your friend won't see the most important parts, and that the guide is fulfilling his work unconscionably, stretching out the time.

Please, believe me, the guide wants to show you Lavra and Bessarabka with Podol within two hours, but people who come from abroad don't want to jump around the city.

These are us, who run and cut the way, but they are touring around. Everything is new for them. And coffee is very tasty. Coffee in Kyiv is very very tasty! And café owners talk to them. The tour is arranged exactly for this. And we, local Kyiv people, forget that we are on a tour and start managing the process in order to make a good impression.

Nothing bad will happen if your friend doesn't go to Andriyivskyy Descent. But bad will happen if you are going to be stressful and point the guide how to perform his job.

Most probably you will hurry up the guide and your friend - not to make photos here, not to stop there, don't go there. Of course, because you've already been here.
You know, I've had situations, when I was talking to the foreign guest, telling him about Maidan or national holidays, and at this moment I was told: «Yuliya, it is not interesting for him, tell him something different». Though it was the guest who asked me that question.

Or the customer asks me where we are going now, I tell the direction and hear in response: "No, you don't need to show this. What else do you have?". You know, it really takes a lot of energy and decreases the mood. You really lose the desire to show anything.

And at this moment the guest can even make a grand move and ask the foreigner: "Tell me, do you want to go there?". And how can the foreign guest know the answer if he has never been there and generally he has been in this city simply for 1 hour. The foreign guest answers: "Oh, for me everything is interesting, I don't really care". And at the end the customer says me to go and to show him Maidan, as Andrievska Church is not interesting.

Maybe I am paying too much attention to the tone. But it is possible to say: "Yuliya, can we please necessarily show Maidan? It is very important for me that he sees it". Oh my God, sure, without any problems, with pleasure.

Don't do: explain to the guide what will be better for the foreign guest, because he is the guide and you are not.
Do: explain to the guide before the tour which places you would like your guest to see. Good guide will arrange the program properly – for yours and ours interests.
Top-3 rules:
1. Listen to the guide and look into his eyes.

2. During the tour go behind the guide, not in front of him.

3.Prepare an envelope with exact amount of payment in advance.
7. Don't say to the guide: «Let's turn here, it is the closest way».

Please, believe me, your guide knows where to go and what is the closest way. But you are not cutting of the way, you are walking around. A person is responsible for where you are going.
Be careful while choosing the guide for your personal tour. From the group tour you can leave noteless, but from personal one – most probably not.
8. If there are two or three of you walking together, stay from one side of the guide.

Just like it is on the photo below. In this case I look on all of you at one time and my voice is heard by everyone.
Look: I turned my head and I am talking to everyone. Everyone sees and hears me.
But if you stay like this, on photo below, on both sides of me, then I look on the person who asks me something or who is telling something. And then another person is left without attention.
Katya Tarabukina
Berlin by Kate

For example, the fact that the same object or historical fact has different color. And work of the guide is not to give dry facts, but more often guide's task is to open personal attitude to different things, without imposing his personal position, but still – explanation of different angles and views on one or another historical process.

Possibility of having different opinions' dialogue is very important part. This work is interesting because with any other guide the same route receives its different individual colors or sometimes even greyness.

Both the guide and the guest should be ready to listen, to hear and to accept different opinions and conclusions. It doesn't mean that it is necessary to agree to everything.

It is possible to share one's stories about the object or ask questions without being shy.

The tour is always interesting in that company, which asks questions and is interested.
Silent tourists are doomed to get more dry emotions from the tour. I like curious and even sharp guests. The most terrific is when it is possible to show pluralism of opinions, to debunk myths and to kill stereotypes.

It is necessary to take water with you for a tour, not less than a liter.
Sometimes the route doesn't envision shop within few blocks proximity, and it is necessary to be ready for this.

It is necessary to put on comfortable footwear, not heels or shoes or step-ins.

Katya Tarabukina
Berlin by Kate
9. If you want to go to the bathroom, tell about this. Don't be shy.

It is very difficult to walk around when you want to go to the bathroom. When the guide proposes you to go to the bathroom in some shop, don't be shy to go there, even if you are not buying anything. I am going to have my next material in blog about this.
10. Inform the guide if you are going for a tour with a kid (5-10 years old).

If I know in advance that there is going to be a kid during the tour, I will try to take something tasty with me. Kids are usually very interested during tours with me, I devote them time and I have eighty aces in my sleeve for them.

If I come for a walk and I see instead of two adults – two adults and four kids, then I definitely need to change the route. Notice about the kids will allow the guide to better plan the route.

Take your kid's best toy to the tour, then it will be easier for the guide to find common language with him.

Don't do: be silent about the kids.
Do: inform that there will be kids during the tour.
Sasha Babich
Tudoy-Sudoy agency

1. If you are late or changed your mind – just make a call.

2. Don't be shy of asking questions to the guide. It is always nice to understand, that you are captivated by the narration and you would like to find out more. And for me it also is easier, when I am telling about what you are really interested in.

3. If you want to make a photo, but the guide carries you away, tell him about this. It is not a fact that you happen to be in this place again.

4. For citizens of Kyiv and other locals: you don't need to "shine with your erudition" in front of the guide.
If you really know more about certain building or if you caught the guide on factual mistake (it can happen with everybody) tell your guests about this after the tour. But most probably you will just forget about this J J J

5. While ordering the tour for your guests tell the guide about their occupation, where they came from and their interests-hobbies (if this is not a secret).
I will try to find on the tour route nice surprises and facts, which will make your guest feel glad.

I don't take money in advance. I explain this by the fact that my motivation in this case decreases greatly :)
I personally like to go in between guests during individual tour.

Sasha Babich
Tudoy-Sudoy agency
Sasha Babich, Tudoy-Sudoy agency, Odessa
11. Don't interfere communication of the guide and a kid

If the guide asks kid a question "How many birds do you see?", please try to give your kid opportunity to answer it by himself. Because the guide has one more question, and more, he is trying to involve him this way, and there is nothing wrong if the kid counts three birds instead of two.

Also don't answer for your kid, don't be sad if he gives wrong answer or if he can't recall what is the English word for "apple", even though he studies with tutors every day.

We are not having speed competition or attestation on how good your kid is, this is just the way of guide's communication, not to allow your kid feeling bored. I hope you understand that I am not teaching you how to behave with your kid, I am just asking you to give the guide opportunity to talk to your kid.

I have special atmosphere with kids during my tour. And if parents don't interfere into it, then everyone enjoys it.

Don't do: answer for your kid, hurry up your kid with the answer.
Do: watch the communication and help only if the kid needs this.
Thank you for reading this material.

I will be glad to see you on my pages at Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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