The next time you go on an adventure, should you get a guide, or go it alone?

Visit Anchorage CEO Julie Saupe joined Daybreak Tuesday morning with a few things to keep in mind the next time you're faced with that decision. 

Saupe says the investment in a guide or guided tour, as compared to the amount spent to reach a destination, can be quite minimal when you think about the opportunity it brings to experience or learn something if you had gone on your own. A guide can be a good option when you are:

  • Visiting historic destinations – guides can help you gain depth beyond the guidebooks and plaque reading
  • Staying in the area for a long time - going with a guide can help you get your bearings so you feel more confident going it alone
  • Revisiting a destination to find the hidden gems – using a guide gives you immediate access to an expert.

Guides can help you avoid the unpredictable, Saupe said. You may be a fan of going it alone, but if you get lost or miscalculate travel time to the airport, it may cause a missed flight. This is especially important for business travelers who may be combining vacation and work obligations and have short windows of free time but want a meaningful experience without the worry of getting lost -- no one, no matter the cause, wants to call the boss to say they missed their flight.

Business travelers often report they feel safer on a guided or group excursion, especially when traveling abroad, according to Saupe. Guides can serve a dual purpose by providing both insight and security -- simply having someone at your side, especially a local, can allow you to relax, take in the sights and learn the culture from someone on the inside.

When it comes to an adventure trip, Alaska is a beautiful place, but it also commands respect for the elements and topography. 

Unless you are an expert in the activity, Saupe suggests getting the gear you need and the knowledge to return safely. Guides can match outings to your fitness level to ensure you have an enjoyable experience. And many carry satellite phones and have first aid training, which can be important for those with medical concerns or limitations. Everyone deserves to have the trip of a lifetime without added worry. Guides help you explore areas you never could on your own, as well as avoid areas you never should be on your own.

Whether traveling outside of Anchorage or exploring your own backyard, vacation time is precious. Make the most of it by thinking it through -- a guide may be the best way for you to experience all Anchorage has to offer.

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