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Adventure Travel Guide

Career Highlights

  • Organize and lead trips
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Educate the group

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Career Summary

Adventure Travel Guide -- where the keyword is Adventure! These are not tour escorts or guides like the ones at amusement parks, where they smile and mechanically sway their arm in welcome. Most often Adventure Travel Guides are right there with you as you hike Ireland, walk around the incredible villages of Switzerland, or tour the Galápagos Islands in sea kayaks.

Remember the tour buses and the throngs of camera-toting tourists who pour through the doors of those buses en route to the nearest tourist attraction? Those people don't exist on adventure tours; it's just the client and you -- the Adventure Travel Guide.

Adventure travel guides can be anything from mountain guides to canopy tour guides. Many people opt for an active vacation (a vacation based around an adventurous physical activity), and with new demand in physical activity for vacations, a wealth of new adventure travel companies have been formed.

Adventure travel varies in length, location and skills, and may include:

  • River rafting
  • Mountain trekking
  • Cave exploration
  • Scuba diving

The best and most successful guides have multiple skills in activities as well as health care procedures. This includes emergency aid certifications, an emergency medical technician degree, or hospitality skills.

Some guides may assist in or organize travel arrangements, including reserving lodging and dining, making activity reservations and researching any potential passport clearances or problems.

On the other hand, the wonderful thing about being a tour guide is you never know what activity you may get. Adventure travel may include activities such as mountain biking, snow or water skiing, horseback riding, sailing, and white-water rafting.

But it’s not all about the fun and adventure. During the trip, guides are responsible for educating the group on cultural customs, coaching individuals on the basics of adventurous activities, and ensuring that all participants are safe and enjoying themselves.

It goes without saying that to work as an adventure travel specialist, you must have a love for the outdoors. You must enjoy participating in recreational activities, many of which can be highly strenuous and involve some element of risk.

The demand for adventure travel guides has grown over the last few years and will continue to grow as people become more interested in conservation and environmental issues. Travel adventure gives city folks a means in which they can explore and observe what occurs in nature. Currently tourism is the fastest-growing sector, but competition is relatively high. As Baby Boomers begin to retire and travel, there is expected to be an increased demand for adventure travel guides.



Salary varies depending on the location and description of the career opportunity and if the position is seasonal or full time.


Requires a degree in one of the following:

  • Emergency Medical Technology
  • Fitness Training
  • Hospitality & Tourism

Career Skills

  • Effective communication skills
  • Good judgment under pressure
  • Being a leader
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Professional reputation

Additional Information



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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.