I have in the past worked in the Jamaica’s hotel industry in various departments and found that I always enjoyed speaking with and helping visitors more than anything. Coupled with this, with my love of driving/excursions, I started Travel Around Jamaica Tours with my wife, Andrea and have never looked back.
How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?
I always considered myself a tour guide, even before I was formally one – I was always called upon by family and friends to take them on tours and excursions all over Jamaica.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts with a swim at the beach – to just relax and prepare mentally for the day. I do double check the weather for the particular area I will be going to ensure it will be a nice day. If it is I usually pick up my visitors, sometimes a few minutes before and we go over our plan for the day. Sometimes there might be unpredictable change in the weather and at this time, along with the visitors, might do an alternative tour or just go with the weather…If my clients do require any last minute changes, I try my best to accommodate this and we continue to our various destinations.
No two visitors are the same. All my tours are customizable. It depends if the clients are adventurous, want to relax, enjoys sightseeing, photos, see the “real” Jamaica or the most popular tourist attractions. I am very flexible and makes sure my visitors have a once in a lifetime experience while here.
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing the smiles on my clients’ faces – just taking them to an attraction and hearing them say “Wow!!!”
What’s the most bizarre experience you’ve had on a guided tour?
Overall the experiences have been great!!
Ever had any odd requests from clients?
Well not really odd, but I have had clients wanting to go to all 14 parishes in 1 day.
I absolutely love my job! At the end of the day it sometimes can be very tiring and draining from the driving, but then again, that is why I swim to start again!
As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are? -
When you hire a qualified guide, you are in good hands. We know the attractions to take you and we have accurate information on the island’s history, culture, music etc. When you also pre-book it takes the hassle out of finding a guide while on vacation.
Tell us something about your area that only a guide would know.
I know not only the usual tourist attraction but also sites off the beaten paths. I also know where to get the best jerk chicken.
A good tour is professional and well informed about the tours. Is able to be flexible, reliable and will ensure that your tour is a memorable one.
And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?
Look for someone who is professional and willing to be flexible to suit your needs. A careful driver, certified and who is also attentive to your needs.