Handle it: Becoming a tour guide in New Orleans

About a year ago I made one of the best decisions of my life, I took a test to become a tour guide in New Orleans. I had just ended a seasonal bar-tending job and was listless. A lot of free time on my hands so it felt it best to pursue something. This process is not good and it is not explained at all on the website. My pain your gain. Here is how this process really works.

https://www.nola.gov/onestop/business/taxi/tour-guide-permit/

You’ll want to go to this website 1st as there is an app you must fill out. You also have to obtain a criminal background check! Yes no felon guides need apply. There is also a book they recommend you read. It is an ok read, there are others I’d recommend more than this one but it does the job.

1st trip to city hall you will have to fill out a form, bring ID. You’ll have to see 3 people each will do something different. One gets all your info, hands you info on where to go to get background check done. Then another will take $50, they do take cards but you know they dont tell you that its no cash until you arrive.

You are then given the news that there is a test only offered 2x per month. At least this was the case in Jan 2018. Sign up for the 1st available. The book is easy read and can be perused in a week. You should also study up on column names, like doric ionic and Corinthian. Know house types like creole cottage, camel backshotgun etc. None of this info is contained in the book. I feel it may have been on a paper she gave me. Nonetheless the links to the architectural styles will be most helpful on test day.

When you are at one of the 2 background check companies they work with, ask them to send the info to city hall. They have a system, maybe fax but I dont recall having to get a physical hard copy but get one anyway make them print it out. It costs 30$ I want to say. Not cheap vs time it takes them to obtain the info anyway.

Test day will come and you are back to city hall. Take the test and wait for a call. You must go back to city hall only after receiving confirmation that you passed. A lady will review your file make sure all info is correct and background checks out. They take your pic and print out your official license ! You have made it! Only takes 3 trips to city hall to get everything done. Hooray !

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Update your travel apps

I just bought a new phone so I had to redownload all my airline apps. Take a moment before you head to the airport and update your apps with your log in info. Now the flight and rewards info is in your hands literally. Its also good idea to save this info along with airline phone numbers in your email or cloud storage. These air apps even drop notifications on arrivals and departures.

Most airports have mobile check in you should also do using your phone. As soon as you get to the airport you should have your boarding pass on your phone or know you need to stop to get a printed ticket. Speed is the name of the game, passing security is the unknown here. I havent found a good app that shows actual wait times for security checks. If we could get that info most of the stress should go away. I know I am relieved if I think I may be late to get a notification that my flight is delayed anyway.

Travel well travel like a pro!