Tipping on a guided tour

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GonFIRE
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:32 am

Tipping on a guided tour

Post by GonFIRE »

Hi,

We are on a guided tour for two weeks in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. We have two adults and two teenagers. The total group size is 22.

Am looking for guidance on how much to tip our tour guide and bus driver, who are with us the whole trip.

This is our first time taking this type of vacation. We want to tip appropriately but I’m not seeing much information for guidance online. I did see one site suggest $5-10 per person per day for the guide and $1-2 per person per day for the driver. Any bogleheads out there with guidance from their personal experiences? Thank you for your help!
secondcor521
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by secondcor521 »

If the tour is professionally arranged through a business, that business will likely provide guidance if you ask them (and probably even if you don't - although their unsolicited advice will probably arrive shortly before your trip departure).

The guidance you mentioned is in line with what I have seen from river cruising companies like Grand Circle and Viking for the bus driver. And the tour guide numbers you mentioned were in line with what we were advised to tip on a private tour in India (me, my Dad, the guide, and the driver). IIRC our tips in that case were partially dependent on how much local cash we had left on the last day of our trip.

I've observed quite a variance though, based on people's various levels of generosity and opinions of the tour guide's abilities and effort. I've asked tour guides (and service people on the river cruises) about this topic and most of them seem to be generally laid back about the variance and just look at the aggregate totals (and seem mostly happy about those too). In other words, I would tip as you see fit and not worry about being judged or any blow back from the tip recipients.
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lthenderson
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by lthenderson »

secondcor521 wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 1:20 pm If the tour is professionally arranged through a business, that business will likely provide guidance if you ask them
+1 I've always asked and they have always been more than happy to give me suggestions.
suemarkp
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by suemarkp »

Each time I did it they provide guidance. Im on one right now and just stuffed the tip envelopes. I did about 2.5 pounds per person per day for the driver and wellness director. Double that for the tour director although the suggestion was 4.5 per day. It was just easier to do X, X, 2X.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
Topic Author
GonFIRE
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by GonFIRE »

We asked for but did not receive or see tipping guidance from our tour company. However, some in our group did from their travel agents. As secondcor521 wrote, there was a lot of variation in our group as to what they had been advised/were giving. We ended up giving $3/d/person for the driver and $5/d/person for the tour guide. We also gave between $5-10 to the local tour guide, depending on the quality. ($=Euro)

Everyone we discussed tipping with in our travel group that we asked suggested that we tip only for the adults and not for our kids. We were the only one's with kids on the tour and decided to tip for all four of us.

Thanks for the advice!
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CAsage
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by CAsage »

I've traveled a bit with a small group EUROPEAN tour company, and their guidance was 5 Euro per day per person for the guide, and 1 EU for the driver. I rounded up since the last couple years have seen a lot of hospitality professionals really suffer. All other tips on 12~14 day tour (porters, additional local tour guides for each special site, hotel staff) were included. Tips are not expected/appropriate in any restaurant in most (?) of Europe, but the areas I've been generally add a ~2,5 EU charge per person for the "table", which seems to include setup and bread.
Last edited by CAsage on Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.
ScoobyDoo
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Location: Dallas

Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by ScoobyDoo »

Interesting responses. I’d love to hear from the non-Americans. As I understand it, tipping is an American contrivance. Came about due to the lack of liveable wages for some service workers. Think of your average waitress making 2.75 an hour. Depending on tips to get a liveable wage.

Admittedly, I’ve not done any research at all on the history of tipping, so I could be way off. But I personally, do not automatically tip service workers. I use it as a sincere thank you for providing basic services, if indeed, the basic service was provided. I go above and beyond when there is an exceptional service, attitude, personality, smile or whathaveyou provided with said basic service!

Lastly, a quick google search will provide you a cultural answer to your question based on location. e.g, The Netherlands is not a tip country. Many locals will implore people not to tip. If anything, just round up to the next dollar. To me this indicates the charge for the service has already baked in the cost of service which includes a liveable wage for workers. Again, i have no Phd on the subject but it serms a logical conclusion to make based on, imo, Americans disdain for providing service workers liveable wages
ScoobyDoo!
DarthSage
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by DarthSage »

We're going on a tour in the US in a couple weeks. The travel documents suggested $10 pp/per day for the tour guide, and the tour cost includes tips for all other things (included meals, drivers, baggage handlers, etc.)

When I went on an Italy tour a few years back, the closing paperwork, handed out on the last night, gave suggested tip amounts. It was accompanied by a brief questionnaire.
Shallowpockets
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by Shallowpockets »

DarthSage wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:42 am We're going on a tour in the US in a couple weeks. The travel documents suggested $10 pp/per day for the tour guide, and the tour cost includes tips for all other things (included meals, drivers, baggage handlers, etc.)

When I went on an Italy tour a few years back, the closing paperwork, handed out on the last night, gave suggested tip amounts. It was accompanied by a brief questionnaire.
OP, glad you are tipping for your kids. The suggestion to not have to tip for your kids who are adult sized and who partake of the entire tour, is not right.
As far as suggestions like $10 day to tour guide PP, are based on, what? Never figured that one out.
And as far as tours or cruise that say tips are included makes you wonder, how does that work? If even at all. Money into a black hole that you think is doing it right.

Look at the math for the $10 day PP for tour guide. Say, 20 people on tour. A seven day tour. 20x10= $200/ day x 7= $1400 week. That is good money. On top of his salary.
If you are a BH you no doubt have plenty of money. After all,,you are on a tour, a vacation. in the end any amount you give will not break you and will be lost in your memory and finances and so obscure as to be nothing in the scheme of things.
InMyDreams
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by InMyDreams »

DarthSage wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:42 amThe travel documents suggested $10 pp/per day for the tour guide, and the tour cost includes tips for all other things (included meals, drivers, baggage handlers, etc.)
When I traveled with OAT in 2015, they included all tipping except for the tour guide. I think they also recommended the amount for the tour guide (not sure). I'd forgotten about this benefit.

I also traveled with a concessionaire down the Colorado thru the Grand Canyon. Guides were amazing, very (very!) professional, and worth every penny they earned directly from the company and from tips.
DarthSage
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by DarthSage »

We did a Tauck tour a few years ago (Grand European Holiday, I think it was called). On that one, the tips were included. I think because it was a Bridges tour? Those are meant for families, and about half the participants were under 18. It would never occur to me to NOT tip for my children--if anything, kids can be more work (potentially pickier about food, maybe bored at more adult attractions, etc.)

A good tour guide is worth every penny. On the tour above, not only did she speak 3 languages, but added many extras to the trip (crepes in Mountmarte, little gifts for the kids, etc.) She also helped with things like a lost credit card and a leaky hotel toilet. She may have been paid well, but she WORKED--and long hours, too.
Nowizard
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Re: Tipping on a guided tour

Post by Nowizard »

We tip more for those who make less, so more for the bus driver than the recommended amount. One way is to get a guideline and then ask yourself who needs a little extra more, you or the person you are tipping. It is a simple way to do a small thing that has a win-win feeling to it. Can get you some better service as well if you do it daily rather than at the end of the trip.

Tim
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