Author Topic: Tipping Tour Guides  (Read 4328 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Tipping Tour Guides
« on: April 18, 2012, 10:26:24 AM »
I have little knowledge about tipping tour guides in the US let alone in the UK or Paris.  What is the general rate for tour guides and/or their drivers in London and Paris?
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Reason

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 10:37:11 AM »
What kind of tour? For a standard "Let me show you around the museum" it's around 3-5 euro per head. But for something like a bus tour that last a week or sometimes more it's usually 10-15% of the purchase price if it's not already included in the initial cost of the tour.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 10:38:57 AM »
What kind of tour? For a standard "Let me show you around the museum" it's around 3-5 euro per head. But for something like a bus tour that last a week or sometimes more it's usually 10-15% of the purchase price if it's not already included in the initial cost of the tour.

We're in London for 8-ish days doing Criminal Justice related things, so the Tower of London, a Jack the Ripper tour, going to the Courts, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, lots of things like that.  In Paris, I think mostly just the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
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Reason

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 10:54:44 AM »
In that case it's 10-15% of the purchase price, if it's not included and if it's the same tour guide, depending on service.

It's really great that you want to tip, because a lot of tour guides get around 40% of their income from tips and quite a few tourists assume everything is included.

Thipu1

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 11:35:26 AM »
Where we live (NYC) people who lead guided tours of a museum are almost always volunteer docents.  At gala events, the guides may be curators. 

They may suggest donations to the museum but neither are allowed to take tips for themselves. 

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 02:10:50 PM »
One of the fun things I do when traveling internationally is that when i receive superior service I will give the person who led or aided me a little souvenir token from where I am from. They are usually inexpensive & people seem to really like them. For ex a small calendar, key chain, tea towel, stuff like that. Nothing fancy.

Personally I find that younger kids (kids to me, I'm almost 50 so I'm talking about "kids" who are my own kids age) really appreciate them as they make little more than minimum wage.

This is either in addition to the tip, or in place of a tip , depending on the situation.

Have fun! Sounds like a blast! I would like to suggest you journal the experience. IDK, it just helps me to appreciate the trip more & it's fun to go back later & read the journal :)

Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 02:14:38 PM »
One of the fun things I do when traveling internationally is that when i receive superior service I will give the person who led or aided me a little souvenir token from where I am from. They are usually inexpensive & people seem to really like them. For ex a small calendar, key chain, tea towel, stuff like that. Nothing fancy.

Personally I find that younger kids (kids to me, I'm almost 50 so I'm talking about "kids" who are my own kids age) really appreciate them as they make little more than minimum wage.

This is either in addition to the tip, or in place of a tip , depending on the situation.

Have fun! Sounds like a blast! I would like to suggest you journal the experience. IDK, it just helps me to appreciate the trip more & it's fun to go back later & read the journal :)

It's a "study tour" with about 30 people in the class.  I technically HAVE to journal it if I want to get a good grade ;) but thanks for the suggestion.  I like to journal things anyway.

If it was a more private tour, I love the idea of a token from my country.  I needed to know the tipping range so that my professor, whom I am helping, could get out the right amount of money for tips.
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Snooks

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 04:06:07 PM »
I wouldn't tip a tour guide in London.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 04:08:30 PM »
I wouldn't tip a tour guide in London.

Can you extrapolate?
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Snooks

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 04:20:01 PM »
In my experience tours in the UK run in two ways.  1) Free tours - the tour guide is either a volunteer or an employee, either way the cost of running the tour is included in your ticket 2) Bookable tours - you may pay extra to join a tour but that's covering your costs for the tour.  Tipping isn't done in the UK for anything other than food and even then we only tip 10%.  The only exception that I can think of is if you have a private bus you might have a collection for the driver.

saki

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2012, 03:03:17 AM »
In my experience tours in the UK run in two ways.  1) Free tours - the tour guide is either a volunteer or an employee, either way the cost of running the tour is included in your ticket 2) Bookable tours - you may pay extra to join a tour but that's covering your costs for the tour.  Tipping isn't done in the UK for anything other than food and even then we only tip 10%.  The only exception that I can think of is if you have a private bus you might have a collection for the driver.

I agree - I wouldn't tip a tour guide in the UK and nor would anyone else I know.

I think you're exaggerating a touch re: tipping in the UK, though, as it's common to tip hairdressers and taxi drivers as well as waiters/waitresses.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 03:10:45 AM »
In my experience tours in the UK run in two ways.  1) Free tours - the tour guide is either a volunteer or an employee, either way the cost of running the tour is included in your ticket 2) Bookable tours - you may pay extra to join a tour but that's covering your costs for the tour.  Tipping isn't done in the UK for anything other than food and even then we only tip 10%.  The only exception that I can think of is if you have a private bus you might have a collection for the driver.

I agree - I wouldn't tip a tour guide in the UK and nor would anyone else I know.

I think you're exaggerating a touch re: tipping in the UK, though, as it's common to tip hairdressers and taxi drivers as well as waiters/waitresses.

Even for a group of ~30?  I do believe we will have drivers a few times (though I don't know how many, if they'll be different each time, or for how long we will use their services).  I can see not tipping individually, but for a group that big?
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

iridaceae

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 07:33:26 AM »
In that case it's 10-15% of the purchase price, if it's not included and if it's the same tour guide, depending on service.

It's really great that you want to tip, because a lot of tour guides get around 40% of their income from tips and quite a few tourists assume everything is included.

There's a tuor company my dad and I have travelled with a few times- Caravan- and the suggestion is about $4 a day for the tour guide and $ 2 or $3 for the driver.  It is clearly spelled out in the literature that you are expected to tip and still some people decide that THEY don't tip tour guides. I call those people cheapskates, and it is doubly cheap as everyone I have been on thoe tours with has been American, where tipping is the norm.

Amava

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 07:49:47 AM »
In that case it's 10-15% of the purchase price, if it's not included and if it's the same tour guide, depending on service.

It's really great that you want to tip, because a lot of tour guides get around 40% of their income from tips and quite a few tourists assume everything is included.

There's a tuor company my dad and I have travelled with a few times- Caravan- and the suggestion is about $4 a day for the tour guide and $ 2 or $3 for the driver.  It is clearly spelled out in the literature that you are expected to tip and still some people decide that THEY don't tip tour guides. I call those people cheapskates, and it is doubly cheap as everyone I have been on thoe tours with has been American, where tipping is the norm.

Is it just because I'm from a different culture, or does it strike anyone else as incredibly impractical that they organise it that way? Why don't the organisers just include it in the price, and pay the guides? I just don't get that. Is there a certain reasoning behind that, that I am missing?

This whole "you tip what you want, actually you should know that you're more or less obligated to tip, but there are no repercussions if you don't" thing just seems like asking for trouble, to me. A required option, an optional obligation, common sense that is not so common... It always makes my head spin to read about it. Why do they make things so complicated?

(I'm not questioning the need to tip in such situations. Of /course/ I would tip if I know it's an unwritten rule and if I know not tipping cheats the employees out of their rightful income. I just think the whole situation is strange.) 

Snooks

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2012, 08:16:11 AM »
In my experience tours in the UK run in two ways.  1) Free tours - the tour guide is either a volunteer or an employee, either way the cost of running the tour is included in your ticket 2) Bookable tours - you may pay extra to join a tour but that's covering your costs for the tour.  Tipping isn't done in the UK for anything other than food and even then we only tip 10%.  The only exception that I can think of is if you have a private bus you might have a collection for the driver.

I agree - I wouldn't tip a tour guide in the UK and nor would anyone else I know.

I think you're exaggerating a touch re: tipping in the UK, though, as it's common to tip hairdressers and taxi drivers as well as waiters/waitresses.

Even for a group of ~30?  I do believe we will have drivers a few times (though I don't know how many, if they'll be different each time, or for how long we will use their services).  I can see not tipping individually, but for a group that big?

I forgot about taxi drivers and hairdressers, I use both so infrequently that they didn't instantly spring to mind!

For a group that big it's an organised tour which will have come at a price and that price pays for the tour guide, no tipping required.