Excursion tipping?

Hi, We have booked two excursions..one to an all inclusive day at the beach and in Cozumel, we are going on a tour with a private car and guide. As the guide and waiter at the beach will be with us most of the day, Im not sure how much is appropriate.

16 Answers

I don't think that a private guide needs to be tipped - I mean, they are technically your employee - contracted to do a job. My wife disagrees. We hired a private guide in Malta, who occasionally hired a car and driver. Not only did the guide expect us to buy them lunch, but expected a tip as well as one for the driver. The guided tour extended over several days and was quite expensive.

I would double check the excursion terms to see if a gratuity was included ... and then either way, tip according to how great the day was...

Usually, if I feel that the guide or driver performed above the minimum level of what they are paid to do, I will tip accordingly.

Thank you for your answers. I do try to tip accordingly as well.. But not sure of the "base" level. Our tour for example, is 5 hours around Cozumel..we pick what we want to do. The reviews all say the drivers are great guides and funny etc. We are on a budget so Im trying to get an idea what to bring.. assuming the reviews are right

Our base is $5 and goes up accordingly. I think we are on the lower end of the tipping scale so I'm looking forward to see what others say. Thanks for the question!

Vacations are all about having a good time - and if you can't "not tip" without feeling like a cheat or a fraud or a tightwad or a scrooge - by all means - tip - and tip lavishly. I mean if an extra ten dollars buys a believable smile from your service provider - and that believable smile makes you feel better about yourself - it is money well spent.

We never take a private tour but on the ship group excursions we usually tip $3 each for the guide & driver if they do a good job. We tip $5 for a full tour - ones that include lunch. Once in Killarney, we did hire a driver for a week.The guide was not with us every day of our stay - maybe four of the days and not always for a full day, either. We were on a trip to watch our daughter compete in an Irish Dance competition. We treated our guide to lunches, snacks and admissions into museums and attractions. We also tripped him $50 at the end of the week. This was 10 years ago.

We tip. Glad to see the auto tip on board too, plus a disembarkation additional for a few of our favorites, although this practice has some shortcomings as well. I hated to see so many walk off the ship, before the auto, after a month cruise without giving anything to those who had waited on them hand and foot. Excursion guides we always tip, appears that we may even be on the low end, compared to many of the posters here on this subject though. For the two of us on a short excursion maybe five for the guide and a couple of bucks for the driver. On the long all day ones, I'm usually by myself and I tip about six for the guide and two for the driver, more if it's an outstanding guide and high mountain road driver.

Tipping is more about the "tipper" than the "tippee." At a certain point over tipping signals chauvinism, arrogance and/or condescension. I am totally opposed to "tipping" someone for simply doing their job. If their service truly "blows your socks off" - and your "tip" patently acknowledges this? Then by all means -tip. But over tipping is not a "victimless crime." It poisons the pool for less grandiose travelers.

On the "Tipping" thread I got into the late John Maxtone-Graham who gave enrichment lecturers on cruise ships. Graham, when a kid traveled frequently with his parents across the North Atlantic on the great liners of the day. Later he wrote a number of books, my favorite is "The Only Way to Cross". His presentations were as entertaining as his books are. He gets into tipping with a lot of old day stories, for instance, here is what he says regarding heavy tippers:

"The man who showered bills of large denomination about the smoking room or inadvertently pressed a month's wages on a Cherbourg porter was not necessarily as vulgar as his behavior. I suspect that the heavy tipper's weakness is rampant insecurity; he is uncertain of how much is expected and bolstered his ego by creating satellites of obligation abut him wherever he goes. For my part, I have mixed emotions. Although the profusion of open palms on debarkation day is depressing, I think the principle of direct reward for excellent performance is sound."

He also noted that: "One-time crossers were notorious skinflints, for they knew they would never be back."

And what I found to be real interesting: "The steward's great redeeming perquisite was the tips he collected at the conclusion of each crossing. In the twenties, it was not unusual for a good deck steward to make two hundred and fifty dollars a crossing, one third of which he gave, by tradition, to the pantry man. A steward's income usually exceeded his captain's, particularly if he worked a good section the promenade deck or the smoking room. One time a new ship's surgeon about to join a great liner was taken for a drink to a favorite merchant marine hang-out in Southampton, the bar of the Polygon Hotel. What he initially thought to be first-class passengers, lining the bar and throwing down double whiskeys, were actually stewards about to report on board his same ship."


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