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.
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.
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."