Knowing when to tip and how much can be a headache when you’re trying to enjoy a stress-free holiday. Below we have provided a general guide to tipping to help avoid any awkwardness on holiday.
Is tipping included in our tour price?
Some Operators include tipping (or gratuities) in the trip price for your convenience and peace of mind. This is dependent on the Operator and sometimes the region you are visiting. River cruise Operators generally include tipping for the cruise director, crew, local guides and excursion drivers; premium coach Operators also tend to include tipping in their prices. If tipping has been included in the cost, this only covers the services during the period of touring.
Every tour itinerary page on Global Journeys includes information whether the Operator has tipping “included”, “optional”, “not included” or “pre-pay available.” Check with your Global Journeys tour consultant if you are in any doubt, or if you would like to add pre-paid gratuities to your booking.
Tipping for optional excursions, local guides, dining out (when a dinner for an evening is not included in your itinerary), and for pre/post tour accommodation will not be covered regardless of whether it is included in the trip price.
So how much should I tip?
If you haven’t prepaid your tips at the time of booking (or aren’t provided that option by the Operator) , then we’ve included some guidelines for tipping below. Amounts shown are in AUD/NZD. You should always try to tip in the local currency. If you have no other option, a foreign currency tip beats no tip.
Guided Coach Tours
Tip the tour director and driver at the end of your coach tour, typically $5-10pp (per person)/per day to the tour director. The driver should receive $2-3pp/per day. The range indicates the quality of the service received*.
Almost all river cruise Operators include tipping and gratuities in the price, which covers the cruise director, crew, local guides and excursion drivers.
Feel free to tip individual crew members who you feel provide exceptional service and any optional (not included) services such health and spa treatments.
Portage is generally included in all coach tour packages. Your luggage is usually transported for you while you’re at the welcome reception or the last breakfast of your stay, and any enquiries are sorted through your tour director.
Usually you will only need to tip room service if you utilise it, and it is good practice to leave a daily tip for your cleaner (especially in America).
For accommodation outside of your coach tour (including pre and post tour accommodation) tipping is not essential. However in the USA, tips are par for the course and we have provided a guideline for you: Porters (those who transport your bags) generally receive $1-2 per bag, concierge $7-25 per request (depending on the level of attention required to address your request and standard of the hotel), and the doorman between $2-6 for hailing a taxi/helping you with bags. Room service expects around 10-20 percent of the food bill (if it’s not automatically included). Coat check is happy with $2-3 as is the shuttle service.
Housekeeping are content with about $3-7 per day, which you should leave daily, as you may not have the same cleaner for your entire stay (leave it labelled so the cleaner knows it’s for them).
Make sure tipping is not automatically included in the bill. If not, 10-15 percent is generally acceptable. In America 15-20 percent is a standard tip (the latter in cases of exemplary service).
Generally 10-15 percent of the total fare is acceptable. Just leave the change for short rides.
Local guides generally expect 10-15 percent of the tour price as a tip. Do not tip the services of National Parks or government operated sites.
That’s a lot of tipping!
Of course, tipping is ultimately optional. However in many countries it has become customary because of their very low wages (many countries don’t have a minimum wage like we do in Australia and New Zealand).
If you have the option and you generally tip as a rule, then we recommend pre-paying it if you can. If not, then on a coach trip allow for around $5-7pp per day if you are happy with their service. On a river cruise keep some tipping funds on hand for the local guides when/if you participate in any local excursions (some river cruise Operators cover this tipping too), so check your itinerary, or ask one of us!