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VT Hokie Cruiser
April 3rd, 2010, 10:51 AM
After booking a tour with Athens by Taxi, we decided to have them arrange a tourguide for the day. Sounds like the guide is independent of the basic tour. If the guide is working on their own (not sure) and keeping the full payment for guide services, should we tip on top of that? Thanks.

MercedMike
April 3rd, 2010, 01:54 PM
After booking a tour with Athens by Taxi, we decided to have them arrange a tourguide for the day. Sounds like the guide is independent of the basic tour. If the guide is working on their own (not sure) and keeping the full payment for guide services, should we tip on top of that? Thanks.

Here we go again .... ;)

Most people in the tourist industry depend on tips. You will seldom make a mistake tipping any guide.

Now I am one of those who believes that tipping is an EXCELLENT system and works strongly to the benefit of the customer -- IF we practice it carefully.

Simply put, never figure in advance any particular percentage that you plan to tip. ALWAYS, base your tip on the quality of service and how much it enhances your trip. If you have a friendly, personable, efficient and knowledgeable guide, it will make you day so much better! Therefore a substantial tip is warranted. If the guide does nothing but point to statues and tell you their name, then don't bother to tip or tip minimally.

The whole purpose of this is to encourage the best guides to stay in the business, and chase the bad ones out. If they go home a few days mumbling about not getting a tip, maybe they will quit and become a bartender!

Our experience has been almost universally good. This indicates to me that the system works! Consequently, almost always we give a very good tip to our excellent guides. 15% to 20% would not be unusual for me to give to a good guide who made the day for us. BUT ONLY if they did a great job!

navigator0709
April 13th, 2010, 04:43 PM
Yes, here we go again :o

I would have to disagree with your post because you haven't factored in local customs into your post. If your experience with tours have been in Europe, they were probably universally good because you have chosen good tour guides that care about their reputation and quality of work for the fee they charge, not because they are expecting a 15 or 20% tip.

The original poster is asking about tipping a tour guide in Greece...

Tipping overseas is NOT common, whereas in the US its "almost" required. If you were a French or Italian family booking a tour overseas, you would maybe give a $5 Euro tip (total), if the tour was excellent. I don't know of anyone in Europe who would ever dream of giving 20% of an expensive tour as a tip. The guides are professional, and not expecting a tip (maybe they are used to it from American tourists LOL), just like a an accountant or nurse here would not expect a tip.

Just me 2 cents, for what they are worth.

Sally

jocap
April 13th, 2010, 05:36 PM
Tipping in Greece would not be more than 5 to 10% in a restaurant, and it would be unusual to give more, but, naturally,it would be accepted.
According to US Today, the usual tip for a taxi would be to round up to the next euro. That's similar in most of Europe.
If the tour guide has his own company, then you might give a small sum for extra help; if it is an employee, then it would be kind to give 5 or 6 euros.
Jo.

cwuer
April 14th, 2010, 04:30 PM
We are doing the same thing. Paying additional 160Euro for guide for 4 hours. That is 40 Euro or about $55 per hour. That is cash money, may or may not even be paying taxes on it. I think that is a lot of money per hour in almost any country on earth and as a Professional should not require a tip on top of it. I am a nurse and I don't make that much, nor do I get a tip when I bring you a pain pill or do CPR on you. LOL. Tipping has gotten so out of control in this country. Yes there are job's in the service industry that rely on tips and they should be tipped appropriately, but tipping Self employed professionals that earn $55 an hour is just not something one should feel is necessary or even expected. Just my opinion so don't flame me if you disagree.

jocap
April 15th, 2010, 07:36 AM
We are doing the same thing. Paying additional 160Euro for guide for 4 hours. That is 40 Euro or about $55 per hour. That is cash money, may or may not even be paying taxes on it. I think that is a lot of money per hour in almost any country on earth and as a Professional should not require a tip on top of it. I am a nurse and I don't make that much, nor do I get a tip when I bring you a pain pill or do CPR on you. LOL. Tipping has gotten so out of control in this country. Yes there are job's in the service industry that rely on tips and they should be tipped appropriately, but tipping Self employed professionals that earn $55 an hour is just not something one should feel is necessary or even expected. Just my opinion so don't flame me if you disagree.
cwuer- if you are travelling in Europe, remember that everyone employed in any job, including the service industry must be paid a living wage by law. Tipping is taxable, and is accepted by staff (who wouldn't?), but is not really a big deal because of this law.
Jo.

cwuer
April 15th, 2010, 09:23 AM
I do travel to Europe and have good friends in UK. They are always getting on to me about my tipping habits. They say American's are the only one's that tip like we do and that Europeans do not tip each other the way American's do. I do try and follow the customs of the country I am in and think so often American's just think everyone else should do things the way we do them over here. I did not realize however, that all the service industry employees are paid a living wage by law. I wish we would do that. For those that say the service would suffer if we removed the tipping policy I say go to Ireland! I was there recently and the food came to my table quickly and piping hot. Never any cold fries in that country. The wait staff always friendly. Did they come by and fill your glass every few seconds? No! but if you order a pint it last for the whole meal. LOL

jocap
April 15th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Yes, the latest law is that it is illegal to make up a staff member's wage by using any tips, as some more unscrupulous were doing. If they are found out to be doing this, then they're in trouble!
Jo.

VT Hokie Cruiser
April 23rd, 2010, 05:15 PM
I am the original poster on this thread. We are hiring the guide for our family group of nine people at 200 euros for the day, in addition to the driver and tour. If the guide is self-employed, as I suspect, it sounds like 20 euros would be plenty and appropriate at 10% of the guide's cost. Or should we tip a certain amount per person?

MercedMike
April 24th, 2010, 10:37 AM
I am the original poster on this thread. We are hiring the guide for our family group of nine people at 200 euros for the day, in addition to the driver and tour. If the guide is self-employed, as I suspect, it sounds like 20 euros would be plenty and appropriate at 10% of the guide's cost. Or should we tip a certain amount per person?

No matter where the rest of this thread goes ... read my post above again and PLEASE do not decide in advance on what you will tip the guide. Tip according to HOW MUCH the guide enhances your trip.

What I usually do is get a bunch of small bills. For a 200 E trip, I would probably have 10E, 10E, 5E, 5E, 5E, 5E and 20Ebills handy. Then, AT THE END of the trip I can tip the guide anywhere from NOTHING (I have never done that) to 5E for a poor guide (done that) to 20E for good service, 40E for an outstanding guide, and to two shining examples of wonderful guides (Nick of Greek Taxi and Kagan in Istanbul) I have given 50E or 25%.

But always decide at the end of the trip what the guide deserves. It is not some chart, it is not some local custom, it is not some expected percentage -- it is how much the day will glow in your memory (and picture album) because of what the guide did for you.

Have a GREAT cruise!