How Much Do You Tip a Tour Guide

How Much Do You Tip a Tour Guide? Tipping Etiquette For Travellers

Travelling is always a thrilling and invigorating experience. Even after traveling my entire life, every new venture seems to give me chills like it’s the first time also it raised a question in my mind HOW MUCH DO YOU TIP A TOUR GUIDE? I wouldn’t deny the fact that it was all much easier and quicker before I had my three little troublemakers. But while it was half as work before, it wasn’t half as fun as it is now. 

It wasn’t long before I realized that my children’s constant neediness and clinginess had no longer left me capable of using a map or figuring out the places myself.  And no, my husband was just as helpless as I was.

That’s when we decided to put our travel-savvy cap aside and grab the assistance of a tour guide. Having extensive experience with tour guides by now, learning how much do you tip them, has been a learning process for us.

Many people often struggle with the question of how much do you tip a tour guide, I have all the answers for you….

Tipping the guide after a short tour

So, how much do you tip a tour guide? The interval of your tour depends on your level of interest and stamina, but when it comes to babies traveling, you mostly end up cutting the tour time short. Their irritability and fatigue affect your energy levels in traveling, and all you wish for them is to go to sleep. 

In that case, a guide will generally lead you on a walking tour or a short excursion. This might be a full-day trip or even shorter than that, and it’s customary to pay around 10% of the entire tour cost. This might seem to be a hefty tag, especially if you are on an expensive tour. In that scenario, 5% would suffice. 

There are best visiting places to travel with family where guides offer a free walking tour. While I’ve taken multiple, there is a very vivid but unspoken understanding between the guide and the travelers on the expectation of a generous tip. You can serve them with a tip equivalent to $5 per hour minimum. Remember, it all depends on the value of the trip provided by the guide. 

If they manage to give to serve as one impressive guide, then open up your wallet, or else there’s no obligation as such. 

How much do you tip a tour guide for multi-day tours?

Traveling with a naysayer means doing a tremendous level of planning. Especially if you’re on a multi-day trip, you need to be fully prepared with all of your belongings to keep your sanity intact. You obviously can’t manage to become the captain of the traveling ship and steer it in various directions, not when your hands and waist are full. Tour guides have been a great help with that, and therefore, we had to be a tad bit more careful with tipping them. 

When it comes to how much do you tip a tour guide on a multi-day trip, there are a few factors that you need to count in such as:

  • The region of traveling
  • Size of the group
  • Length of your tour
  • Quality of services received

The tipping etiquette varies as per the country you are traveling in and whether you’re a tourist or not. Tipping the usual percentage is customary, but if you’re a part of a large group, you can lower it by 3-4%. If the services received were extraordinary, for example, if they kept your children busy and prevented them from crying unnecessarily with engaging stories, which is extraordinary in my case, you can adjust your tip accordingly. Make sure to tip in the local currency and in cash, though. 

If you are traveling to Europe, exploring the surreal beauty of Iceland, or the unique architecture of Venice on a multi-day trip, you have to have an exemplary tour guide. That’s the only way I could absorb the ravishing beauty of the places without having my ears cut out by the wailing. 

In that case, the tip ranges from $15-50 per day. If you take these services in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, or Germany, you’d have to pay $25-50 per person per day as guides are handsomely paid in the areas. You’d be surprised, but you need to be as discreet as possible when paying the guides in the UK. 

Factors to consider before tipping

There are some particulars that you need to be mindful of before tipping. After all, we all want to drop a deserving tip for the sake of our conscience. This can be possible if you analyze the overall tour and the services provided, which will allow you to stick to a number that you want to hand over. 

I  remember this one time when I was so involved in capturing the surreal beauty of Paris on my camera that I forgot to look after my children. A few minutes later, I saw Ethan running toward me, telling me how the guide took him to the bathroom amid my obliviousness. I got so satisfied with the guide’s services that I ended up over-tipping him.

While there’s nothing wrong with tipping more, his expressions were pretty skeptical. This made me think that he either believed me to be a stupid lady who mistakenly gave him extra dollars or bribed him for good service, either way, he kept it. Since then, I decided to tip exactly what’s due and keep the extra smile on my face. 

Coming back to the considerations, think if the guide was genuinely interested in the tour and if he went out of their way to give your family a great time. Examine their set of skills and service ethics to see if they were strong enough to deserve the customary tip. If your guide was utterly focused on providing you with a superb experience, then you’ve got your green signal. 

Some other tips to remember 

  • Try to hand over your tip concealed in an envelope and if, for some reason, you are unable to find it, make sure to shake hands, smile, and place the money in their palm. 
  • Always prefer in paying cash for tips, but if you’ve run out of money, ask if they accept credit cards. 
  • If you have decided to tip less for some rational reason, always explain what you didn’t find fit and give recommendations. 

In the end, remember if you hired the guide through a company, make sure they allow tipping them. If they do, the answer to how much do you tip a tour guide depends on the factors stated above. They worked for all the tours I’ve had and I hope it will allow you to follow the right tipping etiquette and be a worldly-wise traveler as well. 

If you don’t know how much to tip a bus tour guide or how much to tip a walking tour guide, you can apply the same strategy to any tour guide. So no matter whether you’re in Italy, the USA, or any other place in the world.

As always don’t be shy to leave your comments below and do let me know if I miss something!

FAQs (How much do you tip a tour guide)

How much to tip a tour guide in the USA?

In the USA you can tip a tour guide around 10-20% of the entire tour cost, which is a standard and ethical number. 

What to do if you are unhappy with the service?

If you’ve had an amazing experience, leave them a good tip, shake their hand or give them a smile. If you have had a bad experience, still hand over the customary 15%. In case of a worst horrendous experience, you can lower your tip to 10% and talk to the manager if you hired them through a company.

Can we tip in foreign currency?

If you are left with no other choice, then it’s better to tip in foreign currency instead of nothing. Otherwise, try your best to make time to convert the cash into local currency. 

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