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How much to tip a private guide?

I am looking into booking a private guide. What is the recommended tip per day?

Posted by
8520 posts

This is a hot topic!

First, find out if tipping is a cultural norm for your host country. Secondly, if you and the guide have agreed on a price for a private tour, it is not necessary to tip in addition to that agreed upon amount.

Posted by
18523 posts

Generally speaking, a private self employed guide should not be expecting a tip, whereas a guide working for a company might.

In Europe an Indian woman might wear a Sari, a Muslim woman a head covering and a Thai woman may place her plans together and bow; even though these are not European cultural norms and yet they are well received. So don't hesitate to practice your social norms and tip if you are so inclined.

In Hungary no good person will be offended. I have tipped there for years, but admittedly I don't feel guilty if I forget and I generally tip less than I would in the US. Do remember their average salaries are a third to a half that in the US and a nice tip there will do more good than the equivalent tip here would.

You will never be a local, so don't even try; be yourself and enjoy.

Posted by
8520 posts

Mister E has one point of view that is valid. There is the alternative point of view that have heard several Europeans state on this forum that presents the idea that putting your cultural norms regarding tipping on a host country is a form of cultural imperialism.

Both perspectives have valid points. You can choose how you want to deal with the issue.

Posted by
18523 posts

Carol now retired, you know I love your insight. But I am not even sure I know what Cultural Imperialism means? So that you and I dont trash WOZ's thread, why dont you start a post on that subject and maybe I will get an understanding.

Quick answer to the Direct Question: I would give 10% of the day's charges if the guide did an acceptable job; half again more for a really good job and nothing for a bad job.

But Carol, I am guilty, I started to take the thread down the wrong road, so let me back up and just state what I have seen and experienced over the past 20 years of travel in Budapest; its anecdotal, but something at least and it just pertains to Budapest and isn't a generalization for Europe as a whole (maybe you will get socked in the snoot in Berlin for leaving a tip, no idea).

As I stated I do tip there and not once has anyone refused the tip, look disturbed or angry; on the contrary 90% of the time I get a warm thank you and sometimes I get reciprocation in service or product as a good and regular customer; worst, from my perception the line was totally crossed at the recent Christmas Market where each vendor was required to use the same credit card processing machine, an I pad looking device, and when you tapped your card the first screen that appeared was the tip screen.

I've also noticed that most of the higher end establishments are putting the Service Charge (tip) on he bill as if to say, if you are going to keep reading the RS forum, we will take it by force.

I also have a fairly close friend in a service industry and with her and her co-workers the US Citizens are the prefered customers as they tip and since this isn't a particularly high paying job, they dearly appreciate the tips and work hard to get as large a tip as possible.