Tipping tour guides

I'm going to be hiring a tour guide to drive me and my Mother around Tuscany for a day but I'm unsure about how about tipping procedures in Italy. I know you tip far less for cabs and restaurants in Italy than in the US. What about for a driver/tour guide? Does anyone have experience with how much you should tip someone in this situation?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

There was just a big argument (discussion) of this subject so I hate to restart it. What do you think your total bill will be? I would CONSIDER a range of 5 to 10% IF he did a very good job. If on the other hand, he is with you all day, buy lunch and maybe a beer afterwards. There is no hard and fast rule.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4766 posts

Dani is asking about tipping a driver and guide, so do not understand posting info about tipping servers, barbers and taxi drivers. They have nothing to do with each other

Why not ask Ron in Rome and see what he says since he is more familiar with this kind of service.

Posted by Frank II
USA
4377 posts

No, Steve, in your haste to post everywhere, you didn't read what she said....

I know you tip far less for cabs and restaurants in Italy than in the US. What about for a driver/tour guide? Does anyone have experience with how much you should tip someone in this situation?

Instead of rushing to post everywhere, how about reading the questions, and the responses, carefully. If someone else has already answered it, move on. You don't have to post the same answer and then a photo or diagram--which clogs up the classic view board.

Posted by Charles
Katy, Texas, USA
204 posts

Thanks for saying that Frank II. Some of the people of this site seem compelled to say something to everyone else's comments. So stupid.

cml

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

But that is Steve's style since he doesn't have much first hand experience, he needs to quote someone, anything so that he appears knowledgeable. He could not get Dani's quote accurate so he had to twist it to fit his answer. He is a travel agent. What do you expect??

Posted by Dani
Orlando, FL, USA
7 posts

wow, I did not expect to touch off such a spat between you guys. Yes, I was only confused about how to tip a private tour guide.

Posted by ashe
Now in US
18 posts

I also would like to get back to the original question. We will have a couple of guides, and I don't know whether or how much to tip for a day for a private guide in Italy.

Posted by Frank II
USA
4377 posts

If you think the guide did a great job, then a 10% tip is fine (you can give more or less depending on the quality.) If a guide is with you all day, then it's also a nice idea to buy him/her lunch.

I'm just reiterating what the other Frank said.

(As for the spat, this is nothing. You should have seen the one we had on this subject a couple of weeks ago. And speaking of having discussed this a couple of weeks ago, if you go to the top of each section, you'll see instructions on how to search for answers. You might want to try that first before posting since most generic questions have already been covered.)

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

Ashe, I thought that had been cover pretty well in the earlier responses. I will try again. If you spending $150 for an all day private tour either with one or two guides, then I don't see why a $20 tip split between the two of them would not be appropriate if they did a really good job. A single guide, maybe only $15. But I really think your gut will tell you what to do when the time comes.

We were recently in Lisbon and had 3 hr show and go walking tour. It was dirt cheap -- 15E/each. She was probably the best walking tour guide we ever had and we have been on 20 to 30 walking tours. She was funny, great English, really knew her stuff, was very responsive to questions from the group, etc. Even answered a bunch of questions that had nothing to do with the tour but just about life in Lisbon. Tour took over four hours because of the questions and little detours often generated by the questions. We were so pleased with everything that I give her a 20E note at the end and many of the others in the group were equally generous. AND, I have had tours where I give them a couple of 1E coins and left. I think you will know what to do when the tour is over.

Posted by Scott M.
Dallas, TX, USA
1166 posts

For a tour guide you should tip at least 10%, but for an exceptional experience you might go as high as 25%.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

It's a good idea to plan ahead for the tip. I embarrassed myself once tipping a great tour guide in coins (clunk, clunk) because all I had in paper money was big bills. Have smaller denomination bills for this. If a tour guide is so-so or poor, I don't tip at all.