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Tip amounts for Coach tour?

How much should we tip our coach driver & guide each for 8 days?
Thanks,
Jean

Posted by
14969 posts

If you are with an established tour company they should tell you recommended amounts in the literature they sent. Check that first because others will probably be tipping that amount.

Posted by
495 posts

I haven't received our documents as yet and wanted to take money out of the bank as I have to order it and don't want to wait till the last minute; so if you have an idea per couple per day it would help me out.

Jean

Posted by
13925 posts

Are you willing to share what company you are using? Asking because both of the tour companies I used state that tips are included. Those are Rick Steves Europe and Road Scholar.

If it's a company where the drivers and guides do expect tips then you'd want to wait to get Swiss Francs out of an ATM when you get to Switzerland. Giving them dollars if that is what you are thinking will be a hassle for them as they'll have to change that to local currency. Or were you thinking to order Swiss Francs from your bank?

Posted by
495 posts

We use Gate1 Travel. We are arriving prior to our tour and need some local currency for taxis etc!
Jean

Posted by
740 posts

Well. Let’s say you go with $20 a day for the guide. Times 8 days.
20 x 8 = $160.
Let’s say 20 people on the bus.
20 X $160 = $3200 for his 8 days. In addition to his salary.
That’s pretty darn good.

Posted by
13925 posts

Even if you order some Swiss francs ahead of time for your first taxi ride you can still use a local ATM to get the money needed for tipping your guide and driver. You may be able to use a credit card for your first taxi from the airport or train to your hotel instead of having to use cash.

Be sure to notify your local bank you'll be using your ATM card in Switzerland.

I've seen things on other forums that indicate in the final paperwork that Gate 1 tells you what to tip the guides. I haven't traveled with them so don't know if it is still $10 (or 10 whatevers) a day for the guide and 5 or so for the driver. I'd want to see how they perform before I made a decision on how much.

Posted by
495 posts

Well, $160 for guide + driver for tips is a little rich so I'll see how they perform & tip accordingly!
I just thought I'd order some Swiss Franc's to start and avoid a bank withdrawal charge at the airport and use my credit card for all else; if I can use my Credit Cards for everything then I won't have to take any more out than my initial order. I always have my ATM card with me but if I don't need it all the better!

Thanks all,

Jean

Posted by
484 posts

I've used Gate 1 Travel several times and Pam is correct.
They tell you how much to tip etc. in the final documents you receive.
Usually its sent about a month in advance so you'll have enough time to get foreign currency from your bank.

Posted by
13925 posts

Jean, if your bank charges you for ATM withdrawals internationally you still may be ahead because you'll likely not get as good a money transaction rate buying ahead here in the US as you would get from an ATM withdrawal BUT you should do what is comfortable for you.

When I first started travel to Europe I would get Euro or Pounds from my local bank until I'd traveled and then would bring home money. However, Swiss Francs are not something I'd have saved, lol.

I do suggest you get a couple of greeting cards, maybe with pictures of your locale on them. I take some along in case I decide to tip a guide or driver and it's just nicer to me to have it enclosed in a card and not have to hand over cash.

Posted by
495 posts

I agree; just wanted some initial Francs; but as we plan to tour parts of Europe next Spring we will ATM Euros while in Amsterdam prior Switzerland Tour.
Thanks,
Jean

Posted by
14969 posts

The average tip suggested is the equivalent of $10/day for the tour director and about $5/day for the driver.

So, for two people, it would be $160 for both for the tour director.

Realize this.....tour directors rely on tips. They are not paid that well. (I know, I was one.) This is not a year long job. It is seasonal. Additionally, most tour directors are independent contractors. They don't work every day.

Posted by
495 posts

I checked back and this is what I paid last time, $160 so I guess that is what it'll be.

I too was in the Travel Industry and you're right, not well paid!

Jean

Posted by
2638 posts

if you have paid for the tour then that is what you pay, why even think of tipping,my advice tip $0

Posted by
1630 posts

In Switzerland tipping is uncommon. We pay people in the service industry sufficient salaries. A coach driver makes about 80000 a year, so he isn't exactly poor. With the labor market being what it is you just don't get staff in Switzerland if you do not pay a decent salary. The starting salary at Migros or Coop for example is around 50000,- a year.

Posted by
256 posts

Just back from a coach tour of Switzerland with Trafalgar and the recommendation was 5 per day for tour director and 3 for driver, per person. I also tipped the local specialists 1-2 CHF.

Posted by
495 posts

We've done Trafalgar but lucked into Gate1travel and this Co. is better and cheaper so sticking with them! You all should check it out; great deals.

Jean