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gratuities

Melbourne, Australia
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3 posts
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gratuities

Am traveling for the first time next year on a bus tour of UK and Europe. Question is, i have the option to prepay gratuities for the tour guide and bus driver - or should i leave it till i travel?

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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85,406 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: gratuities

In mainland Europe, there is no need to tip anyone for anything. Do not prepay and do not pay when you travel.

Hitchin, United...
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8,331 posts
42 reviews
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2. Re: gratuities

Don't prepay gratuities, ever. It's a ridiculous concept. Tipping is based on what kind of service you've recieved, and you don't know that until you have had that service.

If you feel your driver or tour guide has been particularly good, you *may* give them a little something extra at the time to show your appreciation. As Nick says though, that's entirely voluntary and we're not a big tipping culture.

This thread may well start a fight. Tipping has been subject of the week. ;-)

London
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42 reviews
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3. Re: gratuities

It's normal for a bus driver to have a box (or 'hat') ready for any tips at the end of a trip. The tour guide will usually make an announcement to that effect. Don't feel obliged to tip if you don't want to, and I've never heard of paying gratuities up front.

London, United...
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4. Re: gratuities

A friend of mine who's a tour guide always complains that the drivers pocket all the tips or a disproportionately high amount, for doing very little. So if you tip because you're happy with your tour guide, keep in mind that he or she may not benefit from your extra payment.

Personally I see no point in tipping, unless the tour is free and/or the guide does a truly exceptional job.

Upminster, United...
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5. Re: gratuities

I have only tipped a driver once. He got us from Southport to Enfield on a coach with no clutch. It packed up at a motorway service station and when they unbolted the casing to repair it it just fell out in bits (think Vettel's car last Sunday)

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: gratuities

Thanks to everyone for your advise - as i had certainly been led to believe that i simply MUST tip both guide and driver. Misinformed? Maybe

London
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3,773 posts
36 reviews
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7. Re: gratuities

I suspect there is a disconnect between what guide books and the media say you should tip in England and what actually happens.

There was a survey last week that said the English tip on average 8% based on a survey.

But everyone I know just rounds up taxi drivers, wouldn't tip in a restaurant thats not above 'family restaurant' grade, do not tip hotel staff and only tip guides if they are above the 'going through the motions monologue' so many seem to think is acceptable.

Dublin
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5,955 posts
88 reviews
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8. Re: gratuities

I agree with everybody else that the notion of pre-paying tips is complete nonsense. But - if at the end of your bus tour - you think both the driver and the tour guide have extended themselves to make your trip a fulfilling one, there's no reason why you shouldn't dig your hand into your pocket and give each of them a ten Euro note. Your pocket may be lighter by Euro 20. But you will experience a rush of endorphins in giving to good people.

And the converse is also true. If they're unimpressive or sullen during the course of the trip, then obviously you do not reward them.

U.K.
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for Avebury, Egypt
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9. Re: gratuities

Over the years, I have done quite a lot of coach tours within Europe and found that, more often than not, someone more experienced would, towards the end of the tour, send round a couple of envelopes for contributions - one for the driver, one for the tour guide. What you put into each envelope is entirely up to you, it is not obligatory, although your tour company may publish a recommended amount for each in its brochure.

We (I was not the treasurer on these trips!) tended to give equal amounts to driver and guide.

Sydney, Australia
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3,846 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: gratuities

OP, would you tip here? I remember going on various day trips in Scotland a few years back - the majority of the people on the bus were American and there were about 6 Aussies (including me). The Americans arbitrarily told us that everyone must, yes MUST, give £X per day to the driver and the same to the guide and proceeded to hand around 2 envelopes. When they counted the money and found less than expected, you would have thought a major international crisis had happened. Perhaps if we hadn't been told, like so many naughty children, how much everyone was to put in, we might have contributed, but we really objected to the way the Americans' customs were shoved down our throats. So, no tips from us stingy Aussies, I'm afraid.

(PS, the day trips weren't cheap, not by a long shot)

Edited: 28 October 2010, 12:33