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Best currency for tips now

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Best currency for tips now

This may be a silly Q but .... travelling from Canada(hopefully!!!) in early April to Cairo Luxor Aswan Abu Simbel....what will the best currency for tips be?. I had originally ordered US $ but not sure now in light of banking troubles etc...any suggestions? Just as easy for us to tip in Egyptian pounds if thats easier for the people in general...and pretty sure they wont want any canuck cash. Suggestions?

Bolton, United...
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for Nile River Valley
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1. Re: Best currency for tips now

First, don't bother getting US Dollars, as the Canadian Dollar can be exchanged in just as easily in banks and bureau de change and you won't lose out on the poorer rates and commission that the banks, generally, apply to tourist transactions. (As an example, banks here, in the UK, will give you roughly 20% worse exchange rates as a tourist than they use for their own transactions; which is roughly 17 - 18% worse than you'd get in Egypt, and charge you about 10% commission for the privilege.)

Second, I'd always recommend tipping in Local currency, for the following reasons:

1. Although foreign notes will be accepted as tips, they can't be spent by the recipient without them making a special trip to the bank and converting them into Egyptian Pounds;

2. Assuming that CDN $1 bills are still in circulation (I haven't been back to Canada for close on 30 years, so forgive me if I'm not quite sure on this point), and bearing in miind that baksheesh is expected to be given for even quite small services, you may find that you run out of $1 bills more quickly than you expect and end up having to use $5 and $10 (approximately LE 25 and LE 50 at today's bank rates). This could deplete your holiday funds quite quickly;

3. If you do run out of small bills/Egyptian notes, don''t be tempted to do what a lot of people do and tip with your own country's coins, with a view to the locals changing them into Egyptian currency; this applies especially to those from the UK, where the smallest denomination note is £5, but I've been asked to change US quarters and Euro coins, as banks won't change foreign coins for non-business customers (some will change them for business clients but give an even worse exchange rate than that which they give tourists to do so). It's far less hassle for both yourself and the locals if you just obtain a supply of small denomination Egyptian currency, for tipping, every time you convert money for your other needs.

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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2. Re: Best currency for tips now

I agree totally with GParry

The BEST currency, form the point of view of the person being tipped is their own LOCAL one i.e. in this case the LE

Lots of different nationalities visit Egypt, Think of the poor recipent If each used their own currency.

You are Canadian. If you were in a service industry, would you like to finish the day with a handful of Sterling, LE, Dinar & Irish Punts - or just a handful of Canadian dollars?

England, United...
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3. Re: Best currency for tips now

Totally agree with GParry too.

Egyptian pounds every time.

U.K.
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for Avebury, Egypt
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4. Re: Best currency for tips now

I know it is often said that U.K. sterling coins are acceptable but please note this cautionary tale ...........

Once upon a time, our room at the Emilio was situated opposite the maids' room and they soon knew us by sight. One day a maid knocked at our door, produced a handful of silver coins and indicated that she would like it changed to LE - which we did, it came to about LE28. Half an hour later, much to our astonishment, she was back with a request to convert the useful LE28 back into sterling coins..........!

We could only conclude that the other maids, not appreciating the value of the coins, were wildly jealous to see what she had earned in tips - and she had had to change back to "worthless" coins just to keep the peace. So - please - tip in the local currency.

eLaReF - the Republic of Ireland is in the Eurozone nowadays - if anyone gives punts as tips they are pulling a fast one! LOL!

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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5. Re: Best currency for tips now

pausilypon

That was the point - you would be really, really, p****d off if you got them!!!

I had wondered if anyone shared my warped sense of humour - I had originally typed Myanmar Kyats, but thought that was too subtle.

Edited: 02 March 2011, 18:49
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6. Re: Best currency for tips now

Thank you GParry, eLaReF, boringFS and pausilypon... I was thinking local currency but had an acquaintance tell me to gather US $1 bills for tips. Much easier to just use local! And no, GParry, there are no longer CAD $1 bills....we now carry the loonie ($1 coin) instead, and the twoonie ($2 coin) And I have no plans on packing rolls of those things around for tipping LOL.

I also noticed some tour companies I had contacted quoted in USD...but maybe they just assumed I was American.

Now just keeping the faith that all will be well by April :)

Thanks again to all for good advice :)

U.K.
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for Avebury, Egypt
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7. Re: Best currency for tips now

".....Myanmar Kyats ....."

Sounds more like a tummy upset (such as "Turkey trots) than a currency, eLaReF! LOL!

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Best currency for tips now

Do not use foreign currencies in Egypt. It is like an open invitation to be ripped off and get treated as the typical "wealthy foreign tourist who doesn't care about money" and your life will be much better if you avoid coming accross as that

Bolton, United...
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for Nile River Valley
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9. Re: Best currency for tips now

US Dollars are used as a standard currency, within the travel and tourism industry, due to the fact that they hold a fairly constant value and the fact that things such as aircraft fuel are priced in them.

I've come across similar situations where I've been quoted in Sterling but then had to pay the Egyptian/Canadian travel company in US currency. Thankfully, in this situation, the UK banks give you a much better exchange rate for straight inter-bank transfers than if you ask for hard cash.

Edinburgh, United...
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for Luxor
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10. Re: Best currency for tips now

I have to agree that using local currency is best - this tipping guide might help a bit:

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i21328-Genera…