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Tours/ tipping

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Melbourne
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Tours/ tipping

Hi - the visitor centre puts on free walking tours, led by staff employed by the visitors centre. Is it customary to tip these employees, and can you suggest how much? Not something we are familiar with as we do not generally tip at home. Thanks

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Tours/ tipping

Here are some tipping guidelines from Trip Advisor:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g191-s606/United-Stat…

Austin, Texas
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2. Re: Tours/ tipping

Understanding tipping is difficult for those who are not accustomed to it, but in reality the only place it's basically required is in restaurants. As that article notes, restaurant servers are paid much less than the standard minimum wage and therefore rely on tips to make a living. Yes, it's a strange system, but it has been that way as long as I've been alive. I waited tables while in high school and really appreciated the tips.

Other tipping is largely discretionary, even for us natives. I tip cab drivers who were nice to me and helped with my bags a few dollars. I tip bellmen at hotels who help with bags and actually bring them to the room usually $5. If I've booked a tour through a tour company, and the actual guide or person doing the tour was great, I will tip that person 20% of the tour price, as the article suggests. That being said, I'm not sure it's necessary to tip someone who is leading a free tour. Most likely they are doing it as a volunteer, so this is not their means of making a living. If you think the tour was great, you can always offer a tip, but they may actually decline if they don't feel it's necessary under the circumstances. I've had that happen before in other contexts.

Melbourne
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3. Re: Tours/ tipping

Thank you for your replies! Never heard of the two pennies thing

Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Tours/ tipping

We did a free 2 hour tour in San Francisco which was amazing and the (quite mature) guide said as he was a volunteer he couldn't take tips but any contributions would go to the running of the library/visitor services. We tipped about $10 per couple.

More recently we have undertaken some free city tours in Scandinavia that work on the premise that you pay what you think the tour is worth. Both tours were great as the guide knew if the participants didn't enjoy the tour there would be no payment for them. I think we paid/tipped about $15 per person for those.

So I would say enjoy the tour and tip if you think its worthwhile.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Tours/ tipping

We take tours in every city we visit free or paid If they are good an entertaining I always tip $5 or10 per person. If they refuse as some will I offer the money and say well you did a great job, let me buy you lunch, they usually take the money. for wait staff look at the tax and generally double that as a tip or 10 to15% of the bill. most wait staff here are not paid "a proper wage" They generally get minimum wage $7 to 10 an hour...But if not tipped they are still taxed by the Gov't as if they were, on the amount of their sales reported by the employer at the end of the year.

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Tours/ tipping

Minimum wage for tipped employees is much less than the federal standard of $7.25 an hour. The federal minimum for tipped employees is $2.13 an hour, and many states follow this. A few states have a higher minimum for tipped employees, but it is usually less than the standard minimum wage.

Austin, Texas
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for Austin
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7. Re: Tours/ tipping

The free tours offered by the Austin Visitors Center are led by a combination of employees and volunteers. The employees are not permitted to accept tips. Volunteers can accept tips. You are under no obligation to tip. A pleasant thank you is sufficient and always appreciated.

Welcome to Austin!

8. Re: Tours/ tipping

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