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Tipping Guides

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Florida
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828 posts
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Tipping Guides

Is it customary to tip the battlefield guides and the ghost tour guides? If so, how much?

Gettysburg PA
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1. Re: Tipping Guides

Battlefield guides are paid a flat rate by the park. They accept tips, and I've seen them get between $10 and $20. The licensed battlefield guides do not openly ask for tips, but they do accept them. Ghost tour guides make it clear that tipping is expected, and they carry little satchels or baskets for that purpose. They are more overt about it.

Poconos
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2. Re: Tipping Guides

The battlefield guides are actually paid employees of the Park Service, but tipping is customary regardless - a good rule of thumb is $5/hr per person on the tour, with a minimum of $15/hr. The ghost tours are often given by volunteers and are about an hour long. Because everyone throws their tips into a designated tip container, no one will know how much (or little) you tip, but we've given a flat $5 each for a 90 minute tour.

Gettysburg PA
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3. Re: Tipping Guides

The park rangers are park employees. The licensed battlefield guides are contractors. There are 14 ghost tour businesses in town, all with paid employees.

Poconos
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4. Re: Tipping Guides

Sorry for the incorrect info - when we were in town last summer & signed up for one of the newer ghost tours, we were handed a flyer explaining the tour route, restrictions, etc. and the woman who sold us the tickets mentioned that tour guides do it "for love - not a paycheck" and tips were appreciated. We took that statement to mean tour guides don't get a paycheck at all - our mistake!!

Florida
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5. Re: Tipping Guides

Sorry, but I'm a little bit confused. How much do I tip a contracted license guid for the battlefield tour?

Gettysburg PA
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6. Re: Tipping Guides

Let me try to sort this out for you, since others are contributing inaccurate information. There are several categories of people who will lead you around the battlefield and the town.

Park ranger/historian: employed by and paid by the national park service of the federal government. I have not seen any of them accept tips. If someone tips, they usually donate it back to the park service.

Licensed battlefield guides: trained, licensed guides who are private contractors to a business that works with the park service. They receive a flat rate of pay as a contractor and they do accept tips, although they do not blatantly ask for them. I think a 2-hour tour is around $40-$50 now, and they will write you a receipt. I have seen people tip them $10-$20 per tour. On bus tours that hire a guide, the passengers pass around an envelope and you put in whatever you want.

Ghost tour guides: employed and paid by any of the 14 ghost tour businesses in the boro. Many are blatant about asking for tips. Some guides mention it several times on the walks. The boro tried to impose a maximum number of people per tour, but it hasn't seemed to work. A dollar or two should suffice; I have seen tours with as many as 40 people.

Town ambassadors: a new program made up of volunteers who greet people at different areas of town. They wear a badge and answer questions, but do not generally take people on tours.

Town guides: a new group that is just getting started, which I believe is volunteer. There is a cohort in training, but I don't think they are ready yet.

Florida
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7. Re: Tipping Guides

Thank you for such an indepth explanation of it all.

8. Re: Tipping Guides

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