Tipping your tour guide is a topic our travelers often ask us about. Should I tip my tour guide? How much should I tip? When should I leave a tip? Long story short; while tipping your guide is never mandatory, we do recommend it.
Our stance on tipping your guide is always noted in the pre-departure notes. We send them before your trip and it says:
“You are welcome to tip your guide at the end of the trip if you are satisfied with the service. If you feel your guide helped make your trip extra special, you can tip more than suggested.”
Globe Drifters does not include tips in the cost of our tours. We believe each traveler can decide how much to tip the guide and others who offer their services. We also believe that automatically including tips does not encourage those in the service industry to offer exemplary service.
Our guides are compensated fairly and above the local standard of living. However, tipping helps them earn a more decent income. This is particularly true in developing countries in many parts of South America, Africa, and Asia.
We like to think about it this way… Most of us don’t hesitate to leave a $5+ USD tip for a meal at a restaurant. You’re usually at a restaurant for no more than 2 hours. On our trips, your guide is with you all day, every day. He/She always goes above and beyond to make each day of your trip special. You’re typically with your guide for 8+ hours a day, we suggest considering this when tipping your guide at the end of the trip.
We may be biased, but our guides are the best. They are always very enthusiastic to share the local culture, society, and history of their country with you. You can also think of them as your local friend! Many of our past travelers have said that the guide was a highlight of their trip.
How much you tip your tour guide is always at your discretion, but a general rule of thumb is $10 – $15 USD or the equivalent in the local currency per day. Again, tipping is not mandatory. If you feel your guide did not perform his or her duties appropriately, then you are not required to tip. Likewise, if you feel your guide went above and beyond the call of duty to make your trip extra special, then you can tip more.
We always encourage all of our travelers to share feedback, positive and negative, about their guides after the trip. This helps us know what we’re doing well and what we can improve upon.
We recommend tipping your tour guide in a lump sum at the end of the trip. Many of our past travelers found it useful to bring an envelope or 2 to put a tip in for the guide along with a little note.
First and foremost, tipping expresses gratitude to your tour guide. It is a way to say thank you for helping you find that must-have souvenir, making that last-minute restaurant reservation for you, and finding you a pain reliever for that sudden headache. Tipping shows that you acknowledge and appreciate all the little extras that the guide did to make your trip one to remember.
No, you are not required to tip your tour guide, especially if you are unsatisfied with his/her service. If you feel your guide did not properly inform you about tour logistics, explain cultural or historical information, or help you gain insight into his/her country, then you are not required to tip. If your guide only did the basic duties of his/her job and you would still like to tip, then $5 per day is acceptable.
However, if your guide added special touches and gave you extra attention, then $10 – 15 USD per day is suggested.
The general rule for tipping your tour guide is that it should always be based on the quality of service your guide gives you during your tour. It is not mandatory, but it is a great way to express gratitude to your guide if he/she helped you have the trip of a lifetime. Happy travels!