“How much should I tip?” This is one of the most common questions that we receive as trip and tour leaders. For our escorted trip adventures, we always include a tipping guide to help people answer this questions for themselves. Here are some guidelines:
- For yacht travel, we recommend 10% – 20% of the trip cost and is usually paid at the end of the trip to the Captain or the Cruise Director. The tip is shared by the entire crew. More often it is closer to the 10% amount especially in third world or lower cost of living countries. But there are some high-end luxury boats where the appropriate amount would be in the 15%-20% range.
- For daily boat dives the percentage is generally the same 10% – 20% but you should pay it daily. The best person to give it to is the boat Captain so that it will be shared properly with the entire crew.
- Lead shore dives are generally more personal dives so you may want to tip a little more than you would for a boat trip, depending on the level of service you received.
- In Cozumel, we have the benefit of Victor taking care of the diving equipment everyday. He does not share in the boat tips so we tip him separately. This type of service is also available in other locations so you will want to tip these people separately. $5.00 to $15.00 is a good tip range depending on the level of service you receive.
- For destination tours, plan on tipping the guides $5.00 to $20.00 per day depending on the length of the tour and the activities they have taken you to.
- In a post from Travel & Leisure, they recommend tipping the housekeepers $3.00 to $5.00 per day. This of course depends on where you are staying and the local economy. In Japan you may need to tip more than you might in Borneo.
- Tipping the Restaurant staff depends on the system they have in place. If there is a service charge included on the bill, like in Grand Cayman, then you only need to tip a small amount if you received good service. In other places, like in the United States, 15% to 25% is customary.
Remember, a “Tip” is really an abbreviation for the phrase “to insure prompt service.” But even if things went horribly wrong, there are still people in the tip pool that worked hard but just didn’t have total control of the events effecting you trip. So, a zero tip is not really something you want to do. Find the people who did work hard and make sure the Captain knows that you appreciated their work and if possible could he “skew” the tip their way. It might not happen but you have rewarded them with praise and made it evident that you are not disappointed with everyone.
The other thing you should do if complete the survey of you are presented with one. This is the only way the crew can improve their service for the next guest. If someone made your visit special, single them out on the form and let the operator know how much you appreciated them. This type of praise goes a long way.