Tips for Tours? Save money and lose service – Tipping a tour guide

Tipping for services is a common practice in many countries around the globe. The amount of money you tip depends not only on a country you visit but also on the quality of service. But does everyone leave tips, and how much is the right amount?

To tip or not to tip 

There are a few reasons why you should always consider tipping for service. One reason is to express gratitude and appreciation. Waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and porters- their salaries are not very high.

When they can earn some extra money, it will motivate them to provide a better service. It’s a win-win situation. You also show you are not a stingy person.

Many people, especially some specific countries, don’t leave tips even though the service was great. The reason why it happens is that in their native country, tipping is not common. But if you are a tourist, it is good to know the customs of a country you’re visiting.

Another reason is they believe they already get a salary, so there is no need to give more money. The third reason is that people don’t want to tip because they think the service was not good. This reason makes us wonder.

What does tipping tell about us? 

Even if you are not satisfied with a service, you should tip. What you can do about your bad experience is to report it to a manager or a person in charge. Express your dissatisfaction, state the reasons, and tell you will not use their service anymore.

This will make the person in charge talk to the worker responsible for this and help him/her improve service.

During my career, I’ve heard a lot from my colleagues and witnessed myself in many situations. Tourists sometimes have high expectations. It is not possible to leave a group of other tourists and focus on one or two people.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people who really had bad service. A tourist guide was impolite, didn’t help when needed, or left tourists deal with a problem alone. And to be honest, this happens a lot.

I guess the reason is that some guides love their job. Therefore, their service is always excellent. But there are those job-hoppers, and they are guides until they find something else.

One must be passionate about the job, love it. Customers can see it and they end up having an amazing experience and always come back for more. Not only do they give better tips, they also recommend the guide to other tourists.

How much should I tip? 

Now that you understand why it’s better to tip than not to, you wonder how much money you should leave. The rule of thumb in many countries is 10 to 15 percent of your bill. The same is in Munich, Germany, no matter the service.

There are some people, especially celebrities, who leave even more. Sometimes, you may think about overtipping. Well, you will not offend anyone with a big tip.

But keep in mind that nobody will give you special treatment because of that. We usually differently tip some services. Here, I bring you a brief guide on how much to tip while you are in Munich or anywhere in Germany.

Tipping in hotels 

When you are in a hotel, you need to tip a few people. The one is a maid, and you can leave the tip on one side of  bed. It is usually 2 to 5 euros per night. The messier you are, the higher you should tip.

Another one is a coat check, which we tip 1 to 2 euros. We tip concierge 5 to 20 euros, depending on the level of attention. If you have some simple questions, like directions, you don’t need to tip.

Bellhops receive 1 to 2 euros per bag. Doormen get 1 to 4 euros if they help with luggage or hail a taxi.

Tipping in a restaurant 

As mentioned before, waiters, waitresses, and bartenders often get 15 to 20 percent of your bill. When they give you a bill, always tell the number you want to pay, which will include the tip.

Tipping a tour guide 

When it comes to tour guides, it’s good to leave 10 to 20 percent of the cost of your tour. You can tip them at the end of your tour when you say your goodbyes.

There is one thing to keep in mind, and I have already mentioned this above. No matter the quality of the service, don’t forget to tip. Tip less if the service is terrible and report your tour guide to his/her manager.

This is causing in some cities a major problem for specific tourists f.i. Spanish, Italian, Chinese or Indian. They will have difficulties finding guides or service, because even those who speak natively their language refuse to do service for them.

It’s better to be a good tourist with a bad guide than a bad tourist with a good guide.

Which currency should I use for tipping? 

This is very important. What many tourists don’t keep in mind is the exchange rate. So, if you tip using your local currency, the person will have to exchange it. Doing this, you actually bring them some costs, and they get less than you give.

Once, a tourist gave me 20 scheckel, and the exchange rate is 2 euros. I bet he wasn’t thinking about it at all. It’s always good to have some bills for tipping in the currency of a country you visit.

How about tips for free or gratis tours? 

Free or gratis tours are not free at all. A lot of people get confused about this. Yes, you don’t have to pay for a tour, but tipping is a must here. 

You want to know why? Let’s discuss them a bit.

Hostels, historical societies, independent organizations, and others usually organize those free tours. They are often a part of another service you’ve taken. Young volunteers and city enthusiasts take you around some places and they earn money from your tips.

So, if people leave no tips, a guide doesn’t earn anything. But, the better they do their job, the higher tips they get. And these tips are important for another reason too.

Some guides who take you around on a free or gratis tour need to pay for taking you around. Sounds crazy, I know. But that’s true.

They have to pay, for example, 3 euros for each person on their tour to the tour organizer. They are sometimes at a loss if they don’t earn enough money. So, if you come to Munich and find some free tour, don’t forget to tip your guide.

Free tour is not free

The amount of money you should consider in a free tour is 10 euros minimum for yours guide. If your guides need to pay for having you, they must have something for themselves as well. If you are satisfied with their work, and you have an excellent experience, you can tip as much as you want.

On the other hand, there are guides who don’t work for anyone. They organize these tours and take a group of tourists around. Now, they might provide the same or even better service than some agencies.

They are very passionate about the job they do, because the better they are, the more they earn. One negative side of taking one such tour is a group of people and itinerary. Everything is fixed, and there is not much space for some changes.

If you are not a fan of large groups and traveling with strangers, these free tours can be a nightmare. You never know what kind of people will be with you in a group. And you are supposed to spend a day with someone you can’t stand!

Tipping for a guide

Tourists from some countries are famous for not leaving tips. Tourist guides hate to work with such people. Then,  they don’t give their best to ensure an unforgettable tour. 

They make a tour, especially a free tour quick and straightforward. You don’t get enough time to explore the details or learn more about the place. You also end up hearing them speak of other paid tours, as they start advertising them too much. 

Some last words

Sometimes, it’s better to take a private tour with a guide and don’t save money with free city tours. When you pay for the trip and service and get the maximum. You can be sure you do have some flexibility.

You can adjust your trip according to your needs and have a guide all for yourself.

I hope you find this post helpful. Visiting Germany from another country where customs are different is a challenge. As a tour guide in Munich, I do my best to help not only by tourists but others as well.