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Tipping customs #114559
01/10/06 10:31 AM
01/10/06 10:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 157
Whidbey Island Washington
Xoe Offline OP
Xoe  Offline OP
On January 20 we'll be on our way to Ambergris Caye for the first time. We'd like to know local customs & expectations for tipping -- for whom it is appropriate and approximately how much. Guide for a half-day snorkeling excursion? Guide for a day trip to Mayan ruins? Housekeeping in our condo? Water taxi drivers? In restaurants, is it similar to the U.S. (15%+-)?

In some countries tipping in certain situations is seen as rude; in others it's rude NOT to tip. I'd like to do it right!


Re: Tipping customs #114560
01/10/06 10:37 AM
01/10/06 10:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,294
travelqueen Offline
travelqueen  Offline
Tip them ALL, generously. smile

As far as restaurants, I tip 20% but I do that here in the states too.

Re: Tipping customs #114561
01/10/06 11:09 AM
01/10/06 11:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 157
Whidbey Island Washington
Xoe Offline OP
Xoe  Offline OP
We tip 20% at restaurants here at home, too -- but I think 15% is considered "customary". It's the amount many restaurants add automatically to the tab for large groups -- either 15% or 18%.

So, on a $35 snorkel trip would you tip $5? Or more? $5 per day for housekeeping? On a $5 water taxi ride, $1? I'm trying to figure out what kind of small bills to stock up on.

Re: Tipping customs #114562
01/10/06 11:56 AM
01/10/06 11:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 705
krehfish Offline
krehfish  Offline
Tipping customs is the way to go.

Flyfishing my way through mid-life crisis.
Re: Tipping customs #114563
01/10/06 12:14 PM
01/10/06 12:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 12
San Pedro
Wittsend Offline
Wittsend  Offline
Once thing I've always wondered, do you tip taxi drivers? Most of them seem to run thier own vehicle, and flex price the fares, so seem to be working for themselves. Of course if you have a lot of luggage or other items they need to assist loading/unloading, a tip would be given, but what about a simple ride across town? You hop in, you hop out??

Always gets me wondering. I generally do tip at these times, following my usual, "When in doubt, tip". I'd rather be thought of as rude for being ignorant of custom, than rude for being cheap. smile

~ MJ
"Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket??"
Re: Tipping customs #114564
01/10/06 12:16 PM
01/10/06 12:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 159
southern california
WhiteWater Offline
WhiteWater  Offline
We tip the same percentage here as in the US. For diving we tip $5us per tank, so we add up the number of tanks our group used and multiply. Snorkeling we tend to do the same thing, $5us per snorkel.

Re: Tipping customs #114565
01/10/06 12:19 PM
01/10/06 12:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 157
Whidbey Island Washington
Xoe Offline OP
Xoe  Offline OP
WhiteWater, do you mean that on a snorkel trip to, e.g., Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, you'd tip $10 each person since it's two snorkel stops? That sounds high to me -- on a trip price of $35, $5 sounds enough? I don't want to be "cheap" either but I also don't want to run out of $$!!

Re: Tipping customs #114566
01/10/06 12:32 PM
01/10/06 12:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 503
Dan Carey Offline
Dan Carey  Offline
at Customs it isn't called a tip, it's called a bribe. Oh, you mean customary tipping, don't you. My mistake. I ususlly tip generously in countries where the going wage is very low. For example, if a dive day costs me $45, I'll tip 20% and round up to the next dollar. That's $10, isn't it? If I'm diving for an extended period of time I'll tip 10%+ per day and then give another 10%+ on the total bill on the last day. That way the crew has some money every day as well as a bigger payday at the end.

In Belize they'll be grateful for the tip. They don't consider it rude, but they'd be grateful even if they did.


"Facts are the enemy of Truth"
Don Quixote
Re: Tipping customs #114567
01/10/06 12:56 PM
01/10/06 12:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 453
Jacksonville Florida
casa de amor Offline
casa de amor  Offline
i have never seen anyone tip the taxi drivers, they gennerally have a base price for the length that they go, (and if you stop to shop for grocceries or other they charge for that to), they will sometimes charge hurricane prices though, and does anyone know if they raise there prices in high season?, but a tip couldn't hurt

Re: Tipping customs #114568
01/10/06 01:23 PM
01/10/06 01:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 131
Austin TX
Razorfish Offline
Razorfish  Offline
I think that this is an interesting topic. I never know how much to tip. I probably tip some too much when they dont deserve anything and others not enough or nothing when they should have gotten a tip. That's part of the mystery of travel. I rationalize that it all balances out.
For 2 people scuba diving I tip the DM $5US and the assistant $5US a day. Call me cheap. Everyone else I tip the same as at home, 15% to 20% at restaurants, $2 a day housekeeping. etc.
My one suggestion is to check restaurant bills for the gratuity to already have been added. Someone posted that they had experienced this practice at a particular SP restaurant.

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