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Excursion Tipping

Central Florida
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Excursion Tipping

Hi,

I am planning on doing the fly-out fly fishing excursion and a few other excursions during my upcoming trip to Alaska in July. The fly fishing excursion costs roughly around $400. What amount of tip should I add on for an excursion? Also, has anyone done the fly-out fly fishing excursion before?

Thanks!

Paul

Michigan
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for Alaska
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230 reviews
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41. Re: Excursion Tipping

As many others I, too, wish that all workers received an acceptable wage and there would be no need for tipping. In my ideal world, all prices would be all inclusive and everyone would make a liveable wage. However, that does not happen here in the USA.

This may sound harsh, but if visitors do not like the tipping expectations in the USA, then I feel they should take their vacation dollars elsewhere. As the famous quote states, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

Aberdeen, United...
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42. Re: Excursion Tipping

I think that is too harsh, Happytraveller. This thread has been about people trying to understand what are the expectations and how to engage in tipping in a way that doesn't leave all parties feeling disgruntled. While several people have commented that they wished it were different, they are making an effort to find out what it is that 'Romans do'.

When you travel, it is normal to find some aspect of the culture different from other places and not uncommon that you may not like some of the differences. That's no reason to let one small disagreeable thing keep the traveller from enjoying all the positives of the trip. Nobody enjoys the mosquitoes but they still go camping and hiking in Alaska. And they can still whine a little about mosquitoes, it doesn't mean they don't like Alaska or should have 'taken their vacation dollars elsewhere'.

America is a wonderful tourist destinations for both Americans and foreigners. And both seem to feel confused about the tipping at times. That doesn't mean they should throw the whole idea in, and take their vacations outside America. Many of the posters on this thread have been American and have given advice and opinions about tipping that have helped me a lot to understand it better, even while they lament that the practice is necessary.

I take the view now that in America, the prices aren't all inclusive and in any budget for a trip, tips need to be factored in. I have sent my friends who are visiting later on this year an email, explaining the tipping practices and advising them to budget accordingly, mostly using the helpful advice from this thread.

IMO it's a draconian approach to say that because someone criticises one tiny aspect of American commercial practice that they shouldn't visit the country at all. Wouldn't it be better to help people understand the practice and be prepared for it than to keep them out of the country?

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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43. Re: Excursion Tipping

Happy Traveller...

I am an American, I live in this country, I'm just trying to find justification in a letter telling me what is expected, after already forking over a hefty chunk of change for our trip.

This discussion has helped me find out, that 1. sending a letter requesting a certain amount of tip, is indeed a little odd and that 2. the amount, as far as most of these posters are concerned, is a little excessive.

I never knew, until this discussion, that tipping is not that prevalent in other parts of the world. We are heading to Australia and Rarotonga in the next few months, so I'm very glad this discussion has taken place and w/responses from so many different places.

That's what this board is all about, more than anything else, helping someone else.

Beth

USA
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44. Re: Excursion Tipping

Rules for tipping are not carved in stone. If they were, they would be called a surcharge, such as when a group of over a certain number goes into some restaurants. Tipping is a very personal choice for each of us to make.

These discussions are very enlightening since we can share our concerns, habits, & experiences.

When I have ridden the camper buses in Denali LOL I have tipped with chocolate-covered expresso beans. Unusual? Yes! Appreciated? Oh yes! A cup of coffee cannot be had back at Wonder Lake. My personal choice.

Juneau Alaska
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45. Re: Excursion Tipping

Denalicat ht the nail on the head. Typically a "surcharge" is added when "tipping" might be otherwise insufficient (a group in a restaurant, or a "limo" hire for example).

If (somehow) tipping were to cease in America, the businesses where tipping is normal (taxis, tours, restaurants, hotels, etc.)would all have to charge more in order to pay their employees more (and still stay in business). Since (in all probability) most tips go "untaxed" at either state or federal level, for employees to enjoy the same "take-home" dollars, businesses would have to increase pay by the equivalent tips plus over 30% just to meet federal taxes, SS, Medicare, workers Comp, etc.

So a ten dollar tip actually reflects what a price increase of $13 - $15 would be without tipping.

I know tipping is not "expected" in certain parts of the world (e.g. "down under"), but I'll continue to reward those folks providing good service regardless.

Michigan
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for Alaska
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46. Re: Excursion Tipping

Kiawahbeth: There were several thoughts running through this thread. I was not responding to you directly. I agree that it was a bit tacky and out of place for the vendor to send you such a letter. That said, my guess is that there are many vendors out there who tell their future employees that they will make a certain amount in tips. When those tips don't materialize they have some very disgruntled workers who may just quit on them. Rather than send you a letter after the fact, they should have included that information on their website or brochure. Then you could have made a better decision.

Boynton Beach...
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47. Re: Excursion Tipping

I started out reading this thread because my husband will be taking a day fishing trip out of Homer on a 6-pack boat this month. The conversation has been helpful.

My input: most of the travel companies I've traveled with have sent a sheet out with suggested tips. It can be helpful to those travelers who haven't a clue. We usually take that percentage or dollar amount as the highest point and work down to some kind of reasonable figure that shows our appreciation. Often, we talk it over with other participants. For the tour guides and certain other personnel, we bring something along to give in addition to the tip, something that is typical of our area (Cape Cod). I am always conscious of weight restrictions, so, usually, it's a small pictorial calendar, a Cape tote bag, etc., all easily packable and light.

Here's a funny? tipping story from my past travels that shows one extreme. My 7 year old son and I climbed up to the bell tower at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for a tour of the tower. About 50 tourists were crowded in the tower for the presentation...no place to move in the small space. The spiel lasted for 20 minutes or more. After 15 minutes, my son got panicky with the crowds and also needed the bathroom. We made our way to the tower exit, but the guide had locked the doors!! No one allowed out until the end of the presentation, at which time he posted himself in front of the exit with his hat out for tips! There had been no posted sign indicating that once you were in there, it was until the end! Needless to say, he got a tongue-lashing (in French) from me and no tip! Can you imagine if there had been a medical or fire emergency?

So, my rule is that if we're put into a situation where tipping is not our choice, I won't tip! (Cruise ships, if I want to cruise, are an exception, I guess.)

haines, alaska
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48. Re: Excursion Tipping

"So, my rule is that if we're put into a situation where tipping is not our choice, I won't tip!"

That says it all, right there......

49. Re: Excursion Tipping

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