What Is The Right Amount For Tips In Egypt? by:Jessica Nielson
Baksheesh is the local term in Egypt for "Tipping" or "service"
Tipping in Egypt may drain your pockets if you don't know how. As a foreigner to this enchanting land with seemingly endless instances wherein you are in need and was properly addressed, it is just fair to give ample amount to those helping hands. However, knowing the situation will keep you right on budget since not all services are necessary for an extra penny.
Considering the fact that the average annual income for ordinary individuals in Egypt is only about $1500US a year (2006) and those who were not that blessed would only gain $40 a month, tipping or baksheesh would really make a difference in their day-to-day life. Definitely this issue might drain your pockets if you don't know how.
As a tipping guideline in Egypt, it is best assumed to prepare at least $5-$10 per day for tipping. Here are the guidelines and suggestions for the right amount of tips or baksheesh to be given to those who have helping hands.
Here are some tipping guidelines upon arriving in Egypt via plane.
Porter or skycap - The normal tip per bag is $2. But if you have more luggage, an extra 2$ would be fine. Curbside check-in tip is optional. However, if you are willing to extend a penny, 2$ is enough. If you are supposed to be late on your flight and he helps you to arrive on time, then $5-$20 tip is rewarding enough for the great help.
Electric cart driver - $2-$3 per person is the right amount.
Wheelchair pusher - If they are just effortlessly pushing you down the ramp to the plane (or the other way around), then you don't need to give a tip. $5 tip is appropriate if it is from the ticket counter to the gate/plane or from the gate/plane to the luggage carousel. If they help you putting your luggage to the car then an extra $1-2 per bag would pay the effort. If they are in great help and they have been pushing for a long distance, then $10-$20 is appropriate of showing your gratitude to them. Of course if they are rude and impolite, then tip less.
Try to check whether tip is already inclusive. If so, then there is no need for tipping. But if the tip is not yet included, give at least 10-15% of the total tour price. The generous amount of $3-$4 is enough for a half day tour. Just enough for them to know that they are an effective tourist guide. However for a whole day tour, $5-$7 is the appropriate amount. And lastly, for a whole week tour, $15-$25 is the appropriate amount for rewarding their efforts and hospitality.
Hotels and Beaches
However, the bellboys and beach-boys and other personnel in a hotel do expect for an payment. Some are experts on using your good mood for them to get extra tip. Nevertheless, it is your decision whether to tip or not. Eventually, some tourists don't bother to give tip to hotel staff since some hotel charges service charge to their bills.
For those who would like to tip to hotel staffs, $1 is enough for the bellboy and to the guys who assist you on setting up on the beach. At the last day of your visit, an ample amount of $20 for those who laundry your clothes and clean your room to let them know that they are of great help. After dining, a generous amount of $0.5-$1 would do just enough for saying thank you for the good service and for clearing the table.
Often times, at the end of the cruise, they provide you an envelope with a suggested tip amount on it. But for those who don't provide this, a generous amount of $5-$10 per day would do.
Waiter - $3 is the suggested tip per day per person.
Cabin steward - another $3 is the suggested tip per day per person.
Bus boy - $1.5 per day per person is enough to see smiles on their face.
Maitre d' - It is not necessary to give tips to maitre d', unless they offer special services.
Bar steward - You don't have to give tips to bar stewards since there is already an inclusive 15% added to your bill.
Tipping on Sleeper Train
Traveling by train is very rare in Egypt, so tipping on trains can be very confusing. Other trains don't offer meal services while others do.
Dining car waiters, stewards and bar car waiters: There is already 15% included so you don't have to give tips.
Red caps, or porters: $1 per bag is enough for showing your gratitude.
Sleeping car attendant: The suggested tip for sleeping car attendant is $5 per passenger per day
For restaurants, there is no limit and necessity of giving tip. In fact, most people don't bother to leave tips since there is already 8-12% of service fee automatically added to their bills. It is best to check if the restaurant is service fee free to determine the right amount of tips to give. But for those who would like to give an extra penny, try to determine the type of restaurant, the number of people dining and how much was ordered.
For some diners such as Chili's and Johnny Carino's, the standard amount for tipping is usually $1-5. It has been a habit by the people to give a generous amount of $1 after services are offered. For large meal shared by a party of five or more people, most of them leave a 20% amount instead of the normal 15%.
Nothing is more disgusting and humiliating than having to clean up on someone else's dirt especially in the bathroom. Therefore, it is strongly advise to give due respect to the maintenance staff in the airport, hospital, mall and any other public places.
The generous amount of $0.5-$1 is already a good tip for those who will give you toilet tissues on your way to the bathroom. They will also tell you which stall is the cleanest.
Some travel agencies provide a central tipping kitty, which is most likely handled by the tour leader. These tips will be collected and then divided to those staffs that were of great help during the tour. Apart from this, it is your decision to tip additional amount to individual who have been very attentive to your needs during the duration of the tour. Most of these individuals expect tips at the end of the tour.
As an advice, do not tip someone if you only ask them for directions, they might find it offensive on their part since these are simple request only. You don't need to give tips to taxi driver since the amount that you are going to pay is already set before you ride the taxi.
Egyptians are helpful by nature. Whether money is laid or not, they are willing to help those who are in need. Nevertheless, baksheesh has been part of the system in Egypt. As a foreigner to this enchanting land, it is necessary to adapt and accept their system as they have accepted you to come visit their place.
About the author
Jessica Nielson writes effective destination guides about Egypt for cheap holidays 24 at http://www.cheapholidays24.co.uk
. She is of great help among thousands of tourists that wants to explore Egypt. Go ahead and read our article at http://www.cheapholidays24.co.uk/holiday-to-cairo.aspx
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