Trek Talk - ElderTreks Blog


Why & How to Tip Your Tour Leader

What to tip a tour leader

No matter how many tours or trips travelers go on, the question of “what do you tip the Tour Leader?” comes up. Many don’t quite understand why it’s a standard practice, and if they do, they don’t want the amount they give to offend, or they just want to give a reasonable amount. We wanted to help answer the question once and for all with some helpful information and “tips” for you!

The ElderTreks standard suggested gratuity for Tour Leaders is $8-$10 USD per person per day. Since we have such long trips, we realize that does add up very easily. We always recommend that you give what you feel is fair. If someone went above and beyond for you and helped you immensely on your trip, feel free to give more (that’s always appreciated!), but just remember to give what you can.  Overall, there really is no wrong amount -- that’s why it’s only a “suggested” amount.

It is however, important to keep in mind that Tour Leaders are available for you 24/7 throughout your tour. They’re constantly working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly and successfully. They work tirelessly to make your vacation the best ever. They might also only work certain times of the year, and it might be awhile before they take another group on a trip. That’s why and where the idea of providing a tip for your Tour Leader comes from – they really do go out of their way to take care of you from start to finish!

There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about a tip:

  • If you know your Tour Leader is a local, consider tipping in the local currency or USD.
  • If you know your Tour Leader isn’t from the country, consider tipping in USD or EUR. If in doubt, ask your helpful Country Director.
  • We do pay our Tour Leaders a salary, but like every service provided to you, a gratuity as a thank you is appreciated.
  • Bring a small envelope with you as some hotels and destinations do not provide them.
  • Don’t forget – there is no wrong amount!

One of the great things about traveling with ElderTreks is the all-inclusive pricing, and once you land, the Tour Leader gratuity is one of the only things you have to add on. In fact, most of the other gratuities are included in your tour price, so you don’t have to worry about other tips at restaurants, or site guides, et cetera. It makes it really easy.

When traveling to far off and remote places, the kind gratuities are not only used to better the Tour Leaders’ lives, but also the families and communities around them. One of our Tour Leaders put his nieces through school with the generous tips he receives from the ElderTreks passengers. What a wonderful story!

There it is – some easy answers to a very common question. Do you have any other questions about tipping that we didn’t answer?

- September 15, 2016

"In the last few trips I always forgot the envelope and paper to write the thanyou note. On my last trip I put the recommended tip in $ usd and wrote the beginning of a thank you note , put all in an envelope which I kept with my valuables. On the last night I added a personal comment relating to the trip and grabbed the envelope as we rushed out for the farewell dinner. That simplified things for me and will be how I do it from now on. "

Margarita Kendall

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