Check out my info graphic, and get your travelers prepared for your next tour!
What do you require your travelers to pack? I'd love to hear from you, comment below!
Tipping. Its is a common part of the travel and tourism industry. We in the US are very accustomed to tipping, we tip our servers, hair dressers, and Uber drivers. New group leaders always ask me about the best way to handle tips while on tour. Worry no more! I have complied a list of my top suggestions to handle tipping, as the group leader, on your tour. In the end, you have to do what works best for you. Check out my list below and love it or leave it!
The most important thing: Collect the tip money BEFORE your tour.
It is no secret that teenagers are not known for their money budgeting skills. If you wait to collect the money while on tour, you will come up short. You don't want to be left covering the tips, or worse: shorting your Tour Director and Bus Drivers.
Take the time at one of your pre-departure meetings to collect tip money from everyone in your group. This is a fail safe way to make sure that you will have the tip covered before arriving on tour.
How much should I collect?
A good rule of thumb that I use for all my tours is $10 per traveler per day of the tour. So, if my tour is nine days, I collect $90 from each of my travelers (free spot/chaperones included).
That breaks down to:
$6 per day per traveler for the Tour Director
$3 per day per traveler for the Bus Driver
$1 per day per traveler to cover local guides, and possible bus transfers to the airport.
What is the best way to collect the money from my group?
I like to create envelopes for each traveler. I print out labels for each one that has the (1) traveler's name (2) amount due (3) due date. I pass out the envelopes at my first pre-departure meeting, and ask them to return on or before our 3rd meeting. (Just a side note, I have a total of four pre-departure meetings, click here to learn more about those). Why the 3rd meeting, you might ask? Well, I like to give my groups time to provide the cash, but there is always someone who forgets to turn their envelope in at the 3rd meeting, and that gives me a chance to collect from the "stragglers" at our fourth meeting. I learned the hard way, not to wait until the last minute!
What currency should I collect and tip in?
I've collected all the money, now what?
What to avoid.
Stay away from Gift Cards and Travelers Cheques. While they both seem like safe options, they make it difficult for the Tour Director to use, and often come with fees upon usage. Imagine if you were given payment for your job with a gift card, that might not work internationally, and charged you every time you used it. Just as everywhere else in the world...cash is the best way to show appreciation!
How do you handle your tip money on tour? I'd love to hear about it! Comment below, and let me know!
Hi! I'm Jessica, and I have traveled the world with my students on seventeen EF Tours. I am a teacher and group leader, just like you! I hope that you find some resources on my site to help you with your next EF Tour. Safe Travels!