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Redsky5292

Tipping Independent Tour Guides/Drivers

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My husband and I booked a two day tour through Alla tours when we are in St. Petersburg this summer.  It is not a private tour.  My question is do we tip the guide and driver at the end of the first and second day, or do we wait and tip them at the end of the second day?  I'm not sure if we will have the same guide and driver both days and I want to make sure that we don't skimp out on tips.

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I would just ask your guide if he/she will continue as your guide for day 2. Also ask your guide about the driver’s status. If any uncertainty, tip as you go along.

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56 minutes ago, Redsky5292 said:

My husband and I booked a two day tour through Alla tours when we are in St. Petersburg this summer.  It is not a private tour.  My question is do we tip the guide and driver at the end of the first and second day, or do we wait and tip them at the end of the second day?  I'm not sure if we will have the same guide and driver both days and I want to make sure that we don't skimp out on tips.

You will definitely have the same guide and driver both days (I have toured with Alla several times - wonderful).

Tipping is done at the end of the second day.

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Redsky5292 said:

Thank you!!  Did you tip in Rubles?

No, we tipped our guide and driver in USD. We paid for the tour via credit card. While on our tours with Alla, we really had no need of rubles - the vendors in most shops accepted credit cards, USD and euros. I only take rubles when I fly into St. Petersburg and still, because most places accept credit cards, I get only what I need from the ATM.

Edited by dogs4fun

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Wherever we go we always like to have a little local currency, tho that can result in wasted unspent money.

For St Petersburg we took enough roubles for the guide's tip.

At the lunchtime restaurants the meals were included but not drinks (just table water), and neither restaurant accepted foreign currency or plastic. So we used some of our roubles for beers. Ditto at a bar between day & evening excursions

At the end of the last day we tipped the guide with the rest of our roubles and made up the shortfall with euros.

No wasted roubles and everyone happy. :classic_smile:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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We are going on a Baltic cruise next month and will be taking several group tours with Alla and SPB.  I'm not sure what to tip for some of these tours.

For example:

I received paperwork from Alla that offered two suggestions for the same 5 hour $125 Copenhagen tour for tipping their guides and drivers.  In one place it said to plan on 10% to the guide and 5% to the driver.  On another page it said to give 5 EUR to the guide and 2-3 EUR to the driver.  These two sets of amounts don't match.

 

Then for Tallin for a  $70   5.5 hour tour  we were advised to do 10% of total cost to cover both guide and driver and in another page advised to give just 3-5 EUR to the guide.

 

I know this isn't a large amount of money but, over a number of tours it can add up and we are on a pretty fixed budget.   I would like to make sure we don't over tip or under tip. 🙂

 

I would welcome your advice on which of the amounts seem the best guideline for the above Alla tours.  Thanks in advance. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Reydnn38 said:

We are going on a Baltic cruise next month and will be taking several group tours with Alla and SPB.  I'm not sure what to tip for some of these tours.

For example:

I received paperwork from Alla that offered two suggestions for the same 5 hour $125 Copenhagen tour for tipping their guides and drivers.  In one place it said to plan on 10% to the guide and 5% to the driver.  On another page it said to give 5 EUR to the guide and 2-3 EUR to the driver.  These two sets of amounts don't match.

 

Then for Tallin for a  $70   5.5 hour tour  we were advised to do 10% of total cost to cover both guide and driver and in another page advised to give just 3-5 EUR to the guide.

 

I know this isn't a large amount of money but, over a number of tours it can add up and we are on a pretty fixed budget.   I would like to make sure we don't over tip or under tip. 🙂

 

I would welcome your advice on which of the amounts seem the best guideline for the above Alla tours.  Thanks in advance. 

The 10% to guide and 5% to driver is the suggested amount for the St. Petersburg tour only. You will have 2 long, full days (about 9 hours each day) with the same guide and driver. The other ports are less because the tours are of a much shorter duration. As always, tips are discretionary but the St. Petersburg guides are truly fantastic. 

I would ask Alla for clarification regarding tours in your other ports of call.

Edited by dogs4fun

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We were not on an independent tours but I think the issue of tipping still applies. In St. Petersburg we had excellent guides on various tours. Extremely well educated and spoke perfect English. Not only did we learn about the city’s history & culture but the guides were open about their own way of life in Russia, past & present. That was fascinating. When it comes to tipping, I also take into consideration the level of service I receive. In St. Petersburg I had no problem tipping generously.

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Tipping is never mandatory but it's more than welcome ( if it is well deserved of course). Our guide and driver from Anastasia travel spoke English perfectly, were attentive and entertaining, and they honestly deserved a good tip. We paid at the first day, since we only booked one day with them, but I am pretty sure you get the same driver and guide on your second day. Then again, it's up to you, but it's always better if  you tipped them when you are done with all the tours and you say your final goodbyes.

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When we used Anastasia's Travel, we had the same guide for both days, so we tipped at the end of the entire tour. I would check with your tour operator to see if you will be having the same people for both days.

 

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