Dinner payment from Tauck on Australia tour

I recently received notice from Tauck in regards to my Oct. Australia trip.
“On Day 3, Tauck will be paying for your dinner at your restaurant of choice. Your tour director will give you cash for your meal while on tour. Please make these reservations in advance of your tour in an effort to avoid disappointment.”
I have never experienced this on any of my 3 previous Tauck trips. Looking for advice on how to proceed. Do you think it is ok to reserve an expensive restaurant ($120 pp) or look for something more modest? There are no parameters mentioned in the email. Has anybody been given this option on a previous tour? I don’t mind doing the research and making the reservation, but I don’t want to end up eating an expensive meal that is only half paid for by Tauck. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  • edited September 2022

    It has been my experience (not this particular tour) that Tauck will give you a set amount of cash. Should your meal exceed that set amount, you are responsible for the difference. If you come in under budget the excess funds are yours to keep.

  • We've had this happen for a few lunches but never dinner. It's always been a set amount for all and we were free to spend as we chose. As I recall it's been around 20 euros per person. In Nuremberg we ate sausages and their famous ginger cookies at stands in the market square well under 20 euros.

  • I've never experienced this. Does it happen when a group reservation falls through or the group is too large for a given location? Or is it a Covid-realted thing that's new?

  • Either you or your TA should ask Tauck about this. As others have mentioned, this is a very unusual occurrence WRT dinner and any advice you get would be speculation unless from someone who has actually taken this trip recently.

  • edited September 2022

    Logistically it would be nearly impossible for Tauck to pay what could be many restaurants directly. The exception was when our flight from Maun to Cape Town was delayed which didn't give us enough time to search for a restaurant for an "on our own night," so our TD said we could eat at the restaurant in the One and Only, our hotel. When I asked the TD about cost- the response was, "Tauck is paying so have a nice meal"!! Bottom line- who knows? Make your reservations, and if given a fixed amount by Tauck that is less than the cost of the meal, just make up the difference with your own cash or plastic- you are on an adventure, Live Large! :D:D

  • All of our lunch ones were planned that way but Nuremberg was because our ship was stuck due to a damaged lock. We were supposed to spend the morning cruising to Nuremberg, eat lunch on the ship then leave for sightseeing. Instead we left the ship much earlier, got to Nuremberg before lunch for a couple of hours on our own then the planned sightseeing.

    I also remember getting money for lunch in Luxembourg and Gruyere.

  • Being treated to dinner at restaurants of your choice is not unusual, whether it be a choice of restaurants within a hotel or close to the hotel, as is the case on this tour. Yes, I have experienced this more at lunch, but also for dinner. There could be many reasons for it. Regardless, it is a very kind gesture on Tauck's part to offer a selection of restaurants. Enjoy, AGG3!

  • Cash paid in advance as your allowance for dinner is highly unusual. Not at all like the option to have dinner at a hotel restaurant of your choice where you never see the bill.

  • I have never experienced this for a dinner and have many tours under my belt. It must be a Covid related thing. Your group will be one of the first to resume during this pandemic. Maybe some of the restaurants in the area are closed up or have staffing issues, who knows .If you don’t want to find you are paying over the amount of cash that Tauck gives you, I suggest doing research on each of the restaurants and choosing one in the middle range of prices.
    If this is the only change, that’s lucky, many of us have experienced significant changes to itineraries and it has caused disappointment, but on reflection, for us, it’s just good to be back traveling with Tauck.

  • For what these tours cost, plus airfare, so what if dinner costs more than they give you? Enjoy the experience. I doubt anyone will miss a few or more dollars in the scheme of things.

  • This may be a "covid thing" for this particular tour and meal but it is not something new. As I said, we've been given money at least 3 times for lunches. We were in Nuremberg and Luxemburg both well before covid hit.

  • Yes, we have been given money for lunches, but this is dinner, never heard of it or having to choose before the tour begins

  • I read the comment about making reservations ahead as just concern that maybe where you'd want to eat you'd need reservations sooner rather than later. That's for people that want to go to a particular popular restaurant that might not be able to get a reservation if they wait til they get there. We pretty much never eat at such places so I wouldn't bother.

    I looked at the Tauck Australia tour and for day 3 it includes Dinner and these words " Tonight, enjoy a dine-around at your choice from among several select Adelaide restaurants, all within walking distance of your hotel." I don't see anything like a list or picking ahead of time. I've never heard of "dine-around".

  • Claudia, dine around is quite a popular term with Tauck, but more the land based tours where you can chose where to eat in the local area and Tauck foots the bill. Very occasionally, extra expensive items may not be included. The TD usually takes names and preferred times for eating and if you want to dine with others. I assume AGG3”s memo from Tauck is an operational issue in the area

  • Thank you for all the input. This itinerary update was actually for TWO separate dinners. There have been several other changes to our Australia Adventure itinerary, but we are just going with the flow. It is nice to be traveling again. We will make our reservations at “special“ restaurants and pay whatever difference there is between the Tauck stipend and our actual cost. We are not going to worry about it, just thought it seemed unusual. Thank you all.

  • AGG3,

    Yes, nothing to worry about at all. We've done this in both Canada and Spain. It was fun to be able to pick our restaurant of choice and be given enough money to have a nice meal with cocktails. It's up to you whether or not to splurge. Have a great time and please post a review afterwards. Warm regards.

  • Last October in New Orleans we were given $75 each for dinner by our TD because Antione’s was closed due to hurricane damage. We’ve also received cash for lunch on riverboat cruises due to itinerary changes.

  • AGG3, may I ask whether you see any notable itinerary changes? Sometimes they prove better than original. I realize they may not apply to 2023.

  • We have had several very disappointing itinerary changes in the last three weeks for our 2022 Australia Adventure Tour. I have no idea if the itinerary changes will effect the 2023 tours or if the changes were the result of Covid. Two hotels were replaced, several city tours were changed. One of our most anticipated museum was eliminated, the MONA in Hobart and several of the wineries were changed. No real explanations were given. 🤷🏻‍♀️ We were disappointed in many of the changes, but we are keeping open minds and hoping for fabulous experience just the same.🤞

  • edited September 2022

    All of you taking this tour that includes Tasmania, please post reviews here when you return !
    I hope the changes do not disappoint too much. Our two international tours we have taken with Tauck this year had several significance changes. Our US one was exactly as described. One of the items we were told about on our current tour that had to be changed, is now back, so things are slowly normalizing.

  • edited September 2022

    I did get a heads-up re 2 hotel changes for 2023. By my research, Sydney is an upgrade, Adelaide not so much. Yes, that museum drop in Hobart is a disappointment, though it might be somewhat out there for those not fond of contemporary art. Hobart has many galleries, should there be any free time. The well-known Port Arthur btw was the scene of a mass shooting in 1996, just so you're prepared. There is a Memorial Garden and Peace Pool in remembrance of the 35 victims.

  • We are booked on the Australian Adventure in January, and we also received a letter outlining the same changes. Concerning the MONA in Hobart, my letter said Tauck would provide tickets for those who wanted to visit on their free time.

  • I spent 3 days in Tasmania on my own before "Grand Australia & New Zealand" in 2018. I went to MONA. It's quite unusual, and I can see that people could be offended by some of the exhibits (at least, those that I saw). I think that having Tauck provide tickets for those who want to visit on their own is a great idea. (That said, I would take the tickets, if offered.)

  • Yes, tickets to the MONA were offered by Tauck, however, that day’s itinerary makes it nearly impossible to go to the Mona, as we will be driving to Hobart from Freycinet that morning and then checking into our Hobart hotel upon arrival. It will be very difficult to do the MONA that afternoon. No problem, not a deal breaker!

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