Tauck No Longer Cover Housekeeping Tips?

My sister is finally doing her first Tauck trip after listening me rave about my experiences and she has already been hit with an unexpected surprise. Her welcome packet states that Tauck covers tips for hotel bellman but that guests are expected to tip housekeeping on their own. When did this change occur?

While the amount of money this will cost her is pretty insignificant, the thought of Tauck nickel-and-diming guests is not a welcome trend.



  • I also encountered something different when I was reading my documents for a recent trip that I never read before under the “gratuity section”. This was the very first time (I think) that I saw an exact minimal dollar amount to pay the tour director for our specific trip (80.00 per traveler) and another amount to pay the driver (56.00 per traveler) for the tour we were on. In the past, the verbiage would recommend 10.00 per traveler per day and 7.00 for the driver.
    In some situations I have literally heard guests say that they don’t think they need to pay the gratuity for the very last day when people are leaving because they’re not seeing the tour director. They are still doing a lot of work behind the scenes for us.

  • We leave for the Douro in a week. Our docs say ‘all’ tips are covered by Tauck. We always tip room service separately or perhaps additionally.

  • Sealord --

    I would expect room service to be a separate tip. This is the first time I'm hearing that guests are expected to tip for daily housekeeping.

  • Here is the exact wording on her welcome letter:

  • I think this is in reference to LAND tours, as Sealord mentioned above, on RiverCruises-- all tips are included.
    We did a 14-day land tour in October and I do NOT remember this - we did not tip at all till the end of the tour when we tipped our TG & Bus Driver. I wonder if this is new? I don't understand why hotel housekeeping wouldn't be included?

  • News to me? Must be new and definitely don't expect to be nickeled and dimed by Tauck.

  • Are we expected to tip the driver who picks us up at the airport? I thought that was also included. ??

  • Choc - the driver from the airport to hotel or riverboat is included. The motor-coach driver on land tours is NOT included.

  • Thx.

  • The excerpt posted from Karen starts out I will Take care of all tips… is written in the first person so I am thinking this is something the tour director gave out to the travelers and not part of the Tauck green book.

    We are off to a Scottish Isles cruise in a few weeks and here is an excerpt for our digital green book about gratuities. This is not a land tour so it is different from the regular land tours.

    • Unlike most other tour guides, Tauck Directors receive no commissions on your shopping
      purchases, nor do they earn additional income by selling options to you on tour. They take great
      pride in their work and are committed to making sure that you have the best possible experience
      during your travels.
      Typically, gratuities for the Tauck Director are not included in the price of the tour.
      The majority of our Tauck Cruising programs however feature a team of Tauck Directors (rather
      than a single individual), and we recognize that awarding gratuities to a group can be complicated
      and costly. For this reason, we have made an exception to our policy and have included all
      gratuities for the Tauck Directors, as well as for the motorcoach driver(s), local guides, hotel
      bellmen and restaurant staff, in the price of your journey.

    I looked up gratuities guidelines from an Italy land tour we took last year. Here is an excerpt from the digital green book.

    • We ask that you extend gratuities on an individual basis rather than as a group, and we offer the
      following guidelines to assist you in determining an appropriate amount:
      USD $10 per traveler, per day for the Tauck Director, or the equivalent amount in local
      USD $7 per traveler, per day for the driver, or the equivalent amount in local currency.
      Please note: Although gratuities represent the majority of your Tauck Director's compensation, our
      policy prohibits Tauck Directors from directly soliciting gratuities.
      All other service gratuities, including those for your local guides, hotel bellmen and restaurant
      staff, have been included in the price of your journey.

    We have never left any additional tips as we assumed that it was covered under the “All other service gratuities have been included”.

  • We are going on a land tour in June and the tipping section is identical to what John S quoted from his tour last year. The operable words are "all other service gratuities". I think the list gives examples and shouldn't be construed as being inclusive. If a tour director says otherwise, you should make Tauck aware of what is being communicated. Maybe this is a new director who is interpreting the examples as the only ones that are being covered and he/she is not leaving anything for the housekeeping staff.

  • terrilynn
    The motor-coach driver on land tours is NOT included.

    Yes and no. In my experience, if you have multiple drivers on a tour, the TD takes care of it. If one driver for the entire tour, then we are expected to tip the driver.

  • edited April 30

    I was picked up at the airport by the Tauck transfer driver to the hotel on 5/24. He was the nicest man and talked the entire time to us about the sights, restaurants, the places we were passing in route to the hotel. I directly asked him point blank and eye to eye if a tip was included in the transfer to the hotel. He said his fee was included but he definitely said not the tip so my husband (being the person he is) tipped him. Then I had to leave the tour and fly back home on 5/27 due to a family emergency. Another driver said the same thing. Yes, I am confused about the tipping for the transport driver.

  • edited April 30

    One change in wording in recent years has been to list the total gratuity for TD and driver. This is to clear up any confusion over whether the first and last day should count (they should), at least for the TD who performs numerous tour associated tasks on the first day, even before travelers arrive, and after they have left. In the past, some travelers have not included these tour days.

  • I was a career ‘road warrior’, and a rather heavy tripper. I rarely tipped housekeeping staff unless they provided an extra service of some kind. We carry several hundred dollars in small bills for that purpose on all of our trips. But, we have never routinely left money in the room for housekeeping. You rarely know who did what, nor who got the money. And I might add that I’ve never gotten anything back that I accidentally left in a hotel room.

  • Alan S. Yes, the first day and last day should count. I agree with you.

  • I was always under the impression that the airport to hotel and hotel to airport drivers were already tipped. Apparently that is not the case if the drivers themselves say it isn’t so.

    What is a reasonable tip to give drivers? I think Tauck should make this apparent.

  • John S: I’m just sharing what happened. Maybe the drivers themselves were not, how should I say, completely transparent or honest. I don’t think I ever read anything that the transportation drivers to the hotels before the tour starts are tipped. I’m going to look into this before my next trip.

  • Please see below re tipping drivers to/from airport. This is taken directly from the Tauck website in the river cruise section. It MAY apply ONLY to river cruises. I don’t know about other tours.

    All gratuities. Entertainment, admissions, tastings, on-tour transportation, transfers upon arrival and departure – are all covered in one upfront price.

  • BSP51: I am looking through my very recent land tour paperwork, and there is not snd mention about tipping the transportation drivers like you mentioned. Yes, this might need better clarification.

  • OurTravels- As I mentioned in my post, this may just be for river cruises. My post included a cut & paste section from the Tauck website in the river cruise section.

  • I was told years ago (on this forum) that the drivers to and from the airport were tipped by Tauck.

  • We came back from a Tauck land tour a month ago and the TD stressed very directly that ALL TIPS were included, drive from the airport etc. The last few tours have also included the total suggested dollar amount. I’ve been saying for years that I’m pretty sure some guests never give a tip, others have sometimes asked me after we have seen the TD for the last time when they are supposed to give the tip. Time and time again, I hear TD’s mention htst Tauck I’d the best company they have worked for.
    As for the Welcome letter from Karen’s sister, it seems odd, I would want to call Tauck about this, maybe she is new and does not understand her own company’s philosophy. I don’t think Arthur’s Tauck would have been happy.

  • I think this is from the TD, not Tauck.
    Tauck would not say: " I will take care" it would be more like Tauck will cover etc.. not including etc...
    I think this is a newbie that wrote this on his welcoming papers.
    Either way... I always leave a little something to the housekeepers, they work really hard.

  • I went back thru the paperwork for our 4 land tours given to us by the TDs. Only one even mentioned tipping. The TD in Ireland said, "I will be tipping the local guides, hotel bellmen, housekeeping, and restaurant staff on your behalf. For additional service such as room service, bar service, taxis, hair dresser, and non-included meals a 15%-20% gratuity is appreciated".

    The Greenbook for the same tour after the info on tipping the TD and motorcoach driver states, "All other service gratuities, including those for local guides, hotel bellmen and restaurant staff, have been included in the price of your journey". Exact same wording in the digital Greenbook for our upcoming Scotland tour.

    I have always taken that to mean that housekeeping, transport driver, etc have been taken care of. We have tipped the driver a few times generally if we were the only passengers they had.

    I have to wonder who generated the OP's sister's welcome package? Digital greenbook, the TD, a travel agent, ...... What tour is she on?

  • Claudia -- The welcome package was from her tour director. She's on a European land tour -- I'm declining to say which one to protect the tour director in case it was their error and they are new to Tauck.

  • It’s rare for tour directors to even contact people before the tour. I don’t think we have ever had contact with one before a tour!

  • After 13 Tauck tours, a tour director also has never contacted us. The welcome packet has been the first introduction from the tour director on land tours.

  • We were contacted by the TD before a trip last fall. It was the first time this had happened - she introduced herself and reviewed arrival information and some clothing suggestions for a float trip on the tour. She also mentioned that gratuities had been taken care of for ground personnel and bell staff at the hotel. She was relatively new to Tauck - we felt her reaching out was a nice gesture.

  • Karen - understand your reticence. Very surprised it's a European tour. We can all speculate on this but I'd recommend you call Tauck and ask so you can let your sister know before the tour end. One way or another Tauck will get word of this - comment cards, after tour calls, etc - so it's better to clear it up sooner rather than later.

    As for TDs contacting you, we got an email from our TD on the Normandy/Brittany tour a day or two before the tour start. She was a very experienced TD - especially on that tour - and ultimately the best we've ever had. This was in 2021 and given the state of travel highly appreciated.

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