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Non Disclosure of total costs- AWFUL!

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    edited May 8

    Driver gratuities were included in the price of the tour for the four land tours we have taken and for the upcoming land tour. Of course you can always give the drivers an additional tip.The document we received for our latest tour and for all the rest have said the following:

    "All other service gratuities, including those for your motorcoach driver(s), local guides, hotel
    bellmen and restaurant staff, have been included in the price of your journey."

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    Tauck is still suffering after the Pandemic, they had to cut back on expansion plans. However, I’m still surprised they are giving out packing cubes to some people. Oh, wait a minute, their prices are now crazy.

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    @Sealord that wickedly cool! I grew up in CT and but I love living in MA... plus I have a little Iroquois in my family lineage.

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    Are you sure the $24.00 is per person a day it may be for a couple. I've never seen gratuity to the tour director any higher than $12.00, only river cruise prices include the gratuity for the tour directors, the land tours don't.
    Before complaining you should talk to Tauck and verify.

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    It probably is $24 for the couple as gladysorlando984 suggested. I just inquired what the current tip for the tour Director was.Tauck representative told me $12 per day.

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    Actually, all but rookie TDs probably have an easy and convenient way to deposit their tip money (with or without Taucks's assistance.) I'm sure they quickly learn after the first few times carrying a ton of cash and/or they talked with TDs who have been doing it for years. Any inconvenience is offset by the fact that they just received potentially $5K to $10K+!! :D

    Until we get to the first hotel is the only time we carry around a large amount of cash outside the Tauck bubble. Most of the time the cash is in the hotel room safe, in our luggage (now that luggage is picked up inside the room) or day bag in the locked bus. Speaking of that, has anyone ever heard of a Tauck bus being broken into?

    Another thought that just popped into my head- say a TD typically leads 2 week long classic tours with an average of 40 people and receives an average of the suggested tip of $12 per person, per day. That equals $6,720 (14 X 40 X 12) per tour. Now, multiply that by how many tours the TD leads. 16 tours per year (which equals 32 weeks and may be a bit too high) yields $107,520 per year. Depending on their contract, they may also receive wages from Tauck but be classified as an independent contractor, so have little withholding. Not too shabby.

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    I do the same thing as you, Portolan; that is, making sure to take currency exchange rates into account, but I typically tip in USDs.

    As far as carrying cash, my husband has shirts and slacks with deep, zippered pockets which he wears exclusively for travel.

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    To add to AlanS comment, Tauck provides health insurance to the TDs who work a certain amount of days per year.

    A TD can make a decent living, but they're away from home a LOT, and they don't have a lot of security. During COVID Tauck carried their health insurance but they didn't have any other income from Tauck.

    I don't know how you could have a family and be a full-time TD. It's not a job I'd want to do.

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    Mike, there are also geopolitical risks. The TDs that had a full schedule in Israel or Russia are likely scrambling for jobs now. I asked our cruise director a few weeks ago what Tauck is doing to support them and I got a lot of mumbling......

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    The TDs often have hidden resumes. I was curious about one of the TDs that we had several times so I Googled him. He has a PHD in marine biology. All of the Zodiac drivers on our Ponant ship in Antarctica had advanced degrees in earth sciences.

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    On my last trip to Namibia the TD e mailed us about a month in advance to introduce herself and inquire if we had any questions or concerns. It was classy, and I have never had correspondence in advance of a trip from any other TD. I e mailed back asking if she would prefer her tip to be in USD or local currency. She said USD is fine because it helps her save! She lives in Cape Town and is the best TD I have ever experienced anywhere with any tour company.

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    Sandy Feet, that is what we thought of our TD in Namibia, just an amazing guy with a photographic memory. He could tell you everything about every animal, bird and vegetation and tell you what page of the books he provided you would find more information. I hope your report helps make this tour a success for Tauck because years ago they went to Namibia but not for long, it was not popular.

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    edited May 21

    Sealord - The TDs often have hidden resumes. I was curious about one of the TDs that we had several times so I Googled him. He has a PHD in marine biology. All of the Zodiac drivers on our Ponant ship in Antarctica had advanced degrees in earth sciences.

    Perhaps that's an indication of the lack of job opportunities in those fields.

    [That's a problem in a number of fields - there just aren't enough jobs in the field for the number of graduates. I've always felt that schools should counsel the students about employment opportunities in the various fields of study. Telling a young person to "follow your passion" can lead to a lifetime of poverty.

    I was very fortunate to be in a field where recruiters came to campus to recruit graduates.]

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    Many TD’s have amazing educations. There are people out there who’s passions do not depend on money. Another example is the limo drivers we have for our trips to the airport, they are fascinating to talk to and have had great careers. They want to continually to enjoy working with the public.

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    edited May 21

    Mike - I was very fortunate to be in a field where recruiters came to campus to recruite graduates.]

    You were lucky because I've read that that occurred much more just after WWI!!! 😂😂

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    edited May 21

    It still goes on today. Companies come to most large universities to recruit the graduates - mostly in STEM fields. In the year I graduated, I think every EE graduate had a job before graduation. I see graduates in Computer Science getting starting offers of around $200,000 a year. It was much less in my day.

    @British - while "living your passion" can satisfy some people, I feel that students should be told, in advance, that there are not many job opportunities in their field and that they may have to work in some other, lower paying, field after graduation.

    The amount paid to a person for the work they do generally reflects the value in that work, and the number of people willing (or able) to do it. A programmer can produce code that allows the company to sell a lot of a product. Someone driving a limo is essentially selling their time on an hourly basis, and there's a lot of people who can drive a car.

    As Mae West said: "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better."

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    Mike - I was just kidding you. I see you corrected your spelling error 😂 So I will edit out my comment as well.

    I was an EE and we had recruiters on campus as well.

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    These days it’s especially bad because students accumulate debt, maybe $100,000, and then can’t pay it with what they make after graduation.

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    Our daughter and son in law both have masters degrees in art. She has never worked a day in her life for a paycheck, and he is now a very successful attorney. Don’t borrow money to study underwater basket weaving.

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