Tauck Director Gratuities

The book of Guest Documents suggests an amount for gratuities, which may be paid in local currency. I'm puzzled about whether this should be NZD, as the tour ends in NZ, or if Australian dollars would be preferred. Will the same Director conduct both parts of the tour? (We will be taking the April 1 tour.)


  • Since we have the option to pay in U.S. dollars, I'm planning to do that. Did that a few years ago on the Ireland tour and it worked well because our tour director on that tour was actually from the U.S. and did Tauck tours in a several different countries.
  • Hi ChestnutHill,

    When I did this tour in November, 2011, the Tauck Guide is w/u from beginning (in Australia) till the end (in NZ).

    We tipped in American dollars, since we put it aside at the start of the trip. I believe we had a small amount of currency left over that we included in the tip for our Guide, as well. Some people also paid by check. Our guide happened to be going home to Arizona at the end of our trip so I'm sure he was happy w/the American money just as much as the Aus/NZ currency.

    It's a great trip!!! Enjoy!!
  • If your Tour Guide is from the US then tipping him or her in US Dollars would be practical but if your TG is from either Australia or New Zealand then I would think tipping in US dollars would be just a tad insulting. Try to imagine if an Aussie was doing a Tauck tour in the US and tipped the TG in Australian Dollars. I'm sure the TG would smile and accept the tip but would then have to go through the inconvenience of having to exchange the currency with the associated fees attached.
  • edited March 2013
    You make a good point, Rod. If you tip US$ in Australia, this could be considered insulting, too ... at least at today's rates. (Yes, just another thing international travellers have to keep abreast of!) What's that old American saying about Indian givers? I guess you could always save it up for your next trip to the States ... it would save the fx costs on a few greenbacks.

    I guess it's all about being sensitive to local customs and culture, really, and when you get down to it, that's exactly what travel is all about ... getting to know and understand who, and what, is different in this big wide world. It's not the same as at home. It's not about doing exactly the same thing as you do at home. How boring would that be! When I travel abroad and know I have to set money aside for a tip, as for Tauck land tours, I always make sure I have already purchased enough appropriate currency for just that purpose. I don't want to insult someone by giving them something that is worth less. If I'm in Canada I naturally give C$. In the States I give US$. I regard a tip as a genuine thanks for going above and beyond ... for me. I have had occasions (very rarely!) where I thought the TD had gone above and beyond to make me miserable. I wish I'd had some Monopoly Money on me then! I would have had great joy in being a fly on the wall when he opened the envelope to reveal a bundle of funny money.



    Disclaimer: I am not implying US currency is funny money, okay? I am discussing the philosophy behind what, and why, you choose to give.
  • This seems to come up on every trip and there is a very simple solution to the the issue of which currency your Tour Director would prefer. Simply ask him or her. We have been on tours where our TD will be doing many more tours in the country we are in and because of that we were unsure as to whether the preference would be for local currency or US dollars -- which we always come prepared to give. In our experience each TD has preferred US dollars and has thanked us for asking. If your TD is native to the country of the tour you are on -- he or she would most likely prefer local currency. A quick trip to the ATM -- and everybody is happy.
  • Oz and Jan - you both made great points and give good advice. I guess I lucked out since my tour guide was going home to the US, so I'm pretty sure he was fine w/the US money. I would have hated to insult someone, especially being my first tour!! I will definitely remember that on my next Tauck Tour, which will hopefully be sooner, rather than later!! :-)

    Judy - that's great advice, too, because you never know what is next for your guide.
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