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August 04, 2009

The Tipping Guide: Egypt

Tipping-guide-egypt
Illustration by Brown Bird Design

Tipping rules vary by country, by region, and by scenario. In Condé Nast Traveler's August issue, Tim Murphy spells out guidelines for the most common tipping situations in more than 25 countries, from Switzerland to Syria to Singapore.

Going to Egypt and want to express appreciation for the service you received? Here's how:
At Restaurants: The tip is included in the bill; add 5-10 percent above that.
At Hotels: One to two dollars a day for the housekeeper (pay throughout your stay to ensure great cleaning); $1 per bag for the porter; concierges are powerful and very helpful, so $10-$20 at the beginning of your stay will go far.
Guides and Drivers: Cabdrivers, 10-15 percent; guides (who almost never drive you), $20 per person per day; drivers a little less.
Dollars Accepted?: Everything is accepted, and often preferable to local currency.
P.S. Guides are often well-trained Egyptologists whose function is not only to educate but also to divert the many locals who will have their hands out for baksheesh, whether they've earned it or not. James Berkeley, president of Destinations and Adventures, which arranges trips to Egypt and the Middle East, likes to tell "the biggest joke in tourism": A camel driver tells you, "No charge to get on my camel--but five-dollar tip." You pay, you lumber up onto the camel. Then he says, "Twenty-dollar tip to get off."

For more on whom to tip, how much to give, and how to give it, check out the tipping guide in Condé Nast Traveler's August issue.

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