Know Before You Go: Tipping in Egypt

May 12, 2011
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While travelers love to explore exotic lands, there are certain aspects of foreign cultures that largely remain mysterious to outside visitors. Egypt, for example, is a land rich in history and culture that features a wealth of offerings that must be seen to be properly described. Yet while individuals have written long-winded explanations of proper Egyptian decorum, many travelers remain ignorant on the appropriate tipping etiquette.

The first thing to consider when contemplating tipping procedures in Egypt is that though the country is rich in culture, much of its population remains poor and ill-compensated for the work they do. As such, tipping in Egypt is far more common than it is in the U.S. or U.K.

Be prepared to tip everyone from the restroom attendant to the bellhop carrying your bag. The amount will vary based on the service provided, of course, but for a restaurant waiter (often viewed as the benchmark for international tipping) a 10 percent gratuity is seen as the minimum, and more generous gifts are common.

Fortunately, travelers booking escorted tours of Egypt will largely sidestep this socially precarious activity, as tour operators like International Expeditions tip local guides and other service providers for their guests. Of course, many of these guides will gladly accept any additional gratuity you may wish to offer, yet vacationers should check with their Expedition Leader to be sure their offerings are not redundant.

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