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Old 03-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #16
SingingMom
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Kevin, I agree. Stephen was terrific. We had some great laughs with him. Unfortunately, I did not think to tip him, Sarah or Cecile, since I did read ABD took care of it. My question, then, did you hand it directly to him or leave it with the ABD guides? Thanks.

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Old 03-23-2013, 04:07 PM   #17
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We also tipped our bus driver in Alaska and Montana/Banff trips. Also we like to give a couple of bucks to the regional tour guides that go above and beyond what was expected. I see it as a "pay forward" situation so the next group will have a spectacular time too.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingMom View Post
Kevin, I agree. Stephen was terrific. We had some great laughs with him. Unfortunately, I did not think to tip him, Sarah or Cecile, since I did read ABD took care of it. My question, then, did you hand it directly to him or leave it with the ABD guides? Thanks.

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We gave the gratuities directly to the Guide and the Driver.

Both were wonderful!
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:18 AM   #19
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I tried to tip our bus driver on the Backstage Magic tour last summer and he refused to take it. Afterwards I wondered if I should have insisted he take the tip. Do the bus drivers have to refuse once or twice before they can accept the tip? That was our first ABD trip and I wasn't sure of the protocol.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #20
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I tried to tip our bus driver on the Backstage Magic tour last summer and he refused to take it. Afterwards I wondered if I should have insisted he take the tip. Do the bus drivers have to refuse once or twice before they can accept the tip? That was our first ABD trip and I wasn't sure of the protocol.
To my knowledge, there's no policy that they have to refuse a tip. From what I've heard, ABD takes care of them quite well, so he may have just felt like it wasn't needed.

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Old 06-25-2013, 02:00 PM   #21
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To my knowledge, there's no policy that they have to refuse a tip. From what I've heard, ABD takes care of them quite well, so he may have just felt like it wasn't needed.

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Yeah, that happened to me, too. I tried to tip the bus driver on the Backstage Magic tour, and he turned it down as well. On the other hand, I tipped the bus driver for the Alaskan trip, when we got to the airport, and he did not turn it down. He said he'd use the tip to buy diesel for his pickup. I did feel somewhat guilty, as everybody else was leaving later or earlier than myself, so he had to make an extra trip for myself, as I was the only one going out at that time and the only one on the bus.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:37 PM   #22
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Yeah, that happened to me, too. I tried to tip the bus driver on the Backstage Magic tour, and he turned it down as well. On the other hand, I tipped the bus driver for the Alaskan trip, when we got to the airport, and he did not turn it down. He said he'd use the tip to buy diesel for his pickup. I did feel somewhat guilty, as everybody else was leaving later or earlier than myself, so he had to make an extra trip for myself, as I was the only one going out at that time and the only one on the bus.
I'm sure he got paid the same, no matter how many people were on the bus!

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Old 06-26-2013, 05:57 PM   #23
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Personally, I plan on giving them local currency. Generally, one of the Guides is a local, and they have to have some way to deal with local currency. Although I imagine they have some way to convert US dollars, but they probably lose out on the exchange fees. I'd assume the non-local guide has something set up, also. I can't imagine them carrying around that much cash until they get home.

I don't want to take a chance of not making it to an ATM at the end of the trip, so I usually order extra currency for the tips, and just tuck it away safely with my passport. Envelopes are provided, but I've started bringing Thank You cards with me to put the money in.

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We made the ATM mistake with our recent Yellowstone trip. We brought enough for the minimum but wanted to give them more for being so great. In talking with the other travelers in our group we were told that Disney pays their guides really well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #24
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I'm sure he got paid the same, no matter how many people were on the bus!

Sayhello
I am sure that he got paid the same, but my "guilt" lies not in how much he got paid, but in the fact, that because of when my flight left, and that was not my decision to leave then, but dependent upon the flight times, he had to make an extra trip just for me. A trip he need not have to make, if I had left earlier with the others or later with the others.

Still, and I might have mentioned this sooner, because I was the only one on the bus, the bus driver and I were able to have a very good conversation during the trip between the last night's hotel and the airport.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #25
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We were told that the local ATMs give the best exchange rates, in case you DO want to pull out extra money in local currency for tips.

We tipped in US $$...I didn't even think about tipping in local currency... That probably would have made more sense...live & learn!
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:21 PM   #26
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This is a helpful thread for me as I plan a possible Backstage trip. Would the guides appreciate a taste of where your from along with gratuity? I am thinking of bringing Old Bay or Fishers Popcorn with me as an additional Thank you gift besides suggest gratuity. Giving them a taste of places they may not travel to may be a unique way to Thank them for their service.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:32 PM   #27
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We have been tipping the guides with personal checks from home that we bring on the trip. As for the local guides, we have not tipped them, always felt that Disney does take good care of them.

We have on every trip, tried to take the ABD Guides and local guides to lunch or a get Gelato on us atleast once. Just to tell them thanks in a small way.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #28
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This is a helpful thread for me as I plan a possible Backstage trip. Would the guides appreciate a taste of where your from along with gratuity? I am thinking of bringing Old Bay or Fishers Popcorn with me as an additional Thank you gift besides suggest gratuity. Giving them a taste of places they may not travel to may be a unique way to Thank them for their service.
We usually bring maple syrup when we travel to give as a little extra along with cash.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:52 AM   #29
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Im not trying to be ugly, but I'm not too sure any of the guides would want any thing but money. If they act like they like to get "old bay or maple syrup" its just out of politeness.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:23 AM   #30
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Because most of the time the ABD guides are traveling extensively and living out of a suitcase (or in some cases..a duffle bag), giving gifts can be a hinderance or worse...something that must be left behind.

In most instances, the guides are sharing a room that is much smaller (or more compact) than yours and working during your down time to make sure the next part of your Adventure is seamless.

The majority of Guides that we have met are far from home and cycle through Adventures pretty steadily. They have nowhere to store gifts that cant be consumed immediately.

If you'd like to give a gift to your guides...I'd suggest something very portable. Gift or telephone cards come to mind.

At the beginning of the Adventure, we try to find out where the guides are going next.

If they are finishing their European tours and headed back to the states, we would give a gratuity in U.S. dollars. If they are finishing their tours and headed back to the UK, we'd tip in pounds. Those staying in Europe would be tipped in euros. You get the idea.

Our goal in giving a gratuity is to say "Thanks for everything you did" and making sure that your gratuity is easily useable is just another way of doing that.

I am certain that Guides appreciate any gesture and gratuity, but making sure that there are no hurdles to making use of your gratuity adds another layer of thoughtfulness.
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