Tipping in Egypt
Who, when and how much?
Tipping is habitual in Egypt and not restricted to tourist alone. It is a way of showing gratitude for another’s effort on your behalf. While it is your choice, it is usually expected and depended on.
Wages (where existent) have consistently been little. Since the reduction of tourism in Egypt from 2011, it is typical for many workers to earn little or no wages in order to maintain their positions.
An update on what tipping is now expected to be due to Depreciation of the Egyptian pound by approximately 50% in 2016 followed by an inflation in the cost of transportation, electricity, fuel and basic groceries as government subsidies are rapidly being reduced in the move towards total elimination. The currency devaluation has been disastrous for the Egyptian population but pleasing for tourist.
In the course of time, I have observed, tipping irks some people. In an attempt to ease the burden, I have penned down some guidelines stating the US Dollar and Egyptian equivalent. The expected tipping is not huge, but is deeply appreciated for those working with you.
Guidelines to Tipping Amounts in Egypt;
Minimum advocated per individual-family is not expected to tip these amounts per individual
Tipping can be in Euro or Dollar notes, Egyptian pounds. It is worthy of note that foreign coins is a useless tip as it cannot be exchanged.
- Hotel housekeeping: USD 2 = 35 LE
- Bus/taxi driver for tours: USD 5 = 70 LE
- Tour guide: USD 10 = 175 LE
- Toilet attendant: US cents 25=5 LE
- Porter or baggage handler: USD 1=20 LE
- Restaurant waiter: not less than USD 2=35 LE~40 LE
End of stay tipping
Cruise crew (in the reception, most boats have a box for tips). Nothing less than $5 per day per individual, therefore it should be a minimum of $10 for a couple. Except the managers, this is shared amongst all crew/staff you may not see such sailors, laundry, below deck, e.t.c.
An add-up tip of $3=50 LE on leaving your room on the departure day is appreciated, if the housekeeper attached to your room has been pleasing to you.
Usually a tip of about $20=350 LE is also appreciated if a specific housekeeper, waiter, restaurant or another manager on a cruise boat or hotel has been helpful.
A friend suggested I update this article, by including the prices of some items in Egypt by 2019, to help tourist put tipping and baksheesh into perspective. Note that some items vary with availability and time of the year.
How to Tip?
The tip should either be folded in the palm of the hand and discreetly passed in a handshake, while showing some gratitude or included in money you are giving for a service. In Egypt, it is regarded as good manners to quietly decline a tip a couple of times, so it is considered good manners on your part to insist with sincere appreciation.
The look on people’s faces when tipped over the normally expected, is one highlight of your tour that can serve as the best memory of Egypt, the ability to make an instant difference in the lives of individuals who are making the duration of your stay comfortable and enjoyable. Making a person’s day a good one; makes one feel really good.