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Tips

Lawrenceville, New...
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Tips

We are leaving in a couple days for our fantastic trip to Israel -- we will be in Tel Aviv, Mitspe, Eilat, Ein Bokek, Ein Gedi and Jerusalem. We have booked several excursions including jeep tour, spa treatments etc. What is the custom for tipping providers of those services? And what about restaurants? In restaurants here in the US, I tip 20% of the bill. And is it appropriate to add tips to a credit card? When traveling, the tip for guides is often different. PLEASE help! I would rather over tip than under tip but having your input would be invaluable...

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Tel Aviv District, Israel
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Dead Sea Region, Israel
Ein Gedi Hotel
Ein Gedi Hotel
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Ein Gedi, Israel
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Haifa, Israel
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for Jerusalem
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1. Re: Tips

Tips: in restaurants 10%-15% of the bill; leave it in cash not on the credit card.

No need to tip taxi drivers unless they provide an extra service like carrying your luggage to your door.

About guides - others on the forum will advise. Have a great trip!

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Tips

I just got back from a 20 day tour of Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

If you're on a tour with other tourists (in a bus/van), the guideline for tipping (per passenger) is USD 5 per day for the tour guide and USD 3 per day for the driver. Feel free to tip more if your guide/driver is excellent.

For private tours, give more but at your discretion. I generally give about USD 10 per day or more when I am on a private tour.

Prepare the money for the tips beforehand. And do set aside some small notes in USD 5 and USD 10 for "unexpected situations" - example, I did not expect a "meet and greet" representative with a different driver. And because I always need help with my luggage, I already have all these small change prepared and set aside.

Just remember that you are NOT there to pay their salaries, so there's no need to over tip.

Edited: 03 November 2016, 20:17
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Africa
Lawrenceville, New...
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3. Re: Tips

Thanks -- all of our activities are private -- there are only 2 of us. I wasn't able to set up a group tour for the jeep ride or the star gazing, for example.

Tel-Aviv
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for Tel Aviv
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4. Re: Tips

Restaurants: 10-15% is the norm. Almost all waiters in Israel are students so despite the best of intentions the service may be somewhat less professional than what you are used to. Some restaurants allow you to add the tip to the bill but you have to ask. All bills will be in Hebrew.

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Israel
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Guildford, United...
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5. Re: Tips

"somewhat less professional than what you are used to"

Delicately put, and entirely accurate! Quite a culture shock, even for a Brit.

Netanya, Israel
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6. Re: Tips

Astolat. I think level of service in Israel has improved since your last visit. Maybe not as significantly, as your expectations require. Please do not expect F&M level of service from the start, and you'll survive it fine.

I recall a 5 pages long thread on London forum. OP has complained about how awfully intrusive and disturbing it is, when a waiter comes to ask, whether everything is alright, few times during her meal. Solidarity of local Brits to this poor woman's suffer was outstanding!

Here in Israel we take things in much more simple manner. Majority of our waiters are either students, or youngsters before/after military service. These kids score finance for their needs/trips. We sympathise with their goals, and tip, even if their service is not excellent. Next clumsy waiter could be my niece, or my friend's/neighbour's child.

Yuri.

Edited: 04 November 2016, 06:12
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England, UK
Guildford, United...
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7. Re: Tips

Yuri, yes, I hadn't realized that there was no tradition of a career as a waiter in Israel, and I'll look forward to seeing whether things have changed, though it was only four years ago I was last there. But you know well that no interaction in the U.K. is complete without at least three or four exchanges of 'thank yous', so Israel really is different. Not saying who is right or wrong, just that it's a surprise.

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8. Re: Tips

OK- I'll have my eye out for differences in the culture of restaurant waiters when I am there in England later this year..... but if I visit only Jewish kosher establishments, which culture will I observe?

Israel
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for Israel
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9. Re: Tips

Long ago, I read somewhere that David Ben-Gurion (Israel's first prime minister) didn't want to encourage tourism because it would turn Israel into "a nation of waiters." Well, we got the tourism, and we didn't get the waiters...

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David Dead Sea Resort...
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Ein Bokek, Israel
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10. Re: Tips

It seems that in this culture, everyone is always in a hurry, so no one wants to "wait."