Tipping Tour Guides: Sri Lanka Edition
Are you heading off on a vacation to Sri Lanka? It’s a beautiful country to visit, to explore, to take in the sights, and to sample the local Sri Lankan food. If you will be using a tour guide or a tour driver, this tipping guide is for you. It will help you understand the local tipping etiquette before you go so that you can tip confidently.
Do You Need To Tip Tour Guides In Sri Lanka?
Tipping tour guides is both customary and expected in Sri Lanka. Tour guides and tour drivers rely on tips for a substantial portion of the income and they work hard to earn your generosity. That said, the amount you need to tip is low.
How Much Should I Tip Our Tour Guide?
You should tip tour guides between 500 Rs – 1000 Rs (Sri Lankan Rupees) for good service and the length of the tour. Tip 500 Rs for a half-day tour and 1000 Rs for a full-day tour. At the time of this writing, this is around $2.70 – $5.40 USD, £2.10 – £4.20 GBP, or €2.40 – €4.80 euros.
Ignore the Sri Lankan tour company websites that suggest much larger tips than what we recommend. The tips the companies are suggesting are not customary tips so don’t get ripped off by following biased tip advice. Although the tips that Sri Lankans expect might seem small to you, your tips plus the tour guide’s salary in Sri Lanka is more than the average salary of a regular worker. The salaries available to tour guides and tour drivers make them sought after positions.
How Much Should I Tip Our Driver Who Is Also Our Tour Guide In Sri Lanka?
Often, the roles of tour guide and driver are combined in Sri Lanka. When this is the case, your tour guide/driver provides both the vehicle and the tour commentary. It’s efficient and keeps the cost of your tour down.
Should you tip your tour guide/driver more because they serve both roles? No, chauffeur guides should still be tipped between 500Rs – 1000 Rs (Sri Lankan Rupees) based on the length of your tour. Leave a tip of 500 Rs for a half-day tour and 1000 Rs for a full-day tour.