Below you find amounts for suggested tipping while in Egypt if you are not travelling in a group, but still doing all the “usual things”. Please note that the amounts suggested are meant pr. couple not pr. person if travelling two or three persons together. If you are a single traveller, you can give less than the suggested amounts. Bear in mind that tipping often makes the experience a little easier and that most tips mean a lot, even though the recipient may look disappointed. If recipient comments in a rude manner that your tip was too low, take back you money at once (or as mentioned elsewhere, you have 2 options, pretend to take it back to give a higher amount and “teach” the person a lesson or smile a firm no, say it was enough and continue to enjoy what you are in egypt for – to enjoy!
Always tip as discreet as possible. It may not seem so, but very few are proud about the fact that they need your tips. On the other hand, few will make you feel guilty about what you gave. Remember that a tip is given of your own volition. Your pocket, circumstances, outlook towards “outstanding” service and feelings of “charity” all play non-trivial roles. Be happy giving, giving generously or not giving. Don’t let someone tell you what is appropriate – without your consent!
The rest of article (below), lays out the tips as a menu.
Driver taking you to hotel from airport upon arrival: 50 LE (in Red Sea destinations, Luxor, Aswan or Alexandria you can still be relatively generous with 50LE)
Luggage man at hotel: 20 LE pr. bag both in and out
Housekeeping: 20 LE pr. night
Waiter/waitress at breakfast restaurant at hotel: 20 LE pr. meal
Waiter at cruise: 50 LE once if on a week long cruise. Less if cruise is shorter. You will most likely have the same waiter for the whole cruise. Of course, if your waiter does not provide a good service, you should reconsider how much you prefer to tip.
Driver taking you sightseeing full day: 100 LE
Guide taking you sightseeing full day: 400 LE
Driver taking you sightseeing half day:50 LE
Guide taking you sightseeing half day:200 LE
Waiter at lunch restaurant in connection to sightseeing: 5-10 LE
Felucca man taking you sailing for one hour: 10 LE (if the agreed price for the trip does not include tips)
Guards around the sites: 5 LE
“Groundskeeper” in mosques (the man handing you shoe-covers, showing you special things etc): 1-5 LE
Boat staff on Nile cruise/Lake Nasser cruise incl. reception: 20 LE pr. person pr. night, leave in envelope in reception by the end. Write your cabin number on the envelope. Will be divided between all staff. Highest ranking staff gets the most, lowest ranking the least. It is the system, but if you feel like rewarding a member of staff with a little extra, do it very discreet, or he will be forced to share with the others.
Horsemen in Edfu: MAX. 20 LE for roundtrip to temple and back (if the agreed price does not include tips)
Men or women at restrooms handing out toiletpaper: 5 LE – . And if restroom is unacceptably nasty, don’t tip!
Egyptian staff on day-boats Red Sea destinations: 50 LE per person on tour (not per staff on boat). Often there is a box set out at the end for tips. Usually foreign staff like dive-masters, snorkel instructors etc does not expect to be tipped. So check how many Egyptian staff members are on board and tip according to that.
Kids or young adults helping with camels, horses or donkeys, provided they are “employees” at the stables30 LE after trip (see also below)
“General tipping in restaurants (if service and food was good): around 10 %. Most customers will find a service charge on their receipt, but please note that this goes to the restaurant and not to the waiter.
If you travel in a group and your tour leader or guide suggests that he or she collect an amount for tips for the whole trip, then this amount should not exceed 700 LE pr. person for 1 days, including guides and all other things listed above. But do expect to use at least that (300-350 LE, 45-50 €, 35-40 £, 70-75 $) in tips if you are on a trip where a cruise, guides and lots of tours are included, a little less if you do not have a guide. Do not tip guides excessive amounts. It gives them a bad name and is not always well-earned.
A general note about whether to tip taxi drivers, caleche men, felucca men etc: You have to decide if the agreed price is so high that tips are included or if you want to reward with a little extra, say if traffic was real bad or something like that.