Morocco - Tips on Tipping

coldsteem
John @coldsteem
· July 2018 · 6 min read · Morocco · #tippinginmorocco

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One of the trickiest aspects of travel is knowing when to tip and how much. It is generally a good idea to do some research before you travel. Tipping culture changes from place to place and is often affected by tourism. While many cultures don't tip for things that we are used to tipping for (like meals), I also find the opposite to be true. Particularly with restrooms. I have traveled many places where restrooms require a tip. Most of this advice was provided directly from our guide while we were traveling.

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In Morocco, I was traveling with a tour company that handles all of the luggage movement. The appropriate tips for luggage are handled by the tour company. Tipping the bellboy in Morocco is not much different from tipping anywhere else. I normally tip one dollar per bag, and usually only have two bags. In Morocco, 10 to 20 dirham is good, which is one or two dollars.

I find that people don't often tip at hotels in the United States. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't travel with cash domestically. I am one of them. I try to make sure I have tips for the maids before my last night in a hotel. It would be nice if hotels allowed guests to add the tip to their credit card at check out. I think hotel staff would greatly appreciate it (much like Uber...when they finally added that feature). A general rule for tipping at Moroccan hotels is one dollar per day.

Speaking of Uber, taxis are a little bit different in Morocco. (I checked the Uber app and was given a message that Uber was unavailable in Morocco). Taxi rides can be done two ways. Either with a meter or with a set price. If you are not using a meter, set the price before you get in the taxi. If you use the meter, round up to an even number. If you set a price, pay the agreed price unless you feel like adding a bit. Taxis were very cheap in Morocco. I took one taxi from my hotel to the waterfront and the ride was the equivalent of fifty cents. I rounded it up to a dollar. For that price, a fifty cent tip did not seem like "double the taxi fare" it seemed like a fair tip to me.

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We ate at some inexpensive restaurants and we ate at some fancy restaurants. The fancy restaurants were handled by our tour operator, so I was not required to figure out the tipping scheme. But they were restaurants that cater to tourists, so standard tipping rules would apply. Restaurant tips are slightly less than the US. Ten to Fifteen percent is standard. I normally tip eighteen to twenty percent at home. We had a couple of meals that worked out to around three dollars or so. For such an inexpensive meal, we tipped twenty dirham, which is about two dollars. Leaving a thirty cent tip seems a bit too small to me. Particularly when the meal was good and very inexpensive. Some restaurants in Morocco include the gratuity in the total bill, so double check before tipping.

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There are a lot of special attractions in Morocco which you should consider tipping for as well. When we rode the horse drawn buggies through Marrakech, our guide recommended we tip five dollars per person (twenty per carriage). We also rode 4x4s through the desert. We were with our drivers most of the day. Our guide recommended a tip of ten dollars per person (there were four of us per SUV). We also took a camel ride into the Sahara to watch the sunset. Our camel boy had a string of four camels. He took photos of us and was a good guide. Our tour guide recommended a tip of five to ten dollars per person. We liked our camel boy and went with the higher tip.

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Some of the internet guides and opinions suggest that you don't tip your tour guides, to include guides within the medina. I traveled with a tour group that has a set suggestion for both. We tip our tour guide seven to ten dollars per day per person. We tip our bus driver two dollars per day per person. And we tip local guides. If you have a guide that takes you into the medina or elsewhere (like Volubilis ruins), the recommended tip is two dollars per person for a half day or three dollars per person for a full day. We pretty much follow the recommendation of our tour operator.

Bathrooms are tricky. First, they are not all the same quality. Second, there is no rule of thumb for when or how much one is expected to give. But some places have set prices. In restaurants, there is a fifty-fifty chance you will have to tip the bathroom host. At the airport, you tip. At most public places and attractions, you tip. At your hotel, even in the common areas, you will not tip. At nicer restaurants, generally, you will not tip. The tip is generally between ten and fifty dirham (ten cents to fifty cents). It is good to keep a pocket full of change when traveling in Morocco. Most restrooms are pay-to-use. While the tips are not mandatory in most places, it is rude not to tip. Tipping often means you will get paper towels and/or hand soap, so keep that in mind as well.

Tipping is generally an acknowledgment of good service. But is also the main source of income for many people. If the service you receive is adequate, tip. If you receive service above and beyond, tip well. What may seem like small change to us can make a big difference for people struggling to make ends meet. It's vacation, and your dollars are helping the local economy. Good tipping is part of the price we pay to travel. Understanding what constitutes a good tip and what might be insulting is important to ensure future good service as well as adequately rewarding people who go out of their way to make our vacations memorable.

All photos are my own. They may be reproduced with prior permission.


Topics: TIPPINGINMOROCCOMOROCCOAFRICA

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Wow your trip looked amazing, hope one day I could go and visit such places.