Tipping in Egypt - USD or EGP?

Mar 27th, 2011, 04:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 492
Tipping in Egypt - USD or EGP?

I was wondering, given the current Egyptian stock market conditions and economic issues, would it be better to tip in USD for some services that would require a bigger tip - like an all day guide or driver - or EGP? I think I have the tipping scale down, but I'm wondering if tipping some people in USD would have more value? Any ideas? Ten days and counting...
jahlie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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From experience on my last trip, I would suggest tip in EGP. If want to give "more value", give them more Egyptian Pounds.

I so wish I was going back. I loved egypt!
MissGreen is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269

for current xchange

local scrip works best for tipping for me.
qwovadis is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 05:02 AM
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EGP is the best as most people NEED the money now, not later and the only reason a tip in USD might be better is if there were hope the exchange would move in their favor and they had the time to wait for it to get better. Otherwise it just means another stop at a bank or Exchange store to get money that is useful to them.

Another site I like to use to see the current exchange is www.xe.com
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 05:37 AM
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My problem with tipping in EGP was the difficulty of obtaing any small denomination notes while there. Tipping is constant and we would run out of anything but the largest notes all the time. We horded ours for use when we tipped individuals who did not work in big hotels with bank branches or exchange windows and gave US dollars to employees of the hotels, cruise ships and the large tour company that arranged the trip, including guides.

Enjoy Egypt!

wanttogo is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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EGP it is and thanks Casual_Cairo - I have the xe app I even have a really cool Cairo Taxi Guide app in which I can find a location and it displays in English and Arabic. Plus, I can add addresses not already listed. I've already programed in our hotels, some tourist sights and restaurants. It might be a great help - especially since I don't need to use the internet for it to work - and I'm looking forward to seeing if the taxi drivers will/can/or admit to "getting it." I also have a MetrO app and have programmed Cairo - we'll see about that working for us as well. Sorry, I got distracted, so many apps, so much fun...

Back to money. I know the ATMs will only give larger bills but I'm sure the hotels have banks (or I can mercilessly pester the staff) and paying with larger bills for a drink or something small is a good way to accumulate smaller bills. I suspect money is scarce so we'll keep our eyes peeled for any and every opportunity to make change. I know we have to stock up before Abu Simbel since I was told our hotel, the Seti, NEVER has small bills. I'll bring some 10s and 20s as back up for the larger tips but will try not to use them - then again, the larger EGP will cover those circumstances I suppose.

Thank you all for your input and I'll certainly write a trip report when we return.
jahlie is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Wanttogo... I never had any problem with obtaining smaller notes or coins, in fact, I arrived home with rolls of 1's. Most hotels we stayed at were fine with giving out small stuff, especially the Mena House. They would give you 100 in 1's if you asked.

And remember, $10 Egyptian Pounds is only about $2US. What is $2 for folks who have spent thousands to go on holidays when dealing with some folks who have hardly anything.
MissGreen is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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In Egypt or any country I tip in local currency.

But if you are completely out of small change and it comes down to using US$ or nothing then of course give them US currency and it will be graciously accepted.

However do not tip using US coins under any circumstances. Coins cannot be exchanged and are worthless to the recipient.
P_M is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Posts: 492
Great, then I'll hit the Mena House up for a bundle! I just hope money is circulating and don't worry MissGreen, we're always generous Our boys tend to tip the way we do at home -they like to simplify things - and that means our guides, hotel staff, wait persons, and drivers (the most important people if I feel safe) come out OK. I like to follow the guidelines but not enough to scuffle over it. Thanks again.
jahlie is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
jahlie... I tipped street sweepers, bought cats tins of tuna, gave horses and dogs water and bought a horse "dinner"! I so wish I was a multimillionaire so I could give more. I would so love to see the faces of grateful Egyptians when I offered them 1000 pounds for opening a door for me. I love Egypt and Egyptians.
MissGreen is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 12:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,601
MissGreen - Are you on Face Book? If so, search for ESMA (Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals) You might be interested to donate to them or help them somehow.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 01:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
CC.... I am an ACE lover. Oh, no pun intended. ACE in Luxor that is. I was so disappointed that their facility was closed in the afternoons so we couldn't make it. I love the stories on the ACE website.

I still have some Egyptian Pounds and was thinking of sending it back to my guide to pass on to them. He does some volunteer work and was an animal lover.

I will check out ESMA too.
MissGreen is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,601
Yes, I'm familiar with ACE. They have done some good work. More power to them.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
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