Subject: gifts for travellers
Hello Ziners: While researching a barge trip, I inquired of a veteran traveler to the region as to the appropriate tip for lock keepers. The response was quite interesting. Both he and his wife said emphatically that cash was taboo and even insulting. Yes, they'll take it, but it is not an endearing practice. Instead they suggested that something like baseball caps with American themes, t-shirts or even refrigerator magnets were welcome and did not carry the stigma of cash. We took a quantity of refrigerator magnets with New England and USA themes on the last trip and gave them out to lock keepers and others who provided service on the trip. As I said before, they were a big hit. As for waiters, my advisors said that service is usually included and if you are inclined to tip, then a small gratuity of 2 to 3% is sufficient. However, they were reluctant to tip at all over the included service. Tom