Recently, my husband picked up some extra work as a photo tour guide. It’s a fantastic idea, snapping away at Kauai’s picturesque scenery, and getting “money shots” to take home for visitors on Hawaii Vacations. He enjoys people, sharing cultural information, and helping people learn how to use their cameras—if they need it.

Justin guides folks on a kayak down the Wailua River to Secret Falls on Kauai.

He will guide people for five hours on hiking tours, taking them to seven little known waterfalls or hard to reach beaches. For those who prefer riding in the air conditioned van, the walking tours provide 12 scenic stops. Usually, he comes home full of energy and fun stories of memories he helped make. Sometimes, he recounts the sights; a large pod of dolphins in the bay, 30 turtles floating in the surf or a solitary monk seal sleeping in the sand.

It’s hard work coordinating the stops according to weather, light, time and costumer preference, while sharing information and making sure everyone has a good time. Most guides, including my husband, depend on tipping in Hawaii to earn a decent wage. The other day he came home feeling dejected because someone tipped him $2.00.

Captain Chris and his crew make sure everyone is safe and having fun on their Hawaii vacation.

I felt bad because I know how hard he works, but I reminded him that we have done this ourselves. It’s easy to do. You’re in Hawaii, it’s expensive here. You’ve spent a lot of money to get here, plus lodgings, a car rental, and food. You’ve spent hard earned money to go on a guided tour of the Na Pali coast, to zip-line over the rainforest canopy and maybe, some surf lessons. Sometimes, in the excitement of it all, you forget the extra cash for a tip, or maybe, you feel like you’ve already paid enough.

Tourism is Hawaii’s main economic industry. Tour companies, hotels, restaurants and adventure tours work hard to make sure each visit is filled with aloha. Companies who really care, monitor Trip Advisor daily to ensure they are providing exceptional customer service.

If you have enjoyed your stay, return the aloha. Write a nice comment and share your experience. Guides get a small amount of the overall price, if you appreciate their work, they will appreciate a tip. If something goes awry, let the business owner know. They are always happy to make things right, if not, there’s always Trip Advisor!

These tough ladies insure your zip-line tour of Kipu Ranch is fun and safe..


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