Freeze Frame: Tipping at the start

Freeze Frame: Tip at the start of your trip. Why wait until the end?

By Evan Sherman

So there I was in the airport, salty and infused with residual nitrogen. I sat there recalling the last two weeks of being abroad—the resort, the photo subjects, gear issues, weather and water conditions, the dive guides, a host of other things anticipated and not. I did what I always do prior boarding a plane; I went and purchased a bottle of water to hydrate before the long flight home. As I pulled out my now slim wallet and surveyed my last bit of foreign currency, I thought about all the tips I had just given to the crew.

Could I have avoided those odd trip challenges if I had tipped a little upfront? Why did I wait until the very end of the trip to tip my dive crew?

Tipping aka gratuities aka the bundle of money hidden in your stateroom, villa or room, stashed away in the hotel-appointed safe or deep within your luggage is often a predetermined amount, and given regardless of service. Yes, you may give more if you had the time of your life but when was the last time you didn’t tip even if you felt it wasn’t deserved?

Tip something upfront and you’ll get more out of your travel experience. More what? More everything!

Maybe you have a bad back. Maybe you own a high-end DSLR and want to ensure it is handled with extreme care. Maybe you are just a high maintenance diva (it’s okay if you are). Whatever the reason, tipping a little at the beginning of the trip can be very beneficial to you and your gear during your trip.

It’s not just about the safety of your gear. It’s about getting some extra “love” from any of the people who provide a service at the resort or dive operation. For example, nothing bothers me more than a tank that isn’t filled to 3000 psi (200 bar for my metric friends.) I look at it like this: starting with 2700 psi means I lose potentially 10% of my dive time. Not cool. Solution: seek out the person filling tanks and give him $10. You will love the surprised and pleased look on his face and you (and probably your entire group) won’t get a weak fill again.

The crew sees hundreds of divers per year. Make yourself stand out. It doesn’t take much and can dramatically improve many different facets of your next dive expedition.

About the author:

Evan Sherman is the owner of Seasick Productions, a full-service multimedia company that specializes in underwater imaging. Based out of Orange County, California, Seasick Productions provides on location and studio production services around the world. From Evan’s first dive with a camera, he fell in love with underwater videography. His second dive with a camera, he flooded it. He was 19 and had already learned a critical lesson about life as a professional underwater cameraman: passion fuels the artist, tools allow the artist to be. Evan later received his B.A. in Film and Electronic Media from California State University Long Beach. Evan’s professional underwater credits include television networks, Fortune 500 companies and numerous entities within the dive industry.

Evan’s recent film, Bali Close Up, earned top honors at the World ShootOut Underwater Photo Grand Prix in Germany, Video of the Year at the ADEX Voice of the Ocean Competition in Singapore, the Best of Show and Stan Waterman Legacy Award at the Turquoise Bay International Underwater Film Festival in Roatan, and Silver at the Our World Underwater Video Competition. He is a contributor for DivePhotoGuide, Wetpixel and is a SEA&SEA Alpha, ambassador for their products. Throughout the year Evan conducts dive expeditions and imaging workshops.