Originally Posted by Sportsman
I save my money on meals - almost always brown bag it. Best place to help stretch the budget at the slopes and at home.
I do take lessons as often as I can and tip $20 (group lessons). Difference in begin frugal and being cheap both on paying for lessons to improve and tipping afterwards.
I just did this yesterday. I brown bagged a snack/lunch which cost very little (I would normally have a meal at the local greasy spoon). I had a group lesson which turned into a private because I was the only person that showed. I gave the instructor $20 when we were done. I saved money with the brown bag and spent those savings on the tip. I'll continue to do that, as long as the instruction is good, which has always been the case.
The saving on meals part helps out a great deal, especially with a family of 5. When we hit a resort, we rarely eat out for dinner. We have our dinners prepared and frozen beforehand. We will generally eat out once (maybe the first night we get there.) It makes us feel a little bit better when we end up spending a ton on lodging and lift tickets, etc. Now that I know I'll be laying down 1 bill on tips, maybe we'll start brown bagging our lunches as well.
The PSIA probably doesn't want to touch this issue, but a group or organization should start some sort of tip awareness program. Sounds silly, but how else are you going to wake everybody up about it? I too was under the assumption that instructors were getting paid more than they are.
I still think it would be nice to create some added benefit to giving tips. Maybe a system where you could buy tip credits through the PSIA or the resort and have the ability to pass those on to individual instructors would work. The credits could be cashed in or used by the instructors for continuing education. You could reward the purchaser of the credits with a book, or a ski pass, something.... when they reach a certain amount.