When travelling, trying to figure out who to tip, how much to tip, and when to tip can be pretty confusing. You come face to face with employees at restaurants, airports, hotels, train stations, tours and more – but do you have to tip everybody? The truth is that the rules about tipping can vary from place to place, so it really does depend entirely on where you’re travelling. For example, in certain countries such as Japan it’s considered rude to offer a tip, whereas around USA and Europe it’s pretty standard practice. Because of this, it’s a good idea to do some research on tipping practice in your chosen destination before you set off. Assuming you’re in a country where tipping isn’t considered impolite, here’s who and how much you can expect to offer a tip to.
If you’re staying in a hotel for the duration of your trip (click here for some great UK hotels) you should tip the porter who brings your luggage to the room for his services, first and foremost (especially if you have a lot of luggage!) Your housekeeper will also be hugely grateful for a tip, even if it’s just £2-3 per day. In many European hotels, you will probably find a tip jar at the front desk, and it’s polite to put something in it for the front desk staff, too.
Of all the places that you will definitely be expected to leave a tip, restaurants are it. If you’ve received good service, it’s standard practice to tip your waiter – even if the service wasn’t absolutely exceptional. You may also be able to leave a tip for the chef if you really enjoyed your food. On the other hand, if you visit a restaurant where you get terrible service, such as a waiter who’s rude and food that’s undercooked, don’t waste your money on a tip. Typically, 10% of the total bill in Europe and 15% to 20% of the total bill in the USA are the acceptable tip to offer.
If you’re planning to take a tour around a city or other destination, don’t forget to give your tour guide a tip. The amount that you offer to your tour guide as a tip can vary, depending on the length of the tour – for example if you’re taking a full day tour, you should probably tip a little more than you would if it only lasted half an hour. You should also take into account how much you enjoyed the experience when you’re deciding how much to tip your tour guide.
In certain destinations, you may find that a service charge is added to your bill when you visit places such as hotels or restaurants. If this is the case, you won’t be expected to tip any more than this amount, unless of course you’ve had an absolutely exceptional experience and want to!
Tipping can be pretty confusing, especially in a strange area! Doing your research before you leave can help you make sure that you tip the right people for the right things.
How do you tip on your travels and how much? Please share in the comment below!
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