Travelling across the globe is a great way to discover exotic regions and broaden your cultural horizons. However, whilst exploring the far corners of the globe it is important to respect the local customs!
For instance, the acceptable practices for tipping hospitality staff can vary greatly depending upon the country to which you are travelling. As the Secret Traveller highlights, whereas countries such as the United States of America often tip staff between 15% and 20% for their services, in countries such as Japan the mere act of tipping can be regarded as offensive! Therefore, if you are about to travel abroad and wish to avoid committing any cultural faux-pas, then here are some helpful hints on tipping etiquette for several tourist hotspots;
United States of America: From waiters in restaurants and taxi drivers to bellhops and housekeeping within hotels, across the United States of America you should tip staff for their services. Whereas you should tip your server between 15% and 20% depending upon the quality of your service, housekeepers should be tipped between $2 and $5 per day whilst bellhops and concierge should be tipped between $2 and $10 for each additional service that they provide; from carrying your bags to your room to providing room service and securing difficult tickets or reservations.
Africa: From Algeria to Zimbabwe, unless a service charge is included within your bill, it is generally expected for tourists travelling to Africa to leave between 10% and 15% of the total bill as a tip in restaurants, bars and other hospitality establishments.
Europe: Tipping etiquette across Europe can vary depending upon the particular country you visit, but as a rule it is acceptable to tip between 10% and 15%. For instance, in Spanish restaurants it is common for customers to tip between 7% and 15% of the total bill depending upon the quality of the service provided. Alternatively, in France, your restaurant bill will mostly likely have a ‘service compris’ added which indicates that a service charge has been included within your bill to serve as a tip. However, if you were particularly pleased with your meal or if there is no ‘service compris’ added to your bill then it is acceptable to leave a 10% to 20% tip.
Although many other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and China do not have the same tipping culture as other countries, if in doubt it is recommended that you provide a modest gratuity as a show of appreciation for services rendered. As Saskia Welman of Holiday Lettings advises;
“If you haven’t managed to research acceptable tipping advice for your destination, keep an eye out on what other tourists around you are tipping”.
Ultimately, by utilising travel guides and additional online resources to research the tipping etiquette of the countries to which you will be travelling before departing, you can avoid inadvertently causing offense due to tipping etiquette whilst abroad!