Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guide To Tipping Practices Around The World

By Adriana Noton

If you are an avid world traveler or are planning to take a trip to another country, one part of the trip that can be confusing is how much should be given as a 'tip.' It can be confusing figuring out how much of a tip to give for good service and you also want to make sure that you don't end up leaving a big tip for bad service, especially when considering the foreign exchange. To help you figure out the best tipping practices, the following is a guide to tipping around the world.

Canada: When visiting Canada, it is suitable to leave a tip of 15 - 20 percent at a restaurant, 10 - 20 percent at a bar, and 10 - 20 per cent for taxi drivers. At establishments such as coffee shops, there is normally a tip jar by the cash register where customers can drop a few coins in the jar. For hotels, it is appropriate to tip maids at $1 - $2 per day, the concierge a small amount at check out, and room service at about 15%.

United States: When visiting the US, it is appropriate to leave 20% at restaurants, 20% at bars, pocket change at a cashier tip jar, and at a take out restaurant, between $2 and $5. For taxi drivers, it is standard to leave $2 for a $5- fare and $3 for a $10- fare. Any higher taxi fare, the tip is about 20%. For hotels, tipping is as follows: maids: $5 to $10/night, room service: about $20%, and concierge: $10 for making any arrangements such as reservations, and $5 for providing information.

Mexico: For restaurants in Mexico, sometimes the bill includes the tip. If it does not include the tip, 10% - 15% is appropriate. At a bar, 10% of the total or $1 to $2 per round of drinks is suitable. For hotels, tips include: bellmen $1-$2 per bag, concierge $5 - $10 for making arrangements, maid $3 - $5 per day, valet $1 - $2, and a taxi driver is about a few dollars.

Caribbean: For all inclusive resorts and hotels, the price will include the tip. For restaurants, it is about 10%, and bars about 15% of the total bill or $1 per drink. For taxi drivers, tipping is about $1 - $2 and more for holidays, Sundays, and late night fares. For hotels, maids are about $2 per day, valets are a few dollars, and bellmen are about $1-$2 per bag.

Europe: Many European countries do not expect tips. In France, a service charge is included, however, for really good service, it is suitable to add a 10 -15% tip. As well, it is fine to leave change at a caf. In the UK and Ireland, a service charge will be included at hotels and restaurants, however, for really great service, you can add 10%. In the UK and Ireland, people do not tip in pubs. Tipping is not expected in Germany, Portugal, Italy, and Spain; however, 10% can be added for great service. For taxi drivers, it is appropriate to tip about 10%. For European hotels, it is suitable to tip two Euros for maids and porters.

Every country has its own criteria regarding tipping. It is always helpful and prevents misunderstandings when you know what to tip so that you can have a relaxing and fun vacation. Remember, the people waiting on you work hard, and the tip you provide will likely help their family.

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