Tipping on holiday – what do you think?

It’s something we don’t often include in our budget when planning a holiday, but perhaps we should – as a Moneycorp investigation reveals that tipping can add another £100 to the cost of a holiday (based on a 10-day break for a family of four).

The US, Canada, France and Italy have come out top as the most expensive destinations for tipping, where tips are expected on meals, organised excursions and even a round of drinks.

What are your thoughts on tipping abroad? When you’re not used to tipping (at all or as much) at home, should you be expected to tip in another country? Have you ever been stung by high tipping expectations?

Lottie Gross 27/08/13    Budget travel Link Report

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9 Replies Date Popularity

I really hate tipping. More than that, I hate the places that will kindly add your tip to the bill. And even more than that, I hate people who blindly just tip without having a clue whether it’s the custom or not.

One should know the custom when you travel. If you’re in a place where it’s common, like America which legally underpays waiters/waitresses bc the rest of their income is supposed to be tips, it would be better to follow the custom. If you’re in a place like India or Switzerland where tipping is not commonplace, best to not teach a new trick or even possibly embarrass a waitperson.

PirateAt50 27/08/13    Link Report

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  • @PirateAt50 – I totally agree with you about following the custom – there’s nothing worse than coming across rude or insensitive because you’ve got no idea what’s the norm.

    This is where I get confused though: in the US, would you still tip even if the service you received was terrible? Just because it’s customary, does this mean we should tip for bad service?

    I always thought tipping was supposed to be an ‘optional extra’ as a way to show gratitude for the service you’ve been given, not something that we should feel obliged to do because restaurants grossly underpay their staff…

    Lottie Gross 27/08/13    Link Report

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  • “would you still tip even if the service you received was terrible?”

    Ah, there’s the rub. In some parts of the States, it’s a “custom” to drop a penny in the chicken gravy for horrible service. Best applied if you’re not planning to re-visit ;)

    PirateAt50 27/08/13    Link Report

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    Hahaha, I’ll bear that in mind :)

    Lottie Gross 27/08/13    Link Report

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  • Like Pirate I hate it as a custom. Unless it is a cultural thing such as baksheesh in Egypt for example, then I dont do it. The price should reflect what you have to pay, why should we play a guessing game on an ‘approximate’ price? Like you say Lottie, it should be an appreciation of exceptional service, not EXPECTED as part of the price. That is the bit I hate.

    Michael Huxley 27/08/13    Link Report

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    I wonder if it’s just because we’re British that we think this Michael – or do we think Europeans on the continent would agree too? It would be interesting to know how travellers from Italy or France deal with tipping here in the UK…

    Lottie Gross 27/08/13    Link Report

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  • I love it where you don’t have to think about tipping. I read up on local customs such as Croatia but seems info packages from American firms insist on mentioning tipping. I understand rounding up in Berlin is common. However some Aussies told me when in Bali, they don’t expect tips but later felt I think they did. Maybe TIPS has become TIBS to ensure bad service. We tip because we have too .
    My friend in Seattle says 20% is common there unlike 15 here not sure that is right .

    Ian Phillips 27/08/13    Link Report

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  • “I understand rounding up in Berlin is common.”

    Common for the locals in Switzerland as well. It’s just normal if the bill is 8 francs 90 rapa to tell him 9 when you pay.

    “My friend in Seattle says 20% is common there”

    Hmmmm. Since I didn’t explain the American system…

    There is a Federal minimum wage, and each state has a minimum wage, the higher being what normal employees are paid.

    Ah, fortunately I didn’t type much farther and instead checked the current information… The above is right, this page – http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm#California – gives the info for all 50 states.

    Interestingly enough, it seems the rules have changed somewhat. I’m more interested in California, and there is no longer a reduced minimum wage for tipped employees.

    One school of thought could say that tipping would/should no longer be required, but the Reality School says that you can’t live on 8 bucks an hour in California.

    PirateAt50 28/08/13    Link Report

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    But then being British (and unused to tipping) I’m of the school of thought that says it is the employers responsibility to pay employees decent wages in the first place, not mine. The price I pay for say a cup of coffee should be the price that is quoted, not the price that is quoted then a wage top up for the waiter/ess. As I said earlier, if the tipping is a cultural thing, such as baksheesh, then that is wholly different and I will budget for that, but I do begrudge paying extra because firms want to keep their wage bill down.

    Michael Huxley 29/08/13    Link Report

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  • I think it depends on the service you receive. If the service is friendly and the food is good then I would tip, but no more than %10 unless it’s exceptionally good. If I only have a cup of coffee then I probably would not bother.
    @Lottie UK is so expensive that tipping after every meal might be tough on one’s wallet:) but I think people from the countries where tipping is the norm, feel like they have to tip.
    Then there countries like Japan where tipping is almost insulting, at least this is what I was told!

    bamboo 05/09/13    Link Report

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    Sounds like we should all go to Japan then @PirateAt50 :D

    Lottie Gross 06/09/13    Link Report

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  • Well, sure it depends, on customs, on the service received, on the quality, and the flexibility of my wallet.
    I commonly tip at %10, in some cases it is even higher. Some times, i tip just for the service person despite an unexpectedly bad meal.

    gezifesto 10/09/13    Link Report

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  • Did you know that more money is tipped in the United States than the entire budget for NASA? Learned this from the recent the Freakonomics podcast titled, “Should tipping be banned?” (http://freakonomics.com/2013/06/03/should-tipping-be-banned-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/) Super interesting look at the practice.

    Tipping is often fraught with discomfort when traveling. How much is too much–or not enough? Or for which services is it expected? I hope that Community members will post the customs from their respective countries here to help us out!

    Rebecca Behan 10/09/13    Link Report

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    That’s a crazy fact! Will have a listen to the podcast this weekend :) Thanks Rebecca!

    Lottie Gross 11/09/13    Link Report

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    Do check it out if you have a chance. Would be interested to know your thoughts after listening.

    Rebecca Behan 11/09/13    Link Report

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    Hey Rebecca – I listened to the Freakonomics podcast. Really interesting stuff – I’m almost ready to join to ‘ban tipping’ movement! I can’t believe there’s been so much research into it, but it is all fascinating. Especially the divides between men and women.

    Lottie Gross 27/09/13    Link Report

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