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World Wide Tipping Tips
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World Wide Tipping Tips
by Lorry Patton
It doesn't really matter if tipping was initiated 'to insure promptness' as the words imply.
Today, tipping is
part of most cultures. But, just who, where and what should we tip? Well, there are definite
structures and there are
definite expectations. However, there are two important things to remember.
Where tipping is accepted and expected, unless it's a preset service charge on your bill, you are in
total control of who
and what you tip. In countries where it is not expected, or where very little is expected, don't try
to change the customs
by tipping or by over-tipping. You will offend the host and make it difficult for the locals to go
about their business in
their usual manner.
* One small personal tip. Most of the world has seen US currency, therefore, I usually
travel with a handful of
US dollar bills just for tipping. However, if you can deal in the country's own currency, you will
probably save money.
Here are my observations on tipping policies in the United States and Canada. There is a link at
the bottom of this
page that will take you to a list of tipping tips in other parts of the world. All countries are not
included and we will be
adding to the list, meanwhile, I'd be pleased to hear from you if I've made important omissions.
Please note that all
monies are in US dollars.
Restaurants & Bars:
In dining establishments in the United States and Canada, 15% is the standard tip to your food
server and 20% for
exceptional service. Maitre d's in finer rooms can be given anywhere from $2 to $5 for a special
table. Busboys do not
expect a tip. Coat checks are $1 per item.
Check your bill to see if the tip (or service charge ) has been added, however, even then, some
people are compelled
and expected to leave an extra 5 to 10%.
Recently, you'll see a jar for tips on the counter in cafeterias and coffee bistros where you serve
yourself. Leave some
change if you're so inclined. At buffets where a server brings you water and drinks, tip a dollar
or two. Tip bartenders
serving drinks at your table $2 to $3, depending on how many in your party.
Hotels, Resorts, Motels ...
From the moment you step out of your cab or out of your car at a fancy resort, there are people
waiting to serve you and
people expecting tips. First a doorman opens the door for you, then a bellman helps you with
your luggage and directs
you to the lobby and then a parking attendant parks your car. By the way, free valet parking
doesn't mean you don't tip
the parking attendant who parks your car.
If you arrive with a car, unless you park it yourself in the parking lot, tip the parking attendant $2
to park it. And
remember, every time you need your car, you need to tip the parking attendant $2 to get it and
another $2 to put it away.
When you pick up your car at the end of your trip, tip the attendant 15 to $20% of the parking
bill, which can be
anywhere from $2 to $10 a day. If the resort offers shuttle, tip the driver $1 per passenger.
You don't have to give the doorman anything just for opening the door or greeting you. Tip him
$1 if you need him to
hail a cab or if he is exceptionally helpful.
The bellman will take your luggage to your room once you've checked-in. Tip him anywhere
from $5 to $10
depending on the amount of luggage ( $1 to $2 per bag depending on the quality of the hotel) and
how friendly and
helpful he is - does he take a few minutes to explain how the radio works, where the ice is
located, about the hotels
If you need help with show tickets or sightseeing advice, see the concierge. Give him or her $5
to $10 depending on his
or her expertise and the quality of the hotel.
Leave the maid $1 per day or more if you need extra towels and shampoos ... Don't forget the
turndown service maid is
often a different person.
If you use it, room service usually adds 15% service charge to the bill, check to see before
tipping. Tip $1 to $2 for
delivery of letters or envelopes to your room. For extras like an iron or more blankets in your
room, tip the housekeeper
$1 to $2. Tip pool side attendants $1 for bringing you dry towels, the same to pool bartenders.
Fancy resorts usually have their own beauty salons and barbershops. Men tip $1 to $2 for a
regular haircut. Women
generally tip 15% of their bill, more for an exceptional job. If a different person washes your
hair, add $2 to $3.
Help at airports can really save time. Porters deserve at least $1 per bag, minimum $3 for the
job. Tip the driver $1 to
$3 if you use the electric transfer car. Tip limo drivers 15% of the total bill. Don't tip airline
attendants for bringing
you a drink or your meal up in the air.
Tip taxi drivers 15% of the fare and an extra $.50 for each bag. Note: In many countries, get the
fare settled before
getting into the cab.
Many passengers offer a reward at the start of the cruise to insure exceptional service - like extra
towels and a bucket of
fresh ice in your cabin at all times - however, normally, the tips are gathered on your final night.
The people you'll be
paying are your cabin attendant, the maitre d', the dining room waiter, his or her assistant and the
Bartenders on the ship get tipped at the time they serve your drink. Just add 15% percent to the
bill when you charge
it to your room. I won't offer any tips here on how much to pay the rest of the crew, other than to
say it will probably
cost you about $20 to $30 per day per couple after the dust settles. There are suggestions in your
cruise preparation kit
and envelopes for you to put your money in just before you depart.
Tour guides usually get $5 per day per person, depending on the length of the trip, or 10% of the
tour package. Bus
drivers of the tour, if not the same person, get $2 per day per person.
For an exceptional day, crew expects $15 to $20 for the day.
If it's a guided tour, pay the leader 10% over package price and the rest of the crew as if on a
cruise ship. Suggestions
are offered in your preparation kit. If it's an unguided trip, tip the dining room waiters 15% of
your dining bill. If it's
an overnight excursion and there's turndown service, tip the room steward $2 per day.
There are several hands out in casinos. Tip the blackjack and poker dealers a chip or two when
you get a winning hand.
Tip keno runners $ .50 to $1. Tip change clerks $.50, bathroom attendants $.50 and bartenders
$.50 to $1 for each
Paying the maitre d' an extra $50 for good seats in a headliner show in a casino was quite
common a few years ago,
however, it has become more difficult to do that.
Footnote: As tippers continue to travel the world, countries where the practice wasn't customary
are slowly becoming
accustomed to tipping. However, not all. In Japan for example, it is still disgusting to exchange
Click Here for brief guidelines on tipping around the