Do YOU know how much to tip abroad? The proper amount to pay waiters, bar staff and taxi drivers
- Americans are more than used to paying large amounts extra in gratuities
- But some countries don’t tip at all so when should you and for how much?
It’s finally time to go on the holiday you have been saving up all year for, carefully budgeting for each day of your trip.
But panic ensues when you realise there’s something you didn’t factor into your spending money pot.
It’s a hotly debated topic, with Americans more than used to paying large amounts extra in gratuities when they go out while some European countries don’t tip at all.
So where do you need to tip? And how much? A global guide from Forbes Advisor breaks down the tipping etiquette for some of Brits’ best loved holiday destinations.
Kevin Pratt, travel insurance expert at Forbes Advisor, said: ‘Holidays should be enjoyable and relaxing, so worrying about tipping etiquette is to be avoided if at all possible.
A global guide from Forbes Advisor breaks down the tipping etiquette for some of Brits’ best loved holiday destination
‘No one wants to feel awkward at the end of a meal, say, because they don’t know what is expected of them. That’s where our guide to tipping comes into its own.’
The US is known for its tipping culture, in particular how much extra you’re expected to pay on top of what you’ve ordered.
In restaurants, 20 per cent is the minimum gratuity you will give to servers – with many seeing that as stingy. This can be an unwelcome shock for tourists.
In bars, you’re expected to add on $1 for each drink. So if you buy five drinks costing $7 each – you would pay the bartender $40.
And for taxis, a 15 per cent tip is standard.
The US is known for its tipping culture, in particular how much extra you’re expected to pay on top of what you’ve ordered
In places such as Barcelona it’s customary to leave a 10 per cent tip for servers
Canada follows the US’s lead, with the same expected amounts.
However in Europe, tipping culture is markedly different.
First up is Spain – where tipping is expected in tourist areas and large cities.
In places such as Barcelona it’s customary to leave a 10 per cent tip for servers, bartenders and taxi drivers. So if your taxi cost 10 euros, you would be expected to hand over 11.
And this amount is commonplace, with Italy and Greece both expecting the same percentage gratuity on top of your bar, restaurant or taxi bill.
Tipping is very much the norm in the US, with the majority of employees in the service industry rely on gratuities to boost their paycheck. Tips of 20% are expected at restaurants, and visitors are expected to leave $1-2 per drink at a bar.
Italy and Greece will both be expecting the same percentage gratuity on top of your bar, restaurant or taxi bill
While it’s considered polite to leave a tip when you’ve received good service, it’s more of a gesture than a requirement. This is because a 15% service charge is automatically included in all cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Tipping isn’t mandatory, although it’s customary to leave a 10% tip for your server. Outside of restaurants, cafes and other eateries, drivers are typically tipped 10%, while tips for hotel staff range from €1 for luggage attendants to up to €20 for concierge services.
It is considered customary to tip in Greece so you should make sure to factor in tips when exchanging your money before you travel
Tipping in Greece is considered customary, if not expected, as a ‘thank you’ gesture to your server. As a general rule, leaving a tip of 10% is considered good practice.
Kevin Pratt from Forbes said: ‘There is a tip amount that is fairly common place, and that is paying 10 per cent on top of the cost of what you have ordered.
‘In some instances, a tip can be added to the bill and paid with a by card, but it’s worth remembering that cash is fluent in every language, so local currency is always an option and if you are unsure, leaving an extra 10% of your spending as a tip is an easy way to cover your bases.
‘But the golden rules of carrying cash on holiday are: avoid carrying large amounts of currency on your person, use your hotel safe to keep cash and other valuables secure, and always take out travel insurance in case your money is lost or stolen.’
Ban Mahsoub, Head of Money Services at Tesco Bank said: ‘Checking the tipping culture before your holiday can often be an overlooked detail. But not being aware of how much to tip can have consequences for travellers. Pick up a guidebook or have a look online at how much you should tip after activities such as eating out, getting coffee, or taking a taxi ride – as the percentages can differ depending on where you are.
‘Make sure to factor in tips when exchanging your money before you travel, as cash is often preferred for this. My suggestion would be to check the average cost of a meal at your destination and add the local tipping percentage to give you an estimate. You can then include this amount when working out how much money to exchange for your trip.
‘Tesco Bank Travel Money customers travelling to the USA or the Caribbean can prepare for the custom of tipping as soon as they arrive on their holiday by picking up one of our readymade tip packs when collecting their currency from a Tesco Bank travel money bureau. For more information ask your local Tesco Bank travel money bureau.’
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