When we are on holidays somewhere we often wonder if we should leave a tip and if so how much should we leave?
Tipping practices vary depending on the country so sometimes we can overtip or do exactly the opposite.
It is a good idea to have a look at the tipping customs of the country you or a client is going to visit.
Tipping started in the 1920's, when it was fashionable to pay a little extra "to insure prompt service." This is where the term "tip" originated. Some people use the more correct term of gratuity to describe the same thing. Knowing the local tipping customs is almost a need when you travel abroad if you want to avoid unpleasant experiences. Tipping, also called royalties, is money that in most countries will be paid if you want to show your respect for the service you get for example from the waiter in the restaurant, the taxi driver, the luggage carrier and some others. Tips vary by country and culture. In the United States , most restaurant employees expect to be tipped, and place a good deal of faith in the customer to be generous with their compensation.
Tipping in the US is a normal practice and is becoming more and more pervasive. Waiters in restaurants earn less money and they expect to get tips from customers. There are restaurants where the tip will already be included in the bill. In general the tip varies between 10% and 20%.
When you take a taxi in the US ,it is a custom to tip the taxi driver on average 10% of the taxi fare. Taxi drivers are normally helpful to load and unload your bags. Also in the airport you usually tip the skycaps that will help you with your bags in the airport. Some other reasons for tipping are wheelchair assistance, the bell boy in the hotel, the doorman who brings your luggage to your room. For most of them you usually tip $1.00 or $2.00.
In other cultures, it may offend the person to receive a tip, so you should read about the local culture before travelling to learn the social mores of the land you are visiting. So tipping might seem to be etiquette of polite behaviour but this is not true in all the countries of the world. Countries like Japan for example consider tipping as demeaning. Tipping in Japan is viewed as an insult and the waiter will think that the service or food was not good. Even if you left some money on the table, the waiter will chase you and return the money because he thinks that you forgot some money on the table.
Tipping in Asia can be very complicated. It is necessary to know the tipping guidelines of every country. The tipping customs of Japan are different from the other Asian countries . In Thailand there are no specific rules for tipping. Only in hotels which are often visited by tourists tipping is more common but in general we can say that the Thai people don't expect one.
In Singapore tipping is not encouraged but we see more and more that the practice of tipping is growing in many places of the country. Tips in Europe are not so automatic like in the US but in most countries tips are really appreciated. It varies from country to country but when you are in a restaurant , it is best to check the menu if service is included or not. For these where the service is not included you can consider a tip between 5% and 10% as normal. When you are in a restaurant, normally you only tip if the service is good. It is perfectly acceptable not to tip at all if the service isn´t good. A sign of politeness is to round up the bill to the nearest euro. Tipping is also expected for taxi drivers. Normally a tip of 10% can be considered as normal. You may consider tipping some extra if you have some heavy luggage with you.
In some countries in Europe restrooms are not free. You will find a small plate at the entrance to tip the person who cleans this room and it is a custom to tip between 30 and 40 cents if no price is indicated. It is best to do a little bit research because the customs of tipping vary between the different countries in Europe.
When you want to travel to Australia , you don't need to worry about the tipping customs. Tipping is not expected but in restaurants certainly appreciated. People leave tips for the good service and 10% can be considered as a normal tip when the service is good. Don't give a tip when the service is bad. Tipping is more rarely than in most other countries of the world although more expensive restaurants expect mostly a higher tip.
Tipping in hotels or some services like hairdressing is unusual in Australia. Taxi drivers don't expect a tip but it is usual to round up to the nearest dollar.
In Africa tipping is not encouraged but waiters in tourist restaurants and hotels will mostly expect to be tipped. For a safari tipping is recommended if the service shows your appreciation. Feel free to give a tip in Africa if the service is ok!
Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/779167/tips_for_tipping_abroad_.html http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/16/tipping-guide-travel-forbeslife-cx_sv_1017travel.html The best advice that can be given is to consult a travel guidebook when you are planning to travel abroad. You may find a section on local tipping practices . Be prepared for avoiding unexpected surprises!