What to tip in holiday hotspots isn't something that we tend to consider before we go away.
It's a question that usually comes to the forefront after the porter has delivered your luggage to your room or after the taxi driver has dropped you off. And then you suddenly wonder what to do.
Well, wonder no more. Have a read of these tipping etiquette tips in top holiday hotspots so that you're in the know and on top of your game.
Spain and Portugal
Although the Spanish are not huge tippers themselves, there's no denying that tipping is widespread in Spain. However, it's certainly not expected.
On my various trips to Spain, I've discovered that a good rule of thumb is to leave around 1 euro per diner if you're out for lunch (so that's 4 euros for a family of 4). And for dinner (although it's not expected that tourists tip for dinner), if the service has been particularly good, aim to leave 5-10% of the bill.
For things like room service, small change (e.g 1 euro) is fine for tipping. And for taxis, you can round up the tip to the nearest euro. The exception is when you are ordering drinks at bars where no tips are expected), small change (e.g 1 euro) is fine for tipping. It makes sense to try and get hold of at least 10 euro coins for tipping throughout your holiday
Impress the locals: Say ‘Muchas gracias por la ayuda' which basically means ‘thanks for your help' (to say when handing over a tip)
Tipping in most countries throughout Africa is the norm, so it's a good idea to keep small change with you for regular tipping.
As an example, in North African countries such as Egypt, tipping is very important (many workers rely on it for their income), so ensure you carry some small change with you at all times.
Generally tipping around 10% is the norm in restaurants in Egypt, but check the bill first as you are very likely to see that a service charge has already been included.
Having said that, the charge goes to the restaurant rather than the waiter, so if you were impressed by their service, it's nice to thank them via a tip (which many rely on for their income). At the moment, 1 Egyptian pound is around 4p.
Impress the locals: You might hear the word ‘Backsheesh' in Egypt, which basically means ‘tip', so if you get in there and say it first, they're sure to be impressed!
In other northern destinations such as Morocco and Tunisia, tipping isn't compulsory, but the locals are grateful when it's offered.
In Morocco, again check the bill to make sure the service charge hasn't been included (especially in larger restaurants), otherwise the standard tip is 10-15%. You can also save a few dirhams to tip hotel porters, taxi drivers etc. At the time of writing, 1 dirham is around 8p.
And in Tunisia, a couple of dinar (1 dinar is around 50p) can go to porters, bar staff etc…while the 10% rule can still be applied to restaurants.
Again, tipping isn't compulsory in South Africa, but it's nice to do so for good service and between 10-20% is the standard.
If you're on a safari, a good rule of thumb for a tip for the ranger or guide is around 100-150 rand per day (around £5.40-£8.14) and for lodge staff around 50 rand per day (around £2.70).
Drivers can also be tipped – 25 rand is a fair amount (£1.35), while you can tip porters 10 rand (55p).
In restaurants, check that service isn't included and if it isn't, then tip around 10% of the total bill if you're happy with the service.
Bring half Turkish, I feel like Turkey is my second home, despite the fact that I haven't visited for a few years.
Nevertheless, the Turkish hospitality is second to none. You will always be welcomed by the Turks and, if you're taking the kids with you, they are always made a huge fuss of.
Tipping isn't mandatory in Turkey, but it's nice to do when you get friendly (and good) service – which is pretty much all the time.
If you're tipping a taxi driver, it's best if you round up the fare, while for cafes, bars and restaurants, expect to tip between 5-10% of the bill.
Hotel staff (depending on their duties) should be tipped at least 5 Turkish lira (around 70p) to 20 lira (about £2.80).
Impress the locals: The Turks are naturally polite and will say ‘please' and ‘thank you' a lot, so learn these phrases to impress: Thank you is ‘tesekkür ederim' and please is ‘lütfen'.
Tipping is a nice gesture rather than the norm across France, but in the larger cities a service charge of around 15% is usually included anyway (service compris), and if it's not, aim for between 10-15% of the total bill.
If you enjoyed the meal, make sure your words of appreciation are passed back to the chef – it's always gratefully received and means a lot to the French.
In a more relaxed setting such as a cafe, there is sometimes a tip jar on the counter, but if not you can round up the bill to the nearest euro and leave this as the tip, and it's the same for taxi drivers, but if it's a longer journey, be prepared to be a bit more generous.
Impress the locals: Say ‘Passez une bonne journée' (it means ‘Have a nice day')
Ah Germany! The place the Wright clan were in summer 2018…Freiburg in fact. It's a beautiful destination and the people are friendly (and share a similar sense of humour to Brits in fact!)
It's common to round up restaurant bills to tip. For example, if lunch came to 8 euros, you can round it up to 10 euros. And if dinner for the family comes to 36 euros, you can round it up to 40.
It's customary (as an appreciation) to let the waiter know how much you're tipping, rather than leaving coins on the table like we do in the UK.
Impress the locals: With a compliment – ‘Vielen Dank. Das war köstlich!' (Many thanks, that was delicious)
Although tipping in Japan does exist, it's not usually applicable to tourists (and it's VERY complicated), so read this as red not to tip in Japan. In fact, in some cases it can offend if you do so. Best to err on the side of caution: pay the bill and no more.
If you find it difficult not to show your appreciation with words of thanks (on how nice or delicious something was), you could buy a small gift as a token of appreciation.
If you absolutely must tip the porter for example, money needs to go in a sealed envelope and it's probably safer that this then goes to concierge to hand over to the porter (make sure you get their name), but it's certainly never expected.
Impress the locals: Be polite and be respectful – the most important attributes you should have when visiting Japan and meeting people. ‘Thank you very much' is ‘Doumo arigatou gozaimasu'
As a Brit in the USA, what I find most confusing when I spend money is that sales tax (around 7.25%) isn't included in most states.
So many times I've made the mistake of checking out the price tag of an item of clothing, only to forget about the additional expenditure – it's frustrating as I just want to know the total price rather than try to calculate what it will be.
And that's beside the point of course – whatever service you're paying for in the USA, expect to tip on top of that. Years ago, I once made the mistake of rounding my tip up to the nearest dollar to the taxi driver who took me to Walmart, only to get a huge ticking off for not tipping well. I should have done my research before I went!
You'll be expected to tip everyone – from the porter who insists on carrying your bags, to the bar staff serving you a drink. But it's understandable to see why – the wages aren't great and many rely on tips to get a decent wage. As such, service workers will usually go out of their way to be friendly and offer speedy service – to ensure a great tip!
Around 20% is a good rule of thumb for restaurants, but check the bill in tourist destinations and large cities to see if a charge hasn't already been added.
It's important that when you're calculating your budget for your holiday that you take all the added tips into account.
Impress the locals: Most Americans love the British accent, so perfect your best impersonation of Hugh Grant and they'll be hanging on to your every word. Failing that, chat about the British royal family – again, most are fans.
- Has this post inspired a getaway? Compare prices on last-minute holidays. And don't forget Groupon getaways can offer some excellent value for money deals!
Do you have any tipping stories? Maybe you've tipped someone who didn't expect it – or made a boo-boo like me and got a telling off by not tipping enough? I'd love to hear them!
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