Tips on Tipping: When to Save and When to Spend

With unemployment on the rise, workers around the world are relying more and more on tips. Traveling can be as tough as it is rewarding, so I’m sure many of us have been in that awkward situation where we weren’t sure if tipping was expected or insulting.

Growing up in the United States, I learned from a young age that tipping our waiter at dinner was part of the norm. It wasn’t until I lived in London that I started to notice grumpy faces when I would tip bartenders or waitstaff. Feeling that I was more than generous and wondering why the hell I was getting a stare down, I decided to ask some of my local British friends about the rules of tipping.

What I probably should have known before even crossing the pond was that in many European countries tipping can actually be insulting because waitstaff usually view their jobs as careers rather than an extra source of income. They are already paid more money, and therefore don’t need a large tip, which might explain why the service isn’t always so prompt. Tips are a motivating factor for many American workers, making performance and attentiveness necessary.

So let’s break it down:

Europe: As we’ve covered tips are usually not necessary because service is usually included in the bill. If it’s not, feel free to tip up to 10% but don’t go overboard like you might in the U.S. It’s always a good idea to look at the check before paying. Many people assume service is not included and end up tipping on top of the extra charge.

Asia and the Pacific: In these countries, people rarely tip. If you aren’t quite sure, glance around and try to notice what the locals are doing. Just because you are blatantly a tourist doesn’t mean you need to tip. It’s better to blend into the culture and feel part of the community. Plus not tipping will help you save money which means more travel time.

Middle East/Africa: Tipping in these countries is a bit harder to predict. If you do tip, at least know that you will not be offending them but it’s a good idea to notice what the locals are doing. From personal experience, I know that in Egypt tipping is expected, as this is the main source of income for many workers. Tip on everything: food, tours, hotel and be generous because when you think about it, the foreign currency is weak so you won’t really be spending too much money.

Central/South America: Follow the same rules as you would in Europe. A service charge is usually included but if it’s not, tip at least 10%. Even in Miami, which has a lot of Central and South American cultural elements, the tip is usually included in the bill. Again, make sure you look at the check before dishing out unnecessary cash.

Photo via acme‘s flickr stream

Follow us on Facebook and Tweet us: @BohemianTrails

Hi! I’m Megan,

a Scorpio sun and Libra moon who left her job in the music industry to travel and write full-time. Since then, i´ve explored more than 60 countries in the hopes that you will, too.

The world is made of magic and so are you!

RECENT POSTS

top reasons to visit Kerala in 2020

Here’s Why I Want to Visit Kerala (and you should, too)!

Every so often, I write about a destination I haven’t been to. As much as I love recounting trips and sharing my experiences here on Bohemian Trails, I also love to dream; dream about people and places I’ve never crossed paths with. That’s the traveler in me, the explorer that believes in the magic of

Read More »

My Favorite Caribbean Islands to Escape to This Winter

Winter is in full swing, which means that there’s still time to plan that weekend getaway. An east-coaster from birth and having lived in New York for seven years, the Caribbean remains my go-to winter destination. In many cases, you’ll find direct flights (or nearly direct) and within a few hours, you are on a

Read More »

Reflections on the Lake: Join us in Guatemala this New Years!

Pack your bags, notepads and Yoga mats. We’re going to Guatemala! I am thrilled to announce that I’ll be co-leading another writing + wellness + wanderlust retreat over New Years! Mark your calendars for December 29-January 3. My co-leader, Heather Suzanne, is not only one of my favorite Yoga teachers I’ve had the pleasure of

Read More »

Want to Work Remote? These 5 Degrees Will Help

Back when I was starting college, I had very different ideas of what my life would become. For years, I planned on being a child psychologist and was pretty content with that. Then something happened; I studied abroad, landed a job in the fashion industry and everything changed. I started to realize that I wanted

Read More »

5 Must-Know Travel Tips for your First Solo Trip Abroad

Traveling solo as a woman is honestly one of the best travel experiences you will ever have. No pressure, right?! I’m an introvert, so taking a solo trip to a familiar destination, or even a new one, is something that suits my travel style. That said, you want to ensure your safety just like you do

Read More »

Instagram

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More information

Use of cookies

This website is using cookies for improving your experience as a user. If you keep on navigating you are giving your consent to the use of these cookies and our cookies policy. Click on the COOKIES POLICY, the link for more information. You can also check our PRIVACY POLICY.

Close