What to Know When Tipping Abroad

Have you ever been confused on when you should tip or how much for that matter? Somehow when traveling abroad this ever so simple act becomes even more confusing. In an ideal situation, a tip is given to reward quality service. Now, tipping has become more of a norm than a “reward for good behavior.” It’s just what people are supposed to do. Whenever you come into a situation where you are unsure about tipping, I want you to ask yourself the following 2 questions:

  • Is the person going above and beyond to help you with your belongings?
  • Is the person providing good service to you in any way?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then YES, you should be tipping! How much you ask? Well, that all depends on where you are and the type of service. Here are examples of situations where a tip should be included and how much to pay:

Vehicle Transportation: This includes your rental car shuttle driver, taxi or limo driver, and tour bus driver. A general rule of thumb for most of these drivers is give a 15%-20% tip. If you are tipping a tour bus driver, a couple dollars or so will suffice.

Hotel Service: Tipping applies to bellhops, porters, concierge, maid, butler, service workers, and all other hotel employees you may come in contact with that provides you with a service. Is someone helping you carry your luggage or are they delivering room service? A couple of dollars will suit these situations quite nicely.

Dining & Wining: On some occasions, your dinner or bar bill will include a tip in the final price. If not, tip your waiter, waitress, or bar tender between 15%-20%.

Cruises: Gratuities and tips are often already included in the cruise cost. It is customary for people to pay between $2-$8 for shore excursion tour guides (depends on length of time), especially if you didn’t sign up your excursion with the cruise line. Check what the tipping guidelines are for your cruise line.

While it is generally good manners to tip those who give you service, there are a few exceptions. In some countries, tipping is actually considered very offensive. If you are going to another state in the U.S., tipping will always be expected. However, foreign countries and cruise lines may vary. To play it safe, always research the tipping customs of the country to where you are traveling to or cruise line you will be sailing on.

Check out other resources for more tipping information:
The Ultimate Guide to Tipping While Traveling

Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.

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