How much do you Tip when on Holiday Abroad?

When it comes to tipping waiters, taxi drivers, and porters, it seems us Brits are pretty clueless – according to a recent survey conducted by Tripadvisor, that is!

The survey, carried out on 6,000 people from the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France, found that up to 60% of Britons know little about when, where, and how much they should be tipping abroad, and as a result, 8% said they had experienced an “awkward tipping situation” while on holiday.

So are we just tight or is this because every country has different rules when it comes to tipping, and it is hard to keep up?

The survey suggests that up to a third of British holidaymakers are reducing the amount of money they give away in tips due to the current economic crisis and European recession, but that over half of those questions revealed that they didn’t know what was expected, and as a result, gave too much or nothing at all!

So what is a fair tip amount for a waiter?  In the UK, the etiquette of tipping has always been clear (to me at least!), that if the service is good we give between 10 – 15%.

In the US, however, 10% of the total bill is considered a paltry sum, and “at least” 15 – 20% is expected for good service.

In Southeast Asian Countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, 10% is considered a generous tip, while in Japan different tip ‘rules’ apply to different services, so while it can be confusing – I believe that with a little research before jetting off on holiday, we can all tip the right people the right amount.

Here are some other interesting tipping trends highlighted in the survey:

  • The Spanish are the worst tippers, with up to 80% admitting they leave no tip at all, and they are followed closely by the Italians and the French!
  • Italian travellers are the most ‘flirty’ tippers, with up to 33% admitting they tipped someone because they fancied them.
  • When it comes to tipping, it seems good old-fashioned manners are likely to get more out of the pockets of European tourists that anything else!

What are your views on tipping?  Drop us a line and let us know!


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Ha – a problem indeed! Great advice for travellers as expectations really are different in different countries/cultures.

    1. Thank you! It really is tricky! My husband tried to leave a tip in a British Pub and they refused to take it! 🙂

      1. There’s got to be a book in it for you ‘Tipping etiquette’ – a surefire airport best seller!

  2. Eleenie says:

    When I repped in Greece, we always recommended 10-15% as a tip for any services whether it was a taxi driver, waiting service or whatever. In my last year in Greece, I was waitressing and found that many customers (couples) left on average 1.50 euros regardless of the cost of the meal.

    1. Hi Eleenie, thanks for visiting and leaving a message! 1.50 euros seems a bit tight! I think that 10 – 15% is a fair amount for good service 😉

  3. Eleenie says:

    I forgot to say that I leave 15% when I tip, not that I ever really go anywhere to tip anymore! 😉

  4. Lori says:

    Very good to know what’s expected in other countries. I agree, in the US 15 to 20+% is typical for good service and I would only give 10% if service was just so so. I am still a little unsure about tipping hair stylists, masseuses and such, so i usually go with 10 to 15%.

    1. Hi Lori, thanks for stopping by! I agree, I think 10 – 15% is a fair tip for good service 😉

  5. Penny says:

    Just a couple of days ago a customer asked me about tipping tour guides. Any thoughts on that? Specifically, she had booked a tour in France ( she’s American) in advance. She assumed tips etc would be included in the fee she paid the tour company, keep in mind the tour company is NOT the tour guide. Her question was should she have tipped the tour guide?

    1. Hi Penny, thank you for stopping by. This is a tricky one! I have never heard of any “rules” on tipping tour guides in Europe. If a guide offers a great service, I would personally offer a tip. What do you think?

      1. Penny says:

        I agree. I think when booking via an agency people would naturally assume they had paid the tip as well…but, yes if someone goes above and beyond or if I am really impressed, I’d tip.

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