Memorial Day Weekend is the “Unofficial Start” of summer travel. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a post-graduation trip, honeymoon or your dream vacation, “tis the season”.
A common question I get asked is “What should I tip?”. There is no simple answer, since it varies from country to country. But one thing to remember is, that the way we tip in the US, is not like any other place in the world.
In fact, tipping was not common in many places until Americans starting tipping like they were at home and now there are expectations for tips, that didn’t exist before. I believe, one should do as the culture and practice of the country you are visiting. After all you are a guest in their country and you should respect their traditions. Many countries pay their service employees a good salary for their jobs. Therefore, they are not expected to supplement their income with tips, as we do in the US.
Since most Americans travel to Europe, here is a quick guide to tipping in Europe. Tipping practices vary considerably from one country to another. If you are on a multi-country trip, be aware of international differences.
France - A standard 15% gratuity is included in the bill, a few coins for a drink or two to five euro for a restaurant meal (depending on the total price) is sufficient to reward especially good service, even in aris; in other situations - in taxis, museums and theaters, and hotels - tipping practices vary.
Germany - Rounding up to the nearest euro at cafés or tipping 10% at restaurants is a common practice, whereas tipping at hotels is less so.
Spain - it's possible to round up the total amount of the bill as a tip, but the practice is rare. Only an upscale restaurant bill would warrant a tip, provided that the service was satisfactory.
UK - Tipping 10 to 15% is standard at a sit-down restaurant or large pub, unless a service charge is included. At smaller pubs in Ireland, offering the bartender to pour himself a drink on your tab is an acceptable form of tipping.
Scandinavia - Tipping practices vary from country to country.
Denmark - includes gratuity in the bill, but visitors can show their appreciation by rounding up the bill or tipping up to 10%. The same is true for Iceland. Sweden -Tipping by rounding up or adding 5 to 10% of the bill is less unusual. Norway - Tips are left in a wider variety of situations.
Tipping 20 to 25% is unheard of in most of Europe.
Don’t be the unsophisticated American when you tip.
Traveling outside of Europe? Feel free to contact me for more Tipping Etiquette.
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