Great "How much to tip overseas?" Hunt



  • Neoshoegal
    Neoshoegal Posts: 156 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    By the way, does anyone know the tipping standard in Belgium? OH & I are going there next week for our 2nd Wedding anniversary.

    I'm from Belgium and there's hardly any tipping at all. From the Fodor's website link... I've never come across a movie usher, railway porters are a pretty rare breed, washroom attendants: there will often be a fixed price.
    In restaurants, most people won't tip, they might round things off (if your meal was €47.50, you'd make it €50) or if you feel they really deserve an extra tip, you can always give one.
    In general Belgium is really simple: you don't have to tip!
  • MissG_2
    MissG_2 Posts: 869 Forumite
    We went to Cuba the other year and found the people to be quite poor and hard working. The was a stall one day in the hotel and they had a lovely cigar box that was all hand painted for $50, I bought it without knocking down the price as I thought it was worth it. The man was so pleased he looked shocked that I wanted it, I paid him with a $50 note and he gave me a free key ring which I thought was lovely. When I went I could hear them all talking which made me feel so good as I could tell he really appreciated it, all his friends where all hyped up with him.
    The bar man always knew what drinks to get us, the day we were leaving I gave my partner either $10 or $20 for a tip as you could tell he was not that well off as he tried to sell alcohol from the hotel to people to make extra cash. The bar man was so made up with the tip he went of and got my partner a drink and forgot about me in all the excitement. My partner thought it was highly amusing considering it was my money and I didn't get a drink (all inclusive holiday)

    We normally leave the cleaners all our loose change from the holiday and about $5 -$10 on top depending.

    The bar staff we normally give a couple of dollars depending on how we feel.
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  • lynneinjapan
    lynneinjapan Posts: 401 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Laurs wrote:
    We went on honeymoon last year to Galapagos Islands at the cost of £5000. You spend a week on board a boat which cruises between the islands each day. It was our dream holiday. The boat we were on was lovely and the service couldn't have been better, but on our last evening we found a note on our bed with recommended tips for the staff. This included waiters (bar and restaurant), naturalists, laundry staff, cleaners, housekeepers, chefs, boat operators, etc. The total would have come to around $500 - $600 US if we had left the recommended level of tip.

    Was this with an American cruise company by any chance? We went on a cruise for our honeymoon last year too, but it was with P&O (British), and they provided us with information beforehand on roughly what level of tips was expected. It wasn't too extortionate (I think in total it worked out at something like £3-5 per day for each of us), and the service was fantastic so we didn't begrudge the staff our tips, but it would have come as a shock if we hadn't been told about it until the end of the holiday!
  • Terry_D
    Terry_D Posts: 63 Forumite
    As someone who doesn't holiday abroad much I wondered what other people do here. I always tip my barber and give 10% in restaurants when the service deserves it.
  • hokukonane
    hokukonane Posts: 60 Forumite

    When growing up in the States, I was taught to tip at least 15%. However, I have found that times have changed, and most of my friends tip at least 20% of the total bill and I regularly tipped 25%, especially if it was good service.

    I regularly ignored tip jars at tills (here and in the States). Your job is to give me a coffee -- you haven't done anything special. Ignore these tip jars as much or as little as you like -- they are not obligatory. Many places have tip jars as a bit of cheek, to see if they can get something off someone. A lot of time, people just drop their change in, a few pennies or so, cos they can't be bothered to carry it all round.

    I have heard many stories of disgruntled wait staff confronting mean patrons (one of a tourist who left their camera at the restaurant along with their meagre tip; the waitress took a picture of herself with a sign telling the person to tip better). Someone in the thread said that tipping is not obligatory, but I'd beg to differ. Yes, American wait staff do expect you to tip and well. But realise that in return, they offer a very good service. Service in the US is exceptional, miles ahead of what is given in the UK. I don't know how many times I've felt unwanted in a restaurant or bar since I moved here. Generally speaking, in the US, you'll never have to find someone to take your order, give you a refill of your massive drink, or anything else. Most wait staff in the States are incredibly patient, polite, friendly and helpful, even to the most annoying of people.

    The reason this is so is that Americans respect the rights of the patron. 'The customer is always right' is an addage held in high esteem. If you are unhappy with your service, food, anything, you have the right to complain and get it made better. And wait staff and their manager will generally ensure that your needs are met.

    Yes, the tipping culture seems out of control in the US, but for what you get in return -- quick, friendly, helpful service -- in addition to your ginormous portions, I don't think that it's too much to give.
  • KK wrote:
    Just got back from the States and was told by an Englishman living there that the general rule is to take the state tax and double it - approx 15-20%. Sometimes this seems ludicrously expensive on top of an expensive meal, at other times, cheap if you've had a good, but cheap meal. We stayed in Las Vegas for one night at a fairly smart hotel and had to tip twice to get our bags taken to our room. Once for the bellboy who unloaded the bags from our car and took them to a secure storage area, carefully labelling each bag, then another tip for the guy who brought them up to our room. There is a tips bowl/jar left at every counter serving food, even if it's a take away. I began to resent it in the end. Other than that we had a good money saving holiday on the whole. We got excellent priced flights on Virgin, then spent most of the flight out at the Upper Class bar drinking free drinks (just good luck I think, the staff were bored and really friendly), we really shopped around for accommodation in San Francisco and Yosemite, and Las Vegas and got competitive prices for good accommodation. We got our cash commission free and delivered to our door by First Direct. We bought a tent and sleeping bags in Target and camped for a few nights (tents and equipment much cheaper in USA), bought loads of cheap clothes (most are $ for £s e.g. $20 in Gap = £20 in UK!!), got a fabulous fully loaded SUV and free tank of gas (inc. in car DVD player!) for £300 for 2 weeks unlimited mileage (great as we did 2,200 miles), we had a wonderful holiday and made use of the many wi-fi access points in places like Starbucks to send our emails home! It was still an expensive trip, but we penny pinched in as many painfree ways as possible.

    Where did you hire your SUV?
  • Edinburghlass_2
    Edinburghlass_2 Posts: 32,680 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    After spending a few days on a small island of Fiji I left some money on the table for the maid and when I walked to the runway on the beach to get the plane back to the main island I found the money I had left was on top of my suitcase.

    Just back from a week in Florida and each day I left a couple of dollars for the maid service as recommended to me last year when staying onsite at Disney. A couple of dollars a day isn't much and means that the actual person who is cleaning your room gets the money rather than the person who does it on the last day. Always plenty of fresh towels, soap, shampoo etc and when onsite in Disney an animal towel each day placed somewhere to amuse us on our return to the room :)
  • claireak1
    claireak1 Posts: 8 Forumite
    When young and unwordly (7 years ago!) my husband and I honeymooned in the Bahamas. Details said that all service was included in the all inclusive package. However, towards the end of our holiday, staff were increasingly unfriendly, and the taxi ordered to take us to the airport would certainly NEVER have passed a UK MOT (in a place where most taxis are limos).

    So unfortunately we've added to the Scot's reputation for being mean - obviously staff didn't feel that we had paid for service when we paid the hotel!
  • Hi everyone,

    no advice to offer I'm afraid, but seeking some guidance...

    We are going to the Dominican Republic next week, and I have read that it is customary to tip the maid, waiters and barman daily of around a dollar, and for the maid some toys or crayons if she has kids...

    Now I've never been to a place where it is customary to tip like this, so my question is... how do you physically go about it? Do we leave the money for the maid on the beds? Do we give the barman and waiters money when they give us drinks etc? It's an A.I. resort so generally won't be paying for the items so can't leave the tip with the bill (which is usually what I do here)... I'm a bit confused and don't want to embarass them or ourselves by doing it wrong... :o

    Thanks in advance!
  • mcn_2
    mcn_2 Posts: 4 Newbie
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Guys n Gals

    Money saving experts indeed! Money bloody wasting experts!! Tipping is not obligatory, it is optional! I would have slapped the tour guide who told me how much he wanted paying! YOUR WAGES ARE PAID WHEN WE PAY FOR THE SERVICE! i.e when we pay for the meal. Perhaps when restaurants don't sell £2.99 bottles of wine for £14 I may tip, but call me tight if you will, but my payment for service is right there irrespective of "10% here and there"

    As Mr Pink put it, "tipping because convention dictates it, is for the birds, f*** on that"

    think about this another way, if you tip waiters/bar staff tour guides in "poor" countries, then what local would want to do any job other than in the service industry, "no doctors/teachers/police etc etc", but a hell of a lot of rich bar staff!:rotfl:
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