Great "How much to tip overseas?" Hunt

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  • sachalegge
    sachalegge Posts: 9 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If you are on holiday or passing through Belgium - do not tip them ! Seriously I lived & worked there & it was one of the first things the locals told me. Staff get paid reasonably well in restaurants , bars etc & do not expect tips, in fact they can be offended. So save your money & use it on the excellent beer they produce - over 370 different brands
  • Basil_2
    Basil_2 Posts: 24 Forumite
    We are going to Playacar in Mexico for two weeks on our honeymoon and because it is all inclusive I wasn't planning on taking much spending money as I had never even thought about tips!!!:confused:
    Can someone give me some idea what amount I should take for two weeks worth of tips?
    Cheers:T
  • Country: Egypt

    Having recently returned from a weeks holiday in the Country of Pharoahs and Mummys, a few tips that I hope people will find useful.

    Over half of the total population lives at below-poverty level, and you will find a lot of Egyptians 'touting' for you to buy souvenirs in markets which have sprung up near the big tourist attractions (E.g. Valley of Kings and Queens, Temples of Karnak and Luxor, Giza and the Pyramids etc). Although the quality of merchandise varies, the vendors can become annoying and persistent in selling their wares. If you don't want to buy from them, don't be intimidated by their sales tactics - just say No, and stick to your guns. If you fancy the look of something for sale, always barter for a lower price.

    The Egyptians near the tourist sites will always expect a tip for helping the tourist out (e.g. taking your photograph, giving you information about the particular site). Generally, you should not tip more than LE 1 (One Egyptian Pound) for this.
    For organised camel rides in Giza and the Pyramids, you should agree a reasonable sum beforehand ('Reasonable' being what you would pay in your own country for a similar tour). Do not be fobbed off by the usual line of having to pay excessively because the 'tout' "has a large family and many mouths to feed"!

    In hotels and restaurants, always check if the price paid includes a 'service charge' (information which should be disclosed on the menu). If so, no tipping is required (unless you want to reward good service).

    Finally, in organised coach tours, be prepared to tip the driver (LE 1 - 5) and tour guide (Depending on how long the tour was, and how informative s/he was, approximately 10% of the price paid for the tour).

    Despite the fact that you must be prepared to tip on any trip to Egypt, don't let this put you off. A trip to Egypt is well worth it, andnot to be missed.
  • mcn_2
    mcn_2 Posts: 4 Newbie
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I went to Egypt last October to an AI resort: Had a great time, spent lots of time outside the resort on trips, nights out etc etc, and did not tip once:

    As I said before, in poor countries, if you tip the coach driver, the beach attendant, the camel owner, then who the hell will be the doctors/nurses/teachers. Tipping is a legacy from feudal times, when the master granted the slaves/servants a bit of his wealth. These guys are well paid for their work, which lets be fair isn't that unpleasant:

    If you go to a hospital on holiday, do you bung the doctor a fiver for sorting out your dodgy tummy????????

    I thought not
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,181 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Ok mcn, I will bite and suggest you be careful about returning to some of these countries .. some people have long memories :D As an example on many cruise lines the majority of front-line staff (cabin stewards, waiters etc.) get paid approximately $50 per month (no that is not a mis-print .. it works out at about £1 per 14 hour day). These people rely 100% on tips to make up their salary and therefore offer a service that is second to none. As per my previous post the recommended tipping amount is about $10 per person per day. I have seen one steward sitting on the end of a bed in tears because several passengers 'stiffed' her which meant she would not have enough money to send home ... not only that but because she did not collect enough it might mean she loses the prestigious position of cleaning up after other people and have to go back to the laundry rooms. It is amazing the number of low-lifes that order their waiters around all week and then on the last night they conveniently do not turn up at the dining room to avoid giving tips.

    In many countries people work for tips, they may have a modest income from their job but they rely on tips to make this into a living salary. I know some people who 'boast' about how they do NOT tip ... I have a very low opinion of them and their understanding of different cultures and general inability to learn anything about the country that is hosting them. I always love reading or listening to their (often made up) excuses for not tipping though.

    Ivan
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • Please could someone offer me advice on HOW to give people tips... I'm sure most people will be happy to just have me wave money in front of their face with a thank you... but surely there is a subtle and less patronising way of giving people a tip... usually I just tell people to keep the change or whatever... but if I'm not paying for everything (A.I.) how do I tip?

    Any advice greatly appreciated - I go on Friday!!!
  • Dustsucks
    Dustsucks Posts: 45 Forumite
    A brief word of caution. In some countries - Ghana is one I know for sure but believe there are others - you must be very careful with which hand you pass a tip (or anything else for that matter). In Ghana this MUST be done with the right hand as the left hand is reserved for other less pleasant but necessary operations which I will not dwell upon. Consequently, anything handed out with the left hand is likely to be treated with disgust, except perhaps by some people in the larger cities.
  • gingercordial
    gingercordial Posts: 1,681 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Please could someone offer me advice on HOW to give people tips... I'm sure most people will be happy to just have me wave money in front of their face with a thank you... but surely there is a subtle and less patronising way of giving people a tip... usually I just tell people to keep the change or whatever... but if I'm not paying for everything (A.I.) how do I tip?

    Any advice greatly appreciated - I go on Friday!!!

    Not sure where you're going (unless I'm being stupid) but if I'm paying for something then I generally tell them to keep the change, or "make it £5" or whatever. If it's just a case of handing over money, then at a bar I'd simply put it down on the bar in front of me, not much ceremony. I find it mildly embarrassing to hand over tips to bellboys etc but they're used to it, just hold out your cash!
  • Thanks gingercordial - I had posted earlier in the thread, but no-one had offered any advice and I was getting a a bit frantic...

    I'm going to an A.I. resort in the dominican republic, so won't be able to do the usual 'keep the change' routine that I normally do unfortunately - but I suppose you're right - they're used to it even if I feel embarrassed.

    Thanks again
  • charlies_mum
    charlies_mum Posts: 8,118 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Little Miss Penny Less, just a tip if you are going to Dominican Republic. Make sure you have a $1 bill in your hand at the airport. There will be a rush by locals to carry your cases, and as all the dollar bills are the same colour, you won't want to tip $100 by mistake !

    Dominican is lovely, have a great time.
    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever :D
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