Great "How much to tip overseas?" Hunt

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  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,215 Forumite
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    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 !
    Good point, I did this a few years back and instead of slipping $1 to someone I gave them $50 ... I only realised on the plane when I went to buy something. I felt positively ill, although at least I understood why the chap was pretty much willing to polish the floors with his chest hairs as we walked along. :D

    Ivan
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • mcn_2
    mcn_2 Posts: 4 Newbie
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    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, I am pleased that you have responded!:eek: I cannot stress how much I disagree, perhaps if you saw the woman at the hospital, crying because her baby has died because there was no doctor to save her? Perhaps if you saw the child crying because there was no teacher to teach him, because they all the locals are tourist guides? I come from a family who have worked in service industries in foreign countries, I myself have worked in service industries, and the thoughts of the person receiving the tip usually go along the lines of "He must have so much money to waste if he can afford to give it me for doing my job"

    I stand by my assertion that tipping is wrong and immoral: Perhaps if "the west" didn't visit these places whilst actually paying "western" tourist companies for the privelege, whilst they pay the host countries a pittance, then perhaps they may not need tipping at all:

    Campaign for a fair wage, I will agree, campaign to stop western conglomerates ruining developing countries indigenous industries i will agree, but I will not play along with tipping people because I am told to by society/by a tour operator or anyone else: I personally will tip if I want to, but only if I want to, and not because I have been told I should, or because the person I am tipping needs it to feed their children
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,215 Forumite
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    mcn wrote:
    Ivan, I am pleased that you have responded!:eek: I cannot stress how much I disagree, perhaps if you saw the woman at the hospital, crying because her baby has died because there was no doctor to save her? Perhaps if you saw the child crying because there was no teacher to teach him, because they all the locals are tourist guides? I come from a family who have worked in service industries in foreign countries, I myself have worked in service industries, and the thoughts of the person receiving the tip usually go along the lines of "He must have so much money to waste if he can afford to give it me for doing my job"
    I am at a loss as to what much of this has to do with tipping but I will give you it is a slightly more ingeniuos excuse that I have heard before (but I don't fall for it). If you are trying to say that the reason for the scenarios you mention is because people tip then I think you are very very badly mistaken ... the main reason for problems in the health service in other countries is because the staff rush to move to the rich west to earn more money (not because someone tipped their bus driver). I read a story in a paper a while back about some doctors that work in Germany (not even a poor country of the world) 5 days a week and then moonlight in the UK for the weekend to (more than) double their salary.
    I stand by my assertion that tipping is wrong and immoral: Perhaps if "the west" didn't visit these places whilst actually paying "western" tourist companies for the privelege, whilst they pay the host countries a pittance, then perhaps they may not need tipping at all:
    We either have a choice .. either we add a mandatory minimum of £50-100 per person per week surcharge onto ALL holidays or we get budget holidays and expect to give a few pence in tips. While the surcharge will initially seem like a good idea there will be no way of ensuring that money goes to the right people, those poeple that made your holiday better, there is nothing to say that such money won't just find its way into funding another palace or residence for the government or the local national lottery.

    The other issue is that people continually show they don't care about others .. all they really care about is how cheap they can get something. They don't want to know that their clothes were manufactured using slave or child labour in sweat shops ... they just want cheap. Therefore most peoples priority is how much they pay .. not environment, not culture, not education (or any of the other reasons given).

    I would actually agree with increasing the prices because it might rule some people out of travelling .. the sort that aren't fit to be seen in a public place. It may sound snobby but there are definitely people not fit to be allowed out in public.
    Campaign for a fair wage, I will agree, campaign to stop western conglomerates ruining developing countries indigenous industries i will agree, but I will not play along with tipping people because I am told to by society/by a tour operator or anyone else: I personally will tip if I want to, but only if I want to, and not because I have been told I should, or because the person I am tipping needs it to feed their children
    So you do tip on some occasions? There is a lot of difference between the hospitality industry in this country and the hospitality industry in other countries .. although I see even our own hospitality indutry seems to be allowing various ultra cheap immigrants to flood in through their back doors for less than minimum wage. America relies on a tip culture (I don't like it but that is their country and their preference), so does much of the Caribbean, Central America and South America ... some probably make a reasonable living others rely purely on tips.

    I can't remember exactly where it was (and things may have changed) but a few years back we stayed in a hotel where the maids have to pay for the privilege of cleaning your room and toilet for you .. they rely on tips ... and it was by far one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed in (they worked their butts off, not the quick flick of duster used in some of our hotel rooms). Now think what happens if someone stiffs them and does a runner ... all that effort and hard work making sure your holiday was perfect. If you are visiting a foreign country, at least try to learn something about their traditions and their customs and give them courtesy of adhering to them ... if that means tipping then either pay the tips or go elsewhere.

    Ivan
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • tobys_mummy_2
    tobys_mummy_2 Posts: 252 Forumite
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    does anyone know if the locals tip in greece and portugal and if so how much?i believe we should do as the locals do and not pay a tip just because we are gullible toursits and believe that is what is expected of us.
  • Basil_2
    Basil_2 Posts: 24 Forumite
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    Mexico
    Am at a loss as have never been AI before so don't know how much to budget for or if tips are expected.
    Can anyone help....please!
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,215 Forumite
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    Basil wrote:
    Mexico
    Am at a loss as have never been AI before so don't know how much to budget for or if tips are expected.
    Can anyone help....please!
    Keep a load of dollar bills handy and only tip those that provide a service (not all and sundry e.g. someone carrying yur bags should be slipped $1). If you are doing a guided tour then I believe the going rate is about $2-5 per person (depends on how helpful the guide was and how long the tour was). It is a hard question to answer because you need to determine what is service ... possibly ask your TA

    Ivan
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • Loopy_Laura_2
    Loopy_Laura_2 Posts: 101 Forumite
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    Love love love Greece! The people are so friendly and make you feel so welcome. I went to Greece last year and it was on average 40 euros for a 3 course meal for 2 with a litre of wine. We would tip around 15%.

    You will usually get offered a free shot at the end of your meal, either red vodka, an ainseed one or a lemon one depending on the region or island. Just a little tip, these two phrases will go a long way and guarantee you lots of smiles and a warm welcome the next time you return!

    Eff-har-iss-toe - Thank you
    Eff-har-iss-toe Pol-ee - Thank you very much

    Pa-ra-kal-oe - Please/You're welcome
    Yassas - Hello
    Kali-nich-ta - Good Night
    :beer: Have champagne tastes...but got a beer budget!!:beer:
  • LilacLillie
    LilacLillie Posts: 2,930 Forumite
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    Bulgaria

    Roughly 2.85 lv to the £1

    Lunch for 2 people (including beers & soft drinks!) 8lv, ususally leave 2lv tip.
    When your bill arrives and you give money, if you say 'thankyou' at that time......................you'll not see any change, no matter how much you should have got. If you ask for it (19lv once on a bill of 6lv) they can get very funny/nasty. So wait till its brought back to you before leaving a tip

    Beacuse its still a relatively new holiday spot for Brits, we are tending to OVER TIP, so I've been told by the locals. Everything is sooooo cheap its hard not to comment on the fact and then over tip.
    The locals rarely tip, but then everything in the tourist industry there is still new so there aren't any fast rules yet.
    There is also in some places still a 2 or 3 tier price menu, mainly for increased prices for Brits (Germans won't put up with it, again so the locals tell me!).

    2 electricians put up an air conditioning unit for me, bought in a sort of B&Q place on special offer, which included delivery & fitting.
    I gave them 10lv each. Don't know if that's good or bad, just thought of a number. When you think a large beer is 1.5 lv, its not a bad 'drink' tip.
    LL
    We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars........................


  • Coldfinger
    Coldfinger Posts: 571 Forumite
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    mcn wrote:
    Taxi drivers get a tip, yet they earn c40-50k pa, mcdonalds staff on minimum wage get nowt.

    Having driven a taxi part-time for many years let me tell you that while this may be true in some towns and cities it is far from the truth in most. Many firms pay their drivers minimum wage and you are indeed taxed on tips whether you get them or not.

    If I could make 40-50k pa round here I would quit my full time job tomorrow, pay my debts off and stop visiting this site.
  • Coldfinger
    Coldfinger Posts: 571 Forumite
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    Malaysia

    A resident of Kuala Lumpur told me that a tip is usually only given for outstanding service.
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