Until now you would have had to pay up to 20 percent of the total bill as a tip. Maybe you never considered how the tipping policy is influenced by the culture in a particular country. The purpose of this post is to help you save money that you otherwise would spend on unnecessary tips while traveling abroad and also within the United States.
How much to tip when traveling within the United States?
In the United States, it is customary to tip people working in service industries like restaurants, bars, taxi cabs, hair salons, etc. Most people tip 15-20 percent of the total bill without hesitation. And it makes complete sense as the living expenses in America are one of the highest in the world.
Is a service industry in the United States where tipping is not mandatory?
Don’t expect to find a sit-down restaurant with a no-tipping policy. 99.99 percent sit-down restaurants(including self-service buffets) expect customers to pay a decent tip at the end of the meal. So, the question should never be “whether you should tip or not?” but rather be “how much to tip when traveling within the United States?”
Same goes with taxi drivers. You are expected to pay a minimum of 10 percent tip to a cab driver who takes you your destination safely and within time. If you are headed to the airport, they might expect a higher percentage as you might need help with loading your luggage.
Going back to the restaurant tipping policy. There is a way you can save money on tips by buying your food from a fast-food restaurant or a food court where you have to pay the cheque upfront. You can take the food home or find a clean place where you can sit and have your food without any interference.
How much to tip when traveling abroad?
It totally depends on which part of the world you are in. In southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and China, there is no such thing as a tip. So, expect to get exact change back, next time you pay a taxi driver or a waiter in southeast Asia.
Things are a little bit different in Europe though. Tipping culture varies from country to country but generally, you can get away from paying the exact bill and leaving no tip. There is no compulsion to tip in Europe. However, cities like Paris and London are expensive to live in and people working in the service industry expect you to tip at least 10 percent.
Moreover, do not bother to tip when you are down under in Australia or New Zealand. There is no tipping policy here and locals consider tipping a bad practice as it encourages the staff to only pay attention to people who tip decently.
To save money on tips while traveling within the US or abroad, try using services which involves you to do most of the work. Unless you are in China, every hotel staff member, taxi driver, and the barber you come across is going to expect extra compensation for merely doing their job for which they are already getting paid.