We might not give it much thought at home, but the game changes when you’ve got a handful of foreign coins in your palm and you’re not exactly sure of the exchange rate. Yes, the topic of tipping is going to come up all along your vacation route and you’ll be expected to compensate a few folks better than others. That’s why travel expert Andrew M. Berke would like to offer some tips of his own regarding — yes, you guessed it — tipping. While the amounts and expectations will vary from cities at home to countries abroad, your experience at airports and hotels will likely be similar regardless of whether you’re in Berlin or Boston. Read on for ways to save some cash and to know when your gratuity is absolutely expected; vacations are expensive enough already so sorting out the social stigmas surrounding tipping shouldn’t make you blush.
- Checking in: While some say that tipping flight attendants, pilots, captains or conductors essentially equates to a boost of their generally respectable salary, there are other often-encountered people whom you should always tip. They include taxi drivers, valet drivers, ride-share drivers and hotel employees who assist you and provide an appreciated service. In fact, one recent study shows that since four out of five Americans will tip an average of 18 percent at a restaurant, it’s no surprise that we’re a little too tip-prone from time to time.
- Overseas customs: In Europe, travel expert Andrew M. Berke says, you should certainly tip wait staff at a restaurant. However, the 15 to 20 percent we Americans often leave is an absolute excess abroad; stick with five percent of your total bill. A bill or receipt that doesn’t include some foreign language version of the phrase “service charge included” means there has been no sort of tip added to the final total that you were presented with.
- Avoidance altogether: In a September 2017 article from USA Today, a few other ways of having to avoid leaving a tip – if that’s your goal – are noted. They include going shopping for groceries instead of eating out for every meal and skipping on guided tours and going the self-service route when visiting world-famous locations. By tackling either of these approaches, travel expert Andrew M. Berke says you’ll never be presented with a bill nor the expectation to leave a few extra euros on the table.