Travel Tips

15 Countries NOT to Tip In.

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Tipping is a custom in America. It is almost manadtory that you tip your waiter or anyone who was of service to you. It is a nice geture, but the question that is always asked is how much do you tip? In some businesses the tip is already added to the bill. That’s the gratuity fee at the bottom of the receipt. It’s usually 15 to 18 percent of the bill. In some countries it’s a little less and in other countries you don’t have to tip at all. Being from America it may seem weird not tipping but, there is a good feeling about keeping a few extra bucks in your pocket. If tipping is something you don’t enjoy doing, then these countries will make you feel right at home.

Argentina  Tipping is illegal in Argentina, but waiters often expect a small tip. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped unless they perform some kind of extra service such as carrying your bags or luggage to your hotel entrance. Even the ushers in the movie theatres look for a peso for showing you to your seat. For hotel staff a peso per bag that has to be carried is the norm. Be discreet though.

Australia  Tipping in Australia is basically non-existent . There are usually no mandatory gratuities or built in restaurant service charges of any kind. In some cases you may find that service on the weekend or a public holiday attracts an additional fee. By law this should be brought to a patrons attention in advance on the menu or via a sign. Larger groups may also be advised that a service charge is mandatory. Due to the the justified wage rates of those in the service industry, tipping is not a norm in Australia.

Belgium Taxi driver and hairdresser bills include the service charge. Service staff in Belgium are well-paid, in comparison with those in the USA, and do not rely on tips to make up their income. Tipping is not expected in restaurants. For exceptional service, leaving a few Euros to round up your bill is a way to show appreciation.

Bolivia Service charges are often added to a bill, making tipping unnecessary. The standard amount to tip a waiter is 0 to 5 percent. Taxi driver don’t expect tips unless they are hired for a full day. Guides should get the biggest tips of all service positions about 40 to 80 a day. It’s not a custom to tip a tour guide in America at all so this may seem a little wierd.

Bulgaria Tipping is not customary in Bulgaria, but has increased in popularity, especially in resorts and large cities. A tip may be left as a sign of appreciation. It’s a custom in Bulgaria for tour guides and drivers to be given a tip after the trip. But giving them small coins is considered as an insult. Tipping is a very personal thing here.

China  Generally, no one tips anyone in China, with one large exception. Government policy in China mandates that foreigners are charged more for services they receive. Group tour guides catering to foreigners frequently depend on tip income. The dichotomy is that the Chinese natives will not tip anyone inside their own country, while foreign tour wholesalers bid so low for western business that they tell the guides and drivers to depend on tips for their income. These workers serving foreigners are forced to solicit, almost begging for tips.

Costa Rica  Tipping is not customary in Costa Rica, except for porters or others who might handle luggage. Tipping at restaurants, bars and coffee shops is optional. A small service fee is usually added, but if you want to leave more you can. Beware, many Tamarindo restaurants add the 10% service charge and say “Service not included” at the bottom of the menu and the waiters will often add “Tips Appreciated” on your bill.

Czech Republic Tipping is done only as a sign of appreciation. It is commonly expected of foreign visitors. Locals rarely leave a substantial tip in pubs or low-mid range restaurants, often leaving a few Crowns from the change rounding up to the nearest 10. This practice is changing as the economy grows and 5-10% tip is quite usual in better restaurants. Service here is unlike many other places in the world. Service staff is often sullen to dour. It may be the fact that they don’t smile at you like they do in America.

Estonia Tipping is not a common practice in Estonia. Tipping in Estonia is highly voluntary. Under no circumstances can anybody demand you to leave a tip, it’s not included in the bill ever. Also Estonians are pretty casual about tipping. If you like the service you received, you can leave a tip. You can feel quite free about tipping and do it as your conscience tells you, as there are no set rules.

Ethiopia There will be many situations in which people expect a tip. Some Ethiopians may indicate that they want one, or even ask for it. In many situations, tipping is not necessary. If tipping a dancer in a restaurant, stick a paper money bill on their forehead. For drivers and guides a tip is expected, especially if you are hiring them for the whole day or longer. Tipping taxis is not necessary. Always agree on a price for their service before entering the taxi because they will jack up the price to compensate for no tip or just to be greedy.

Finland In Finland, tips are not expected, not even in restaurants. If you feel you have received excellent service or someone really has gone out of their way to help you in a taxi or in a restaurant, feel free to tip. If your tip is declined, which has happens often, don’t push it. Tips are often seen as insulting, as if implying the person only helped in hopes of a tip.

India  Visitors are not to be expected to tip taxi drivers. However, hotel, airport and train station porters should be tipped approximately Rs20 per bag. If a service charge is not included, tip guides Rs500 and drivers approximately Rs300 per day. Tipping in India only applies to high-end restaurants, which have only recently established the practice. Otherwise, tipping is not commonly practiced.

Italy  In Italy, a service charge, which usually ranges from 1 to 3 euros depending on the restaurant, is automatically added to the check and must be visible on the menu. “Coperto,” the charge for the tablecloth, silverware, etc., is illegal in Lazio but may be added in other regions of the country. Normally, just round up the bill, a few Euro. If you were given outstanding service, 10 euro in cash will make the staff happy, but you are not compelled to do so.

Singapore Restaurants in Singapore do often add a 10% service charge, but that is not considered a tip or gratuity. Be aware that your waitperson receives none of the service charge. It is simply additional profit for the restaurants, which keep the entire amount. Many restaurants also keep any cash tips left on the table, so make sure your waitperson receives the tip personally in cash. It will be very much appreciated considering that ther only make the equivalent of $4.80 and hour. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers or tour guides in Singapore.

South Korea  Tipping is not expected nor required in South Korea. Restaurants and hotels do however often add a 10% service charge. When paying a taxi driver, tipping is done in the form of asking them to keep the change, they will be appreciative, and will have trouble understanding why you want to give them more than the change. Bartering was once popular in South Korea, but with more stores now having fixed prices it is rare.


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