Tipping for services provided while traveling is common practice in the United States, but not so much in countries such as Japan and Brazil, among others. But if you’re traveling to faraway lands — or even to a different US state — this summer, it pays to know a few rules of the road when it comes to tips.
Start with these tips for managing your gratuity needs when traveling this summer.
Know the appropriate tipping ranges. The average tip for a sit-down meal in the United States remains between 15% and 20%. For taxis and Uber (Uber) – Get a Uber Technologies, Inc. report. Trips, tip amounts vary due to mileage and total costs. One study from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that the average tip for an Uber ride is $3.
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Tip early and often
Pay up front for the quality of service. It doesn’t take much to be memorable and advance tips open doors.
“A $20 for a hotel receptionist or flight attendant always ensures you get the best room they have or that your drink never runs dry during a flight,” said Taylor Kovar, certified financial planner and CEO of The Money Couple in. Lufkin, Texas. (Kovar just finished a cross-country trip to all 50 states with his family.)
For travel abroad, perform your due diligence. When traveling abroad, a quick Google search will save you a lot of time, money, and embarrassment. “If Google says tipping isn’t the norm, don’t worry, it’s offensive,” Kovar said.
Make housekeeping advice a priority. The people who are tip least in any hotel, the room maids/housemaids, are the hardest-workers and possibly the worst paid.
Go to follow
Leslie Overton, director of travel operations at Fora in New York, NY said: “I make sure to tip the room maids because I was one — and that was the beginning of my travel business, so when I’m a foreigner somewhere I always take cash and then you get cash from the front desk and puts the maid’s tip into my makeup bag.”
“It’s the last thing I pack, so before I stick it in my bag, I know to leave the tip for housekeeping,” Overton added.
When to tip in Europe
In Europe, know when and when not to tip. Tipping in general isn’t a norm in Italy, for example, but it’s appreciated, says Katie Clark, founder of Untold Italy, an online destination for Italian travelers.
Clark offers some specific advice for European travelers (particularly Italy).
- In restaurants, Italians are rounded to the nearest €5 or €10. However, if the service is included, no additional tip is required
- Scenarios in which you should tip for great service: Tour guides, driving services, restaurants
- Scenarios where tipping is not required: taxis, hotel cleaning
- US travelers are sometimes told to “tip not included” because those in the tourism industry know it’s standard in the US
He errs on the one hand being generous. Tipping while traveling doesn’t have to be a complicated process. “If you receive great service and tipping is common in the culture, feel free to leave more than enough,” said Mark Morgan, co-founder of WhereAreThoseMorgans.com, an online travel website. (Morgan and his wife have traveled to more than 40 countries in the past several years.)
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Consider the tips in your travel budget. Budget can be very important if you plan to travel in countries like the United States, where tipping is required. “You’ll eat quickly through your travel budget if you don’t set aside enough tips during your trip,” Morgan added.
Bring small bills (and even coins) for your tips. “With many small notes and coins, you will easily be able to tip over without having to worry about breaking large bills,” Morgan said.