Travel Website of the Week: Who To Tip

Who To TipWho To Tip is a very basic site with its share of grammatical errors, but it does do one thing very well: help travelers know who and how to tip in over 75 countries in the world—from Argentina to Vietnam. The information is detailed and thorough, and it can help a lot when you’re traveling in an unfamiliar place. As an example, here’s what the site notes for the United States:

“In the USA tipping is an important part of the American culture. The tip is always calculated as a percentage of the bill, not including tax. It usually follows this rule: 10% if you were unsatisfied, 15% it was ok, 20% excellent service, 25% outstanding service. In the United States, people in the service industry and typically paid below minimum wage, and therefore rely on tips as a large part of their income. In many restaurants, the waiter is required give part of his-her tips to the bartender, bus boy, hostess and food runners. They are required to pay income tax on their tips: tips aren’t ‘extra’, they are part of their wage. It’s always best to tip in cash, when you can, and directly to the person who provided the service.”

More on American tipping culture:

  • Hotels: Tipping is expected in hotels in the USA, but the level of tips depend on the level of service and the level of hotel. Tip between $1 and $5 for bellhops and extra if the luggage is very heavy. Leave a thank you note with a tip between $2 and $5 every day for the housekeeper. If the concierge provides extra service such as booking tickets or making reservations, it’s customary to tip between $5 and $10.
  • Restaurants (10%-25%): You should always tip in restaurants in the United States. 10% if you were unsatisfied, 15% if it was ok, 20% for excellent service or 25% for outstanding service. This rule applies for sit-down restaurants where you are waited on, buffet restaurants, room service and food delivery, but not fast-food restaurants.
  • Spas (10%-20%): It is customary to tip between 10% and 20% at a spa for a massage or any other treatment. However a service charge may be included on your bill. You can leave your tip at reception and most spas will give you an envelope.
  • Tour guides (15%-20%): You are expected to tip your tour guide, between 15% and 20% depending on the quality of service, friendliness and knowledge. You should tip the tour guide or driver directly at the end of the tour.
  • Taxi drivers (10%-15%): In the USA is customary to tip your taxi driver between 10% and 15%. If you are staying at a hotel you can order your taxi from the directory (found in most hotel rooms) or from your concierge.
Johnny Jet

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About the Author

Johnny Jet

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

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