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Tipping Tips

When I travel to a new country, my habit has been to ask someone at my hotel as to what the local tipping customs are. I always get the same answer. “Tip whatever you want to give.”

That answer doesn’t help me at all!

I want to know if I’m going to get a food server upset if I only leave 10% for a tip or add the tip to the credit card rather than give it in cash. I want to know if it’s customary to leave a tip for the hotel maid each day or not at all.

So now I’ve learned a better question to ask. I still ask a hotel concierge or desk clerk, but I ask the question a different way. My better way is to ask “What percentage (or money) amount do you typically give in your local area when … eat out … ride in a taxi …. stay in a hotel? Now I get better answers such as “I will leave 10% if the food service is good, nothing if the service is minimal.” Or “I round up to the nearest whole dollar” in a taxi as the driver does not expect a tip.

Much better answers when the question is asked a better way.

And for those of us who love web research, yes, there are many websites that discuss tipping customs. However, I’ve always found that they’re missing some aspect of tipping, whether it be for concierge service, spa service, food delivery or any other service provided in person. So I’ll do my initial research and then ask for the missing pieces once I arrive at my destination.

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