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Tipping Around The World

Courtesy of Julie Jordan Scott (Flickr)

Anywhere in the world, tipping is different. No matter what you are accustomed to, tipping is never the same in countries around the world.
When I was backpacking Europe for the first time, I had no idea that each country in Europe had a different tipping custom. Some are very similar to North America tipping standards (10-15% of the bill), others are the complete opposite. For example countries such as England, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, and Greece all require a tipping service from an amount of 0% to 15% of the bill. Yet, countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, and Austria have tipping service included with the bill, so there is no need to tip. Although did you know in Scandinavia they do not expect you to tip at all and there is no tip included within the bill. So for just the region of Europe, tipping changes in every country due to each country having their own standards. Now, I had no idea when I first started backpacking Europe that tipping was so different. There were many times that I got the countries mixed up, and did tip and did not tip. Yup, I looked pretty silly, but at least now I know.

As for traveling in Asia, well it’s a little tricky there too. Tipping is not really essential but the locals really do appreciate it when you do. However, tipping in Asia is just fine, when you feel the service is good, but do not tip in Japan. When you tip in Japan it is misunderstood to be an insulting act.

When you travel Africa, tipping is very similar to Asia. Tip when you feel the service is well deserved and for most of the times follow what the locals do. In any case at all, following the locals is always the best route to go since they know best.

When I traveled South America, I didn’t know tipping was the same as Spain and countries that included a service charge within the bill. It was sometimes funny to see the waitress look at me and think –OKAY she is giving me a great tip! HAHAHA. It wasn’t until someone told me that in most of the countries in South America include a service charge.

As a backpacker you are not only explore, but you also learn so much about other country’s customs and tipping is just one example. Well a great thing to do before you leave on that backpacking trip is to do a little research before you go. :)

About The Author

Tanya is an adventurous person who most enjoys the cultural aspect of traveling. She traveled to North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Europe. When she's not hiking mountains, she spends her time visiting local schools or families. It's a nice break from the 9-5 corporate life.

Number of Entries : 243

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