June 4, 2010, Newsletter Issue #130: Tipping Abroad

Tip of the Week

Traveling to a foreign country can be intimidating, and trying to follow the correct protocol for things like tipping can be downright confusing. Some countries require tips while others automatically add it through service charges. Tipping is not required in some places, and in a country like Japan, tipping can even be considered an insult.
To avoid an international incident, the traveler’s best bet is to do a little research before departure to see what the rules are for tipping at their destination. If it’s not possible to check beforehand, hotel concierges are a great source of information. In a tight spot, simply observing how others around you are handling the situation works too.
Try to have a small amount of local currency when you arrive at you destination so that you are able to tip taxi drivers, concierges, and anyone else who offers you a service. Pay for souvenirs and food with larger bills so that you have change left over for tipping. 

Experts suggest tipping between 5 to 10 percent to anyone who offers you a service in countries where tipping is expected. The following service people usually require tips:

Restaurant Staff
Hotel Staff
Tour Guides
Activity Directors (Scuba Instructors, etc.)
Salon Workers
Childcare Staff
Restroom Attendants
Locals who pose for pictures or give directions

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