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To Tip Or Not To Tip; That Is The Question

We have family members in the US who work in service industries. They are conscientious, hardworking folks for whom tips are a large part of their income.  But is that true around the World? The answer is a resounding ‘NO!’ So when we travel, it’s very useful to know the proper attitude toward tipping or not tipping.

Even if you’re taking advantage of something like a high end vacation property exchange, you’re still going to run into tip/ don’t tip situations. Transport to and from your point of arrival; perhaps a porter at the transit point; any number of opportunities arise to make either a good or a poor impression with regard to tipping.

And almost certainly, even if you are saving on travel in other ways too, like cooking for yourselves, you’re almost certain to want at least the odd night out on the town. That brings up doormen, cabbies, wait staff in restaurants, the maĆ®tre d’; the bar staff; - the list is almost interminable.

Knowing who to tip and how much is just as important. Many societies have hierarchies and where a service provider stands in that ranking determines whether and how much they should be tipped. You can cause serious difficulties for yourself by over tipping a ‘lower ranking person’ or under tipping someone higher up the scale.

Customs vary widely from place to place. For example, in the Middle East one tips frequently but with small amounts. By contrast, in Japan, tipping can be viewed as insulting. But if you’re further south in Asia, not tipping can be perceived as an insult in India or Malaysia. It can all be very confusing and vexing.

Most of us want to make a good impression. After all, we’re individual ambassadors for our home nations. We want people to see us honestly but also in our best light. There’s nothing more embarrassing than causing inadvertent and unintended insult by not knowing the local customs. Most of us, before we work out our luxury vacation home exchanges, take the time to learn a bit about the places we’re staying. But we’re not always as clear on the local customs when it comes to tipping.

We were traveling in the UK once and, even within that country, found variations in custom. The publican in the small village was most pleased to accept a pint on us whereas the man behind the bar in London preferred a bit of ‘the ready’.

So, what do you do? Well, fortunately we’ve done the research for you. You can use any of the resources we’ve found for you to learn more about the customs of tipping in various countries around the world. 
Have a great time on your trip and we’ll see you later.

Thank you to the writing team which is MA Scott


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