Tim Murphy and Conde Nast Traveler editors have taken me up (sort of) on a suggestion I proposed back in May 2014 when I wrote:
I for one would be very interested in a website where a select group of world travelers representing all of the regions of the world determine tipping guidelines and post them for the tippers and tippees to see.
In March of this year, Conde Nast Traveler published a lengthy article titled, “Etiquette 101: Your Guide to Tipping in 50 Countries“.
An excerpt from the article:
The truth is, tipping rules vary by country, by region, and by scenario. A modest rounding up of the check may be fine in some places and insufficient in others. A few small bills left on a night table might be gladly picked up by housecleaning staff in one hotel and scrupulously shunned elsewhere. Such uncertainties can throw an uneasy shadow over even the most exhilarating jaunt in a new land. That’s why we’ve spelled out guidelines for the most common tipping situations in 50 countries
I don’t know how Tim and the editors who worked on the article collected the information, but it consists of more than 8,000 words on tipping customs throughout the world and is the most in-depth piece on the subject I have ever seen.
Of course, Conde Nast didn’t really read my post and think, “Hey, he’s got a great idea.” A sentence at the bottom of the article reads:
This article was originally published in November 2008. It has been updated to reflect new information.
So I guess every seven years or so Conde Nast might post an update to this article with fresh tipping information.
In the meantime, you should probably bookmark this one – or better yet, save it or print it – as it could come in handy during your travels for the next several years.
Or, if you’d like something a bit simpler/more condensed, check out Gary Leff’s 6 Simple Universal Rules for When To Tip, When Not to Tip – and How Much.
Then again, judging by the comments, while Gary’s short list of guidelines are pretty good, they can’t take the place of a more comprehensive assessment of the current state of tipping, such as provided by Conde Nast Traveler.
That’s a pretty darn good list of general rules. Of course, there is so much variation around the world, it’s tough to make a list w/o being specific to each country. ~Joseph N.
what are people’s position on tipping guides? For instance, is it a percentage of the cost of trip? What if you have a personalized tour? Then there are tours that provided “free” and the guides are paid solely by tipping? ~Jana
Someone tipping 10€ in France will be seen as ‘a rich american’. I spend a month in Greece every year. Tipping is not expected, except maybe in Mykonos and Santorini were everything is already more expensive than on other greek islands ! ~KATERGO
There is no number of ‘general guidelines’ that can ever replace actually understanding the culture of the country you are visiting. ~kokomutz
And I found this comment from Mike particularly amusing:
You know the world is coming to an end when you see tip envelopes in Japan.
Read the Conde Nast Traveler Article and the post on View from the Wing and the comments in their entirety:
- Etiquette 101: Your Guide to Tipping in 50 Countries
- Here’s The 6 Simple Universal Rules for When To Tip, When Not to Tip – and How Much