How much should you tip when on holiday abroad?Travellers are confused about tipping rules

14 June 2011

dining room of a restaurant

While a tip of 20% can push up the price of a meal significantly in some countries, in other places a tip may be seen as an insult

Two-thirds of holidaymakers regularly over-tip when abroad, as they don't understand tipping etiquette, according to a new report.

Confusion over how much is appropriate to tip when on holiday abroad leads 65% of people to over-tip, according to research conducted by travel money and prepaid card provider ICE (International Currency Exchange). With finances tight at the moment, not knowing the rules on tipping in different countries can result in holidaymakers spending far more than they need to.

How much should I tip?

Tips of up to 20% are normal in the USA and Canada, whereas it's around 5% in France and up to 10% elsewhere in Europe. It's normal to round up taxi fares in Bangkok, and add 10% to restaurant bills, but tipping is considered an insult in Japan.

ICE head of marketing Joanna Williams said: 'Tipping varies from country to country, leaving many travellers in a complete muddle and tempted to over-tip on holiday to avoid embarrassment. The cost of tipping can really mount up, with a 20% gratuity adding £8 to a £40 meal, so do some research and allow some extra cash in the holiday budget.'

For more details on getting the best deal on your holiday cash, read the Which? guide to Travel money.

pound coins

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