Cheapflights.ca Sheds a Light on Tipping

SOURCE: Cheapflights Canada

Unveils ‘How-to’ Guide on Tipping Around the World

TORONTO–(Marketwire – July 22, 2010) –  Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, saves travellers time, confusion and money with its latest How-to Guide For Tipping Around The World. Knowing how much to tip or even whether to tip is often a frustrating and sometimes an embarrassing part of any trip. Cheapflights.ca’s guide offers advice on the tipping customs in destinations around the world. This practical information will help travellers avoid the stress and confusion that comes with trying to figure out how much gratuity to leave and may in turn save them money.

“Tipping customs vary around the world,” says Oonagh Shiel, content editor for Cheapflights Canada. “Whether you are travelling in North or South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Asia — it is helpful to know what is and isn’t appropriate in terms of tipping. Questions such as what percentage of the bill is suitable, is there a flat rate or is the tip already included can all be confusing. So, with the help of Cheapflights Canada’s tipping guide, you can travel armed with the knowledge ahead of time, which will alleviate any frustrations and make your vacation much more enjoyable.”

Having explored the tipping practices in many of the world’s most popular travel destinations, Cheapflights travel experts compiled an easy-to-follow guide to local customs broken down into 10 regions. The guide covers how much to tip at restaurants, hotels, taxis, for tours and also includes a special section on how to tip on cruises. Below we highlight the tips from five of the ten regions featured in the guide.

  • Canada In Canada, tipping is standard. Dining: At restaurants, plan to leave 15-20 per cent (on the before-tax amount), 10-20 per cent at a bar. In coffee shops or at cashier-service restaurants, flip some coins into the jar on the counter. Taxis: With cab drivers, 10-20 per cent of the fare is usual. Hotels: At hotels, a suitable tip for the valet is $5, bellmen $1-2 per bag, maids $1-2 per day. If you’re ordering room service, find out if a tip is included in the cost of the room service. If it is, you don’t need to tip, but if not, then 15 per cent is an acceptable amount. It’s not necessary to tip the concierge, but if you’re happy with the service then a small amount at the end of your stay is welcome.

  • United States – In the U.S., tipping is not only appreciated, but expected. Dining: The rates are slightly higher than in Canada — 20 per cent at sit-down restaurants (25 per cent for bigger groups), 20 per cent on large bar tabs, $1 per drink or $2 if your drink is one of those $15 martinis. At Starbucks or a cashier-service restaurant, $1 or pocket change in the tip jar on the counter. Taxis: A good rule for cabs is $2 for a $5-ride, $3 for a $10-ride, and 20 per cent for everything else. You get extra points for tipping cash when you pay by credit card. Hotels: At hotels, tip the valet $2-$5, bellmen $5 for a bag or two and more than $10 if he’s carrying an entire cart of your luggage. The maids should get $5-10 a night (depending on how expensive your hotel is). For hotel room service, 15-20 per cent of the bill. Don’t forget the concierge — $5 for information, $10 for scoring you reservations or arrangements of any kind.

  • Mexico: Tipping is common in Mexico, but for lesser amounts than in the United States or Canada. Dining:  In restaurants, check the bill to see if a tip has already been included. If it hasn’t, tip 10-15 per cent. At a bar $1-$2 per round of drinks, or 10 per cent of the total if you’re running a tab. Taxis: In parts of Mexico, the local taxi-driver union is strong and fares are high, sometimes with a tip built in. If your driver helps you with baggage or is especially helpful, a couple of dollars on top is welcome. If you’re taking a tour, tip the guide about 10 per cent of the cost of the tour. Hotels: At hotels, tip the valet $1-$2 on top of the fee, bellmen $1-$2 per bag, maids $3-$5 per day, and the concierge between $5 and $10 if he or she arranges a tour or makes reservations for a must-see show.

  • Europe – Tipping is not expected in many European countries.  Dining: Wait staff are protected well by European Union regulations and receive decent pay rates and paid vacation time too. In restaurants in France, the service will be included. For exceptional service, tack on between 10 and 15 per cent. If you’re having a coffee at a sidewalk cafe, leave the change. In the United Kingdom or Ireland, a service charge will be included in the service at hotels and restaurants, but if you are impressed with the service you’ve received, 10 per cent is considered generous. It is not necessary to tip in pubs in the UK or Ireland. In Italy, Spain, Portugal or Germany, tipping is not expected, but if the waiter was friendly, then a 10 per cent tip left on the table will be a nice surprise. Taxis: Taxi drivers in London are highly trained. They have to pass a test called The Knowledge (320 routes in London including all the landmarks) before they can drive one of the iconic Black Cabs. As such, tipping a couple of extra pounds is expected. In other European capitals, Dublin, Berlin or Paris, tip 10 per cent. Hotels: In hotels, tip porters a euro or so (or whatever the local currency is) per bag. For maids, a couple of euros (or local currency) per day.

  • Caribbean Lots of all-inclusive hotels and resorts in the Caribbean discourage tipping. As a general rule, the price of the accommodation will include tipping and service charges. However, all-inclusive can mean different things at different hotels. If you’re unsure what to tip, check with the concierge. Dining: At sit-down restaurants there will often be a gratuity — about 10 per cent of the total — included in the final bill. For exceptional service, an extra tip can be given. At bars, $1 per drink or 10-15 per cent of the total bill. Taxis: When taking a cab, tip $1 to $2 for in-town fares, but a little more for trips late at night, on holidays and on Sundays. Hotels: At hotels, valets should receive a couple of dollars as a tip, bellmen $1-$2 per bag and maids $2 per day.

Other regions featured in Cheapflights.ca’s ‘How-to Guide for Tipping around the World’ include South America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia as well as the special section on cruises. To view the complete guide, visit www.cheapflights.ca/travel-tips/how-to-tip/

About Cheapflights Media

The trusted partner in flights, Cheapflights Media is a global Internet media network that has been delivering great deals since 1996. Headquartered in London with offices in Boston and Toronto, Cheapflights Media serves advertisers and consumers through its vast portfolio of websites and services. Packed with travel guides, tips and the latest news and information, the Cheapflights sites are online shopping comparison engines that make it easy for consumers in local markets to research, compare and save on domestic and international trips. With brand-name deals on airline tickets from more than 250 partners and 600 airlines and a team of travel experts hand picking the best offerings, Cheapflights offers visitors a mix of deals they can’t find anywhere else. There are currently Cheapflights-branded sites for the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information visit www.cheapflights.ca

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