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The tipping taboo
November 5th, 2013 by elisa

Waiter picture by Flickr user Giorgio Montersino

Waiter picture by Flickr user Giorgio Montersino

Have you ever paid for a meal on holiday and left a tip to find that your waiter has given you an evil eye of doom, something to make you feel so tiny you’ve scuttled out of the restaurant with your tail between your legs? Alternatively, perhaps you’ve found that they have smiled like the proverbial Cheshire cat at your generosity and effusively waved you farewell as you’ve trotted out the door?

Either response can be a little embarrassing and make you wonder whether you have been stingy or over-generous with your tip. If you have felt this way, then you are not alone, with the majority of holidaymakers finding tipping awkward, embarrassing and confusing, according to recent research.

The survey, by ICE – International Currency, found that 39% of the 2,000 people asked, find tipping both awkward and embarrassing. 30% didn’t have a clue how much to tip, 14% didn’t event try to tip and a massive 43% didn’t allow for tipping when planning their holiday budget.

ICE head of online business Tom Johnson said: “Tipping etiquette seems to take many of us outside our comfort zone and while most respondents tend to use a 10% rule of thumb it was surprising to see that so many tip 5% or less.

“This is well below what’s expected in in some parts of the USA and Canada where tips can be in the region of 20%. That’s £200 out of a budget of £1,000, making it a serious expense.”

When it comes to generosity between the generations, it seems the biggest tippers are aged between 25 and 34, with the lowest tippers over the age of 60.

So, what do you think is an appropriate amount to tip when on holiday abroad? Do you have any advice, or tips for us?


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