To tip or not to tip that is the question! When you’re on holiday, understanding the cultural norms of tipping can be one of those awkward moments.  Whatever destination you are travelling to, Enchanting Travels provides some general top tips for tipping.

Check for correct change

When you’re handling a new currency it’s rather easy to accidentally tip too much! Ensure you familiarize yourself with the local money before doling it out.

Those who expect don’t get

Follow the above mantra. You should never feel obliged to tip.

Let’s be honest, if you are going to a popular tourist destination, it’s likely that there are going to be service staff that you meet along the way who will expect to be tipped. Including that eager waiter who is bouncing around the restaurant in anticipation.

In most of our destinations, tipping is entirely optional and should solely be based on your own judgment and experience.

If in doubt, ask

As you travel there are always people that you will instinctively trust to assist you with the cultural norms – including tipping.

Most hotel managers who greet you upon arrival can suggest what the norm is. Some hotels include a tipping guide in the welcome folders that you find in your room.

Who to tip

Here are some of the individuals who will help you on your trip that you might wish to tip:

  • Airport / railway porters
  • Hotel baggage porters (bellboys)
  • Local guides / escorts
  • Drivers
  • Restaurant staff
  • Local representatives

When to tip

Should you tip every day? Again, it’s up to you!

We recommend that if you know you’re going to be in one place for a few days that you tip at the end of your stay. Most good quality hotels now provide a tipping box at reception that is shared out across the staff.

If you feel one member of staff has gone above and beyond their duty and deserves to be rewarded personally then you can always tip them individually. However, increasingly, hotels don’t encourage individual tipping.

If you have a driver who is with you throughout your trip then we suggest you tip them at the end of your travels.

Local customs

There are occasions when you’re travelling that you offer a tip and it’s not accepted. This could be a number of reasons and sometimes it’s simply the local custom that service people don’t  accept gratuities.

Whatever the reason, if your tip isn’t accepted then don’t force them to take it as this could cause embarrassment.

If people you offer a tip to refuse it, then consider that you could always tip in kind – perhaps buy a small gift for the individual or offer them an ice-cream if you’re buying one for yourself.

Service charge

Many good restaurants now include service charges as standard on your bill so check to ensure you don’t double tip (unless you wish to of course).

If you don’t want to be shocked by the bill, read the small print on your menus before ordering your meal so that you know how much tax and additional charges are added – double check with your server if it’s not clear.

Ensure you leave any tips on the table in a place where the waiter who served you sees it.

When you book your trip with us you will receive an Enchanting Travels guide that provides useful and up-to-date information on suggested amounts for tipping in he destination you are traveling to.

We hope you found our art of tipping tips useful! Read more for a specific guide to tipping in South America here.

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