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Tipping Advice

Steve Robinson, -- If you eat out, travel, or require services, chances are you'll need to provide a tip. But to whom, and how much? And is a tip always necessary? A travel executive offers tips to help you be a savvy tipper.

Sometimes it seems easier to find cheap travel options, be they cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, or cheap vacation packages than it is to figure out whom you should tip and when you should not.

The following advice from Budget Travel should help:

-- At U.S. restaurants the usual tip is between 15 to 20 percent unless there is some unusual circumstance that warrants more of less of a tip.

-- Tipping guidelines abroad vary by the part of the world you are in. In European restaurants leaving a couple of euros is fine (for example tipping 3 euros on a 47 euro bill). However in Denmark and New Zealand no tip is expected. Be on the lookout for service charges that may be included in the bill. In Norway a 10 percent service charge is typical.

-- Don't assume that an automatically added service charge will necessarily cover the full tip. In Aruba, for example, 15 percent is automatically added to the bill. Guests who were happy with the service should leave and additional 5 to 10 percent and give it directly to their waiter.

-- When uncertain about local tipping guidelines ask hotel staff for the local customs for tips at restaurants. There are apps such as "GlobeTipping" that provide useful tipping information.

-- Tipping in China and Japan is considered rude and is not done even for cab drivers, restaurant wait staff, or hotel workers.

-- Tipping can get confusing when you arrive at a large hotel and one person takes your bag from the car, another wheels it to reception, and still another delivers the luggage to your room. You only need to tip the person who actually delivers the luggage to your room.

-- Shuttle van drivers who transport travelers from an airport to car rental parking lots and from hotels into town should be tipped between one to two dollars.

-- Hotel guests should definitely tip maids at their hotels. Remember if you tip every day instead of at the end of your stay you can expect to receive the best service. A couple of dollars each day is plenty. If possible find your housekeeper in the hallway and tip her directly while thanking her for doing a good job.

-- Concierge tipping depends on the service provided. No tip is needed if a concierge is simply showing you the best way to get to a local restaurant or arranging an airport shuttle. However, if the person is arranging for tickets to a sold out show or a table at a very difficult to book restaurant then the concierge should be tipped between $5 to $20.

-- Tour guides should be tipped in local currency. $3 to $4 per day is fine for guides of shorter tours, while $7 to $10 is appropriate per day for full day tour guides.

Steve Robinson is a travel Internet executive who enjoys writing and wants to share interesting travel articles with others. employees enjoy sharing their travel points of view and latest travel news with others who might share similar interests. For more, visit

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