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Tipping Etiquette When Traveling

The joy of travel can be found in experiencing new and interesting things. There are, however, some practical areas that can prove to be a bit baffling. Tipping is one, but it need not be as explained in this article.

The first issue is figuring out what constitutes a reasonable tip. For the most part, you can use fifteen percent as a default figure. When in doubt, add this to the bill and you usually will end up okay.

We now have a default percentage, but what about initiating the tipping process? Much like dancing, someone has to lead! In some areas, you are expected to add the tip to the bill while others simply incorporate it in the bill automatically.

Touch down and pay out. No, I am not talking about betting on football. Instead, I am referring to the airport where you will be doing your first tips if you packed heavy. Skycaps will help you move that luggage and you should pay them a few dollars.

Somehow, some way, you have to get from the airport to your lodgings. There should be a herd of taxi drivers just waiting for the opportunity to wisk you away. If all goes well, a 10 percent tip is appropriate. If it doesn't...

Bellhops represent our next tipping target. They are responsible for transporting your luggage from the taxi to the front desk and then your room. Tip them according to the number and weight of your luggage. A couple bucks at least.

In some countries, you can evade the entire tipping subject. Why? The act is frowned upon and can even be considered an outright insulting act. No need to feel awkward about it. The tip is usually already built into the bill.

An example of an upcoming tipping faux pas will be China. As you know, the summer Olympics are in Beijing in 2008. China has a unique view of tipping. It is seriously frowned upon! Imagine all those tourists and the confusion.

There are other often visited countries where tipping is unnecessary. The include Russia, Switzerland and Holland in Europe. Most of the countries in Asia, including Thailand and Cambodia frown upon it as well.

Ultimately, the decision to tip is one of personal satisfaction. If somebody provides you with stellar service, then show your appreciation. If they don't, don't!

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