Tipping some extra change is perfectable acceptable in Europe
If I have learned one thing from my travels around the world, it is that Americans over tip. Whether it is giving too much to the waiter or shelling out more cash than normal to the cab driver, in the States we feel as if tipping a lot is just the norm.
Well if you plan on going overseas anytime soon, you might want to check out these tips on tipping in Europe. Across the Atlantic forking over a few bucks for good service is completely fine, but overdoing is unnecessary and it some cases an insult.
But just like in the United States, the tip amount all depends upon your satisfaction, the situation and your own personal belief system. With that said, here are some European locations typical tipping techniques.
England: While tipping is not expected of you when visiting England, understand that if you feel the need to give a little, 10% is perfectly acceptable. Anything over that is just too much and seen as showing off by some. It's fine to tip your hairdresser, waiter and concierge, but do NOT tip your bartender as most make a good salary, find it insulting and might not even accept your generous gesture. But if you feel they did a great job serving you, just leave the tip on the bar quietly. Brits are also not big on accepting tips, so do not make a big deal out of it and just leave it on the table. If you're taking a cab around town, just round it off to the next pound. For example, if the fare is £9.50, just give the cabbie £10.
France: Dining out at a restaurant in France is a "must" when visiting this amazing country, but when it comes time to pay up, understand that normally the service will be included in your bill. This is what the French call "service compris" and it should appear on your bill. But if you loved the service of your waiter, feel free to drop an extra 10% onto the final amount. If by chance the bill does not include the "service compris", then a 15% tip should suffice. When using a taxi round up to the nearest euro (i.e. €7.40=€8).
Germany: You should expect to tip restaurants and bars about 10-15% of your bill – which of course is similar to that in the United States. What's more, "over-tipping" is actually acceptable and quite common in Germany. Same goes for cab rides, as drivers often times receive a tip of 10%. Don't put your wallet away once you check into the hotel either, as it is common practic to leave the housekeeper up to five euros a night for cleaning the room.
Ireland: When out for a big meal in the Emerald Isle, a tip of 10-15% is way more than enough for the waiter. Going above that is seen as extremely generous and not the norm in Ireland. If by chance your bill says service charge included, then skip the tip as 12% has already been added on for the waiter. Add a little extra if the service was memorable. Similar to England, Ireland cabbies also expect a tip to be rounded up to the nearest pound amount.
Italy: Most waiters in Italy, unlike their U.S. counterparts, are paid well. They do not live off tips like most waiters do in the States. So tipping is not as expected from the workers, but it always accepted if you believe the service was outstanding. A tip of anywhere from 10-20% is perfectly fine. Cab drivers in Italy normally do not get a tip, but again if you feel that the service was phenominal or he or she provided you with extra special service, giving them €1 or €2 is more than enough.
Spain: Tipping is not mandatory in Spain, but left up to the customer if he or she prefers to leave a little extra. While there is no standard percentage amount to add to the bill, leaving anywhere from 5-10% for the waiter is sufficient. You can simply drop some loose change into the plate that came with your bill and be on your way. Same goes for taxis, as most do not expect a tip, leaving less than €1 is more than enough.
Switzerland: Waiters and waitresses in Switzerland are paid well, get plenty of paid holy days and even four weeks paid vacation! A service fee of 15% is usually added to the bill, so that will cover the tip. Although tips are never expected, if you felt the service was outstanding, it never hurts to add a little more to the final bill. As for Swiss cabbies, while tips again are not expected, leaving less than a franc is fine.
Now that you are a full blown tip-master, book a travel deal to one of these or other European cities with CheapOair.