Tipping 101: Intricacies, etiquette and awareness

From the Window Seat: Diane Manson of Mountain City Travel shines some light on the international art of the gratuity

  • Oct. 28, 2016 2:00 p.m.

In countries where tipping for restaurant service is considered a faux-pas this isn’t necessarily the same for other hospitality staff.

Diane Manson

Tipping Etiquette varies from country to country and is most often different than customary North American standards. My best advice is “know-before-you-go.” A little research, and guidance by a Travel Professional will help you to avoid awkward moments or being perceived as a rude traveller.

As well as the country you’re visiting, how much to tip at restaurants may vary. Restaurants and pubs often post their Menu outside the entrance of their establishment or on their website. If you are dining in a group of six guests or more, review the fine print as there may a mandatory gratuity added to the bill. Recommended guidelines will differ if you’re dining a la carte, buffet style or ordering take-out .

In countries where tipping for restaurant service is considered a faux-pas this isn’t necessarily the same for other hospitality staff. Be sure you know the protocol for tipping hotel employees. I like to tip housekeeping staff daily — leaving it on the pillow or handing it to the housekeeper directly. This ensures the correct individual receives the tip. Remember the services of bellmen, shuttle drivers, and the Concierge.

I have a two-fold plan when travelling to a foreign country. I arrive with the local currency of the country, ensuring I have a supply of smaller denominations, which is perfect for tipping. Secondly, I include at least a small hand-full of U.S. one dollar bills. This practise usually covers all the bases. When travelling within Canada I stock up on Loonies and Toonies before leaving home.

In some countries Tour Guides require a University degree, whereas other countries your Guide may be a student earning their way through school. An exceptional Guide can elevate your experience to remarkable and on the other hand they can also create a ‘lackluster’ experience. When tipping your Tour Guide, know the suggested guidelines, and follow your heart. Showing your gratitude by including a little extra is always appreciated. If you’ve been thrilled with your Guide and he or she was outstanding at their job, be mindful that grossly over tipping can be misconstrued as a “hand-out.” Find the right balance to acknowledge your Guide; they will feel good and so will you.

Regardless of the size of the tip, the person assisting you or providing a service is a real person. Even if you stumble with an unfamiliar language “Please” and “Thank you” never go out of style, your intentions will be understood and appreciated.

Your Travel Professional at Mountain City Travel will answer your “What’s appropriate to tip questions”. Email travel@mcity.ca or call 250-427-2233. From the Window Seat is written by Diane Manson of Mountain City Travel in Kimberley.

Just Posted

Snowboarder buried in Elk Valley avalanche

Group self-rescues after triggering an avalanche south of Sparwood

Intoxicated man tries to enter wrong house in Kimberley

Kimberley RCMP officer followed tracks in fresh snow to locate him

Memorial Arena set to open this week

Cranbrook gets an early Christmas present as Memorial Arena opens after four-month repairs

SPCA puts out fundraising call for Bumble the kitty

Stray cat taken into care needs surgery to remove eyes because of glaucoma

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Most Read