Should I Tip?

Tipping is a custom or more so an expectation in some countries such as the United States while it isn’t required or maybe not allowed at all in others. But as an Explorer, you may experience confusion when you travel to another country when it comes to tipping (and maybe some other things). Before we get started today, have you subscribed to Kita the Explorer? If not, what are you waiting for? Subscribe today to receive discounts on gear, travel tips, and view adventures!

Now that is out of the way. What is tipping? A tip, also known as gratuity, is “a sum of money customarily given by a client or customer to a service worker in addition to the basic price” (Wikipedia). So you may need (be expected) to tip people in your travels such as the maid of your hotel room, your tour guide, your taxi driver, etc.

But some countries don’t find tips as required/commonplace as compared to others. It’s important to research if tips are expected or not wherever you go. And hey, I usually forget to do so and either ask or search the internet once I arrive. Or experience awkwardness. My recent awkwardness was in Sydney, Australia. I arrived early Sunday morning and arranged a tour of the city for that afternoon. About halfway through the tour, I was like oh my gosh, I forgot to get cash out of the ATM so I can give a tip. Obviously, this is a very custom thing for me being from the United States. I looked for ATMs along the way, but I never saw one. At the end of the tour, I asked. He was like don’t worry about it and it wasn’t a big deal. Then, I thought oh no what are their rules on tips. Australia doesn’t find tips/gratuity as required as the US. According to Business Insider, countries such as Brazil, China, Hong Kong, and Denmark don’t find tipping as commonplace yet no one will stop you for giving it! It’s still appreciated!

On the other hand, you may be from somewhere in which you don’t really have to give gratuity but you are visiting somewhere in which it is pretty much a requirement (highly expected) may get some awkward stares or maybe even a confrontation because you didn’t follow protocol. You would hope they would understand but never make assumptions. So coming from this background, it’s important to research and understand when tipping is “required” to avoid the embarrassment. You also want to understand the rate of tip and who it is acceptable to tip. For example, in the United States tip rates average 15%-20%. But these rates could go higher or lower depending on what service was provided or the quality of service.

Now you may just hate tipping, which no judgment here. But keep in mind, places that “expects” tipping, those individuals may not get paid enough through their regular salary because of the reliance on tips. These people also have to care for their livelihood and possibly their families. So don’t be a rude person.

Short post today but necessary as this is usually a last minute consideration. I hope I provided you another tip to help you be more prepared for your travels. Here is a great article from Trip Savvy regarding Tipping Etiquette. Check it out if you have time! Also, to help you on your research, here is a guide to tipping policies in 25 different countries from Travel and Leisure.

What stories do you have when it comes to tipping/gratuity while traveling? I want to hear! Comment below!

Thank you,

~ Kita the Explorer

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