The Murky Rules of Tipping: When, Who and How Much

Published on: May 14, 2014 | Last Updated on October 8, 2019
The etiquette of tipping is culture specific
The etiquette of tipping is culture specific

The etiquette of tipping is culture specific

The tradition of tipping dates back to 16th century England but the rules remain murky hundreds of years later.

recent analysis of the travel habits of age 50-plus travelers describes the group as “the lifeblood of the travel industry,” responsible for 48 percent of all vacation expenditures. Although they are experienced and wise travelers, boomers like everyone else still worry about when, how much and whom to tip while traveling.

One reason for the confusion: The etiquette of tipping is always in flux. The standards vary by culture, from country to country and even regionally. As a result, even the savviest travelers experience moments of awkwardness and uncertainty.

Read my recent article published on on May 13, 2014 that offers some tips to help guide your travels. The story was also syndicated on Business Insider and

On PBS Next Avenue: The Five New Rules on Tipping When Traveling

  • Reply
    May 22, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Irene, Tipping is one of those things that you have to ask about each time you get to a new country. In Germany, there is only “trinkgeld” or “drinking money” for tips. All you have to do is round up to an even Euro amount. It is now typical to add one Euro per person as well. So, if the bill for you and your husband is 35.70, round up to 36 and add two. Tell the waitress to charge you 38 Euro. Pay with 2 – twenties and get your 2 Euro coin in return.

    I think we should compile a good list, don’t you?

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      May 22, 2014 at 8:14 am

      There are some lists online but you certainly made it simple for German travelers!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I always tip if I am pleased with the service. A country doesn’t really matter.

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