UK’s Tipping Misses Top Spot

It’s a familiar problem. Perhaps you’ve just finished a nice dinner with friends – or perhaps you’ve just been helped with your bags to your room in a hotel – and suddenly you get that recognisable, unmistakable feeling: it’s tipping time.

So when do you tip? According to a new Trip Advisor survey, if you’re British the answer is ‘Not often’.

Out of 9,000 people asked, British participants came 6th out of 8 countries when asked whether they always tip on holiday, with 39% reporting that they did. This is in contrast to American participants who reported that they tipped 57% of the time they went travelling. However, both are dwarfed by the Germans, with a massive 69% arguing they’ll always tip while abroad.

So, what does this mean? Will we start seeing hopeful cafe owners place bratwurst on every menu? Probably not, since the reasons for tipping vary enormously. When asked how people decide how much to tip, 46% reported that they check online forums, while 48% said they read online reviews and 73% said they based their tipping habits on advice from published travel guides.

"Tipping is a cultural norm in the States and U.S. travelers have a tendency to take their customs on the road whether they are on American soil or travelling abroad," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor. This also isn’t surprising when you look at some of the other questions the American participants were asked. For example, 16% of the Americans surveyed reported that they had actually been asked to leave a tip by staff, while 9% said they were confronted about their tipping size – and 3% said these conflicts had “ruined” their holiday.

It’s definitely enough to make the penny-pinchers among us feel a little nervous; especially when you consider how many situations tipping is now common in. But no matter what you like spending while abroad, travel insurance is always a good deal, as forgetting to buy it can result in enormous problems when something goes wrong.

Date Created: 05 June 2013

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