EVERY year millions of Brits jet off abroad ready to spend their cash on dining out, but the natural act of tipping at the end of a meal can land tourists in trouble.
Most holidaymakers don’t set out to be offensive, but in some countries, tips can land unwitting tourists in hot water.
From New Zealand to China – there are a whole host of countries where tipping isn’t culturally appropriate and in some cases even illegal.
Leaving a tip at the end of a meal in mainland China isn’t the done thing.
According to travel advice website tripsavvy, tipping in airports and “other establishments” is even illegal.
In some scenarios, an unwarranted tip will make a server feel inferior.
Instead of dolling out the cash, check the restaurant’s policy because many places forbid diners from tipping from the outset.
If you really want to show your appreciation to the staff, give them a heartfelt thank you or try writing them a note.
While tips aren’t common practice, it is becoming more acceptable for private drivers, taxi drivers, tour guides and hotel porters to receive a tip.
Meanwhile in Japan tips are pretty much unexpected.
One etiquette expert, Emilie Dules, even told the tips-overseas-international/”>Washington Post that they are quite often viewed as “intrusive” or “rude”.
This is because many restaurants believe customers are already paying for good service simply by dining out.
Vanessa Villalobos runs a Japanese tutoring agency and believes the lack of tipping culture makes travel easier for Brits.
“If you tried to leave a tip, staff would just think that you’d forgotten your change and would call you back to get it.
“If you were to press it on them it would be offensive.”
Instead of leaving your coppers on a dish at the end of the meal, you’re better off keeping your table tidy and being openly grateful to the staff.
If you have your heart set on leaving a tip, Villalobos also recommends gifting small souvenirs like a postcard or a badge.
New Zealand and Australia
The tipping culture in New Zealand and Australia is broadly similar in that it’s not expected.
This is because servers don’t rely on tips as a form of income like some waiters and waitresses in America.
If you’re dining in a large group where several items have been ordered (and extra service is required), Anna suggests a 10 per cent tip.
She said: “It’s important to remember its [tipping] origins stem from showing our appreciation for good service, typically to boost the wages in that industry.”
As well as brushing up on tip culture, Brits should also learn about the laws of their holiday destination – however unusual they may be.
In Venice it’s illegal to feed the birds in the city’s squares while can be fined for jaywalking in Germany.
You’ll also need to be careful of where you sit down in Rome.