Tipping is a genuine worry for many people.

There are countries where tipping has gone mad. Tip everyone for anything. USA, we look at you:

  • Someone points you to a seat in a theatre? $5
  • Someone carries a bag? $5
  • Someone gives you directions? $5
  • Someone makes you a coffee? $3
  • Wait staff in a restaurant? 25% of the total bill upwards
  • Maid cleans your hotel room? $2 per night. Maid doesn’t clean your hotel room? $2 per night
  • Taxi driver? 20% or more
  • Pick up a cake at the local bakery? 25% upwards
  • Self-checkout at a supermarket? 10% upwards

We think it’s out of control and we know other people do too. Everywhere you go, the hand is out. It’s the culture. Don’t pay the hotel maid and you could be fined by the hotel ($250 seems to be the going rate) for “smoking in your room”, even if you have never smoked in your entire life.

There are countries where there is no tipping. If you try, it’s an insult. People expect to be helpful, they take pride in good service, it’s the job, they should not need to be bribed before they do their work. We love you, Japan.

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