How can foreigners expect to know how much to tip in America when locals don’t either?

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ONE of the most maddening elements of international travel is figuring out when and how much to tip. Most travellers know that in an American restaurant or taxi, it is standard to tip 15-20%, even if the service isn’t exemplary. In much of Europe, nothing more than a round-up to the nearest euro is expected. But things get more confusing when you set foot in a hotel. To European travellers visiting America, vexing questions abound. Is a 20% tip still standard for room service? How much do you tip a porter, valet or concierge, none of whom receives a base payment from which you can derive a percentage?

Gulliver has comforting news for you: us Americans are as confused as you are when it comes to whom and how much to tip in the country’s hotels. According to a recent Expedia survey of more than 1,000 Americans, 30% don’t tip at all in hotels. Of those who do, 46% tip the housekeeper, 40% tip for room service, 30% tip the valet, 20% tip the porter, and just 10% hand anything…Continue reading