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Tips on International Tipping

March 05, 1989

One difficulty of traveling in other countries is knowing when and how much to tip. In some places a tip is not expected; in others, it's an insult.

Here are guidelines offered by American Express:

In London, unless a service charge is on the check, tip 10% to 15% at hotels and bars. The same for taxi drivers, but less to porters and doormen.

In Paris, look for the words service compris on bills, which means the tip is included. If it is not there or the bill says service non compris (tip not added), add 8% to 12% of the bill.

Tip a few francs to cloakroom attendants, tour guides and doormen. Air and rail porters charge by the item. Tip taxi drivers 10% to 15%.

Gratuities in Italy

Hotels and restaurants in Italy usually add 15% to the bill for the tip. Waiters expect a little more. Taxi drivers expect 10%. You should leave a few coins on the counter when buying a drink.

A 10% tip is shared by the staff in better restaurants and bars in Greece. In cheaper restaurants and taverns you are expected to leave 5% to 10% on the table for the assistant waiter. (Don't leave it on the plate the bill was on.)

In Canada tip 15% in restaurants, 10% to 15% to cab drivers. Bellhops get 50 cents to $1 per bag. Leave a dollar a day for maid service.

If the bill in Germany says bedienung , the tip has already been added. If not, add 10% to 15%. Round up to the nearest mark for taxis.

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