I remember bring in NYC with my friend Becky and getting chewed out by the bartender for our small tip. “Was the service not good enough?” The irate and bitchy bartender asked, we had tipped her 15% when she had brought out the plate of oysters. It turns out in New York, that anything under 20% is considered low by the wait staff. In Canada, 15% is a normal tip. I know some of my readers probably agree and disagree with this amount. In Asia, there’s even more discrepancy in tipping philosophy. It’s not normal or expected to give tips. Or at least it wasn’t. The amount of travellers from tipping cultures visiting has definitely slanted this philosophy. The closer you are to a tourist area, the more the wait staff expects tips.
If you are going to tip, then the amount is again very varied.according to friends and expats there are a variety of options. 10%, rounding off the bill or no tip all came up in conversation. If you’re looking for cheap countries to retire cheap, chance are you don’t frivously throw money away. Saying that it also doesn’t mean you’re a jerk that routinely stiffs the people who serve you. Tipping seems like that universal, do you or don’t you do it and if so how much question.
I’ve started rounding out the bill for haircuts and taxi cabs, and when at sit down air conditioned reataurants leaving 5%. It’s funny even hookers here will ask for tips! Roadside street stands don’t ask for or expect tips, nor do fast food places.
Does your service change? According to one friend of mine, his fellow expat was living here and never tipped taxi drivers taking him home, before he knew it there were less and less taxi drivers in his area. All in all, I’d say in Asia, tip less than normal but considering the cost of living, your minimal tip might be more than they make in a day.
Enjoy your travels and finding the best places to retire cheap friends and readers! Scroll to the very bottom of the page for my articles on finding the best countries to retire cheap.