Why is tipping while travelling so confusing?

To many of you this is a straightforward thing and to those of us fumbling with our wallets you may look on and think cheapo.

tipping while travelling
just something for your viewing pleasure…

I for one am always confused when I have to decide how much to tip someone. Like, so, I take a taxi from JFK to my destination and the metre says $60, am I supposed to tip the driver? If so, how much 10%, 15%, 20%…? This is especially mind boggling after flying across continents for over 15 hrs and my body is a wreck. Yes, I am thinking about this because it will be reality in a few weeks.

We don’t tip in Japan and we don’t tip in Jamaica. These are the two places where I have lived so I don’t have that instinctive calculating tip manufacturing brain. I am usually just stumped or even oblivious.

Again, why is tipping while travelling so confusing? There is no universal system and with each country comes a different set of rules.

How do y’all work on tips for different countries?

tipping while travelling
The joy of spring time in Japan

My Solution to Tipping While Travelling to Various Countries

Budget for it, yep do it, it saves you a whole lot of headache and angst.
Calculate how much you want to spend for meals at a sit down restaurant and budget the tip into the meal. I do a standard 10%.
One area I tip higher for are multi-day tours like a safari. A knowledgeable guide who gives good customer service will see about a 15% tip. Bear in mind that many group safaris run $500 and up. This I plan for early in a trip.

Be on the Look out for Hustlers who expect a Tip

Not every friendly face is genuine some are on the job and can get hostile when you don’t tip them for the tips they shared – even if you did not ask for them. Check out Debbie’s videoabout her experience while travelling in Morocco.

I am sure I am not the only traveller confounded by the different expectations of tipping while travelling to different places.
Have you ever forgotten to tip someone or in hindsight was just oblivious?

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