Brits most clueless about tipping abroad

A survey of over 5,500 Europeans has revealed Britons are Europe’s most clueless travellers when it comes to tipping customs. Britons are least likely to know tipping procedures and most likely to find themselves in a tipping confrontation.

The research showed that 60% of Britons do not know what they’re expected to tip in foreign countries, compared to the European average of 45%. A further 16% have been confronted on holiday after not tipping, compared to just 11% of Europeans.

“In the UK tipping is relatively straightforward but that seems to have resulted in some British travellers taking other country’s tipping rules for granted. In some countries, such as the USA, staff often rely on their tips to make a living and in certain situations in Japan tipping can be considered rude,” commented Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson.

The British resistance to tipping is so strong that nearly one quarter (22%) say American tipping culture puts them off holidaying in the USA, compared to just 11% of Europeans.

Despite admitting to poor preparedness and commonly causing tipping conflict, 45% of Brits claims they always tip when on holiday, compared to the European average of just 35%. In addition, 8% of Britons claim to have had a holiday “ruined” by a tipping situation.

The survey revealed a number of other interesting results:

– Almost half (45%) of all European respondents admit they are now tipping less or not at all because of the current economic squeeze. One-third (35%) of British travellers are tipping less due to the economic situation. The situation is most severe for Spanish travellers – 65% claim to have changed their tipping because of the financial crisis.

– When asked whether tips should be abolished altogether and service automatically added to the bill, 58% of Britons and 52% of Europeans do not believe tips should be added to the bill

“Just as you should check local customs and rules before visiting any country, you should also research their tipping rules to avoid unnecessary confrontation or embarrassment,” concluded TripAdvisor’s Emma O’Boyle.