New guide aims to demystify tipping around the world
Tuesday 15 February 2011
Tipping can be a minefield for travelers with the best of intentions, but a new book by guidebook publisher Bradt promises to enlighten visitors to 130 countries before they even leave.
Tips on Tipping, which is released this month and priced £6.99 (€8.32), examines cultural etiquette in both familiar and far-flung destinations in the hope of avoiding what the publisher says can be "an invariably unwelcome digestive."
In some countries such as the US, not leaving a tip can land you in an awkward confrontation with a waiter, while in Japan leaving anything at all is considered unpardonably rude.
The new guide is intended to take the edge off these situations by leaving the traveler prepared, sometimes with quite unexpected information.
In Paraguay, for instance, a tip is known as a 'propina,' although it's wise to be careful who you offer one too, as it's also a polite word for a bribe.
In Cuba, meanwhile, the guide's authors Carole French and Reg Butler recommend that only one of the two official currencies should be used to give a tip - the Cuban convertible peso, which is used for luxury items.
The guide also includes other tips on foreign etiquette and includes a section covering cruise holidays, another tipping minefield which has been made worse by the gradual introduction of daily charges on some lines, particularly in the US.
A survey earlier this year by Cruise.co.uk ound that tips can add as much as $480 or more for a 14-night cruise for four people.
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