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5 Awkward Tipping Mistakes to Avoid

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We’ve all been in that uncomfortable situation of not knowing how much to tip the concierge or taxi driver. These are the top tipping faux pas people make abroad, and how to avoid them.

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1. Forgetting the housekeepers
The housekeepers are the ones who work behind the scenes so they are often forgotten, yet they’re the ones who have to see things and clean things that you really wouldn’t want to see and clean. You may have a different housekeeper each day so it’s best to leave a little something each day.

2. Nixing a tip for bad service
Not tipping isn’t the right reaction to bad service. Bad service will continue if it doesn’t get reported. Pull aside a manager and explain why you didn’t leave a tip so they can work with the staff member on better customer service.

3. Not having change
Saying you’ve only got a $20 is not an appropriate excuse for not tipping. Always bring lots of singles when you travel. Cash is king—do not tip by credit card. If you have forgotten your cash, returning the following day to present your tip is a nice save. No one is going to turn down your generosity because it’s 24 hours after the fact.

4. Tipping on room service
Room service bills are loaded with hidden fees, including gratuity. Most staff members are told they shouldn’t accept a tip when delivering room service.

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5. Not playing it cool
Handing over a tip can be awkward. If you’ve been away for an extended period and want to reward a concierge, host, guide, or another staffer at the end of your stay, rather than foisting a fistful of singles, give a larger denomination bill that you’ve folded in half and then in half again. This allows for a no-fuss, no muss exchange. Say thank-you and make eye contact as you offer your tip, expressing how much you enjoyed your time.

>>Next: 14 of the Coziest Hotels in the United States

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