Tipping protocol can vary from what it is in the States. Overseas, tips are not always expected but are usually welcomed. Whether to tip or not is completely at your discretion – and here are some guidelines to assist if you feel as though you want to reward great service!
Hospitality: Restaurants, Pubs, Hotels
Ireland / UK: Most restaurants will not include service charge unless there is a party of six or more. We advise that you ask the waitstaff if service is included in your bill. If yes, then you don’t need to feel obligated to leave more – but if you wanted to show more appreciation above the included service charge, you could leave another £/€ or two on the table. If service is not included, then we suggest adding 10%-15% to the total bill based on the level of service you feel you received.
Italy: Every restaurant includes a service charge, so we suggest taking this into consideration before leaving a tip.
It is very rare to tip a bartender in Europe and the UK. Most bartenders do not expect it, and some may even refuse it. However, please feel free to leave 1-2 £/€ on the bar but this is certainly not required. We would say that if you develop a rapport with the bartender, you could offer a euro/pound or two with the phrase, “and one for yourself.”
Hotel Housekeeping / Breakfast Waitstaff
Ireland / UK: Tipping housekeeping and breakfast waitstaff is not expected.
Italy: It’s customary to leave 1-2 £/€ on the nightstand for housekeeping each morning as well as leaving the same on the table for hotel breakfast staff service.
We suggest a range between 1-3 £/€ per bag when traveling independently. If you are part of a group tour inquire with your group leader if your porterage is already included as most times it will be pre-scheduled and pre-paid.
Daily Touring & Activities
Walking Tour Guides
If you have a fantastic time and wish to tip your guide, your guide will be more than happy to receive it. If you are on a private tour group and really enjoyed yourselves, we recommend about 20-30 £/€ total for a group of 20 people and under. For non-private scheduled tours we suggest about 5 £/€ per person.
Private Day Tour with a Driver Guide
For a full day of private guided touring, we suggest between 10-25 £/€ per person.
Group Day Tour
For a day tour operated by a local tour operator with a mixed group of travelers, we suggest between 5-15 £/€ per person. At times a separate guide may accompany the driver in which case a tip should also be considered for their service.
Direct Private Transfers
In Europe and the UK we would suggest tipping the following amounts based on the group/vehicle size for a standard airport transfer with a driver up to 30 mins. If the transfer is longer then we would increase the tip accordingly.
Car (1-3 passengers): 5-15 £/€
Standard Van (3-5 passengers): 10-20 £/€
Large Van (5-10 passengers): 20-30 £/€
Mini-Buses (10-20 passengers): 25-40 £/€
Bus (20-50 passengers): 30-60 £/€
Point-to-point / town-to-town transfers
For drives under 4 hours, we suggest using your discretion based on a range of 5-15 £/€ per person.
If the drive is over 4 hours, we suggest between 10-25 £/€ per person. Again, this is all depending on the length of the drive and total number of passengers, and your appreciation of the service provided.
When using a taxi cab in Europe and the UK we suggest at least rounding up your bill to the nearest £/€.
Multi-Day and Multi-Location Tours
Private Driver Guiding
For multiple full days of privately guided touring, as always, the gratuity is entirely at your discretion and the amount of gratuity should depend on the level of service that you feel you have received. Here are the generally accepted and suggested norms:
2-4 travelers: 15-20 £/€ per person, per day
5-8 travelers: 10-15 £/€ per person, per day
8-20 travelers: 8-10 £/€ per person, per day
20+ travelers: 5-8 £/€ per person, per day
At times a separate guide may accompany the driver in which case a tip should also be considered for their service.
Escorted/Bus Group Tours (not private)
Driver/Guide (1 person doing both driving and guiding): 10 £/€ per person per day
Tour Director (part of 2 person crew): 5 £/€ per person per day
Driver (part of 2 person crew): 5 £/€ per person per day
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