We have covered the very fragile topic of tipping outside the US before…it is a tricky one. I have seen a few website and guides which instruct tourists on tipping and I have never felt comfortable with any of them. Ehow.com for example, has a tip for tipping in the Czech Republic suggesting people should round up to the nearest koruna. That is absolutely not the case. You would round up a 179 crown bill up to 200, not 180.
I do not quite understand why Americans–the world’s richest nation–are so concerned about tipping (specifically over-tipping) when traveling abroad. When in doubt, I find that you can’t honestly go wrong with tipping more, even if people tell you tipping is not necessary. Often they are just being polite. If you can tip 15% at home, why not do it abroad?
Yes, you might be paying more than people usually get, but it is better than trying to figure out the tipping etiquette in each country or under-tipping. Yes, you want to be treated like a human being, not a walking bag of cash (ehm, good luck with that). Yes, there is the argument that service workers in the US only earn a minimum wage and they depend on higher tips. I would argue that the US minimum wage is still much higher than “regular wages” in 99% of the rest of the world. Plus, the entire world knows that it is customary in the US to pay generous tips. They see by the clothes you wear that you can afford it. Why not just do it?