Dos and don’ts of tipping

WASHINGTON – Pennies tend to get pinched as the holidays near, and NBC News’ travel team has the dos and don’ts of tipping.

    Don’t tip the cruise staff. For most major cruise lines, tips are added to the bill automatically. While some lines may offer the option to adjust a tip – it’s a good idea to double check.

    Don’t tip the same in other countries as in the United States. Service employees in Denmark and New Zealand don’t expect a tip. Those in European countries expect only a few euros if the customer is pleased with the service. In other countries, such as Norway or Aruba, automatically add a “service charge” to the bill. Check out this detailed list of what to tip, where.

    Don’t tip everyone who touches your luggage at the hotel. Save it for the person who brings it to your room.

    Don’t tip staff in China or Japan – it’s just not done, and is considered rude. Not even the cab driver.

    Do tip the shuttle van driver when traveling from the airport or a hotel. A dollar or two will do.

    Do tip the hotel housekeeper. If there isn’t an envelope, leave the tip under a pillow so they know it’s for them. If it’s a small bed and breakfast, it’s not necessary.

    Do tip the hotel concierege if they’ve gone above and beyond to help you get into an over-booked restaurant or find tickets to a sold-out show. Between $5 and $20 is nice along with a note.

    Do tip tour guides. About $3 or $4 per day is good for shorter tours and $7 to $10 for a full-day guide. This is acceptable in China and Japan – as long as a big deal isn’t made out of the tip.

WTOP’s Del Walters contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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