My last post was about tip misappropriation in NYC, so I thought this a good time to share some useful information on tipping abroad. Tips can feel like a nuisance, and at fancy hotels, it often seems that you're handing out bills like water. But tips are part of the system (in some places more than others) and you're smart to follow local guidelines.
And smarter tipping has its payoffs: Leave a few bucks on your pillow when you depart your hotel room for the day (even at a moderately-priced place), and you will often find the room made up with discernibly more loving care. Slip a tip to your hotel bartender, and you’ll get a bit tipsier from that drink. And make sure you adequately reward any concierge you plan to assign a serious task, such as hard-to-get tickets or reservations.
Travel & Leisure recently published a nifty "World Tipping Guide” slide show. It’s a great tool. Now you have no excuses for under- or over-tipping.