03/14/2013 03:02 EDT | Updated 03/25/2013 10:19 EDT

How Much Should I Tip? Tool Offers Travellers Advice


The struggle to calculate a tip isn't just reserved for the mathematically-challenged, it's an issue travellers often face when visiting an unfamiliar city. Like food, language or attire, tipping etiquette varies depending on where you are in the world.

To make things easier for globe-trotters of all backgrounds, there's a new website that offers a few (expletive) words of wisdom: How Much Should I F***ing Tip. The site functions like the love child of a Google search bar and the website, What The F*** Should I Eat For Dinner. Users enter a city or country and receive info on gratuity guidelines for restaurants, hotel staff and taxi drivers.

In Argentina, for example, it's customary to tip 10 per cent for restaurant staff, 20 to 60 pesos per occupant for hotel cleaning staff and nothing for cab drivers because they don't expect it, the website suggests. There's also a section for notes which aims to fill in travellers' questions on a destination's tipping etiquette, says Harry Peters, a digital marketers with Just The Flight, the UK travel agency behind the website.

"[It] came about organically from a discussion about vacations and how you never really know how much to tip for certain services, and how you sometimes feel like you're tipping way too much just because of your ignorance," Peters told The Huffington Post Canada Travel in an email.

There's a less profane version of the site, aptly named How Much Should I Tip. The decision to release an uncensored version of the site came after the company saw how much fun and interest similar profanity-laden websites, generated said Peters. There are other websites dedicated to tipping guidelines, such as Swiss Hotel's Etiquette Map. but none offer an experience that drops F-bombs like nobody's business.

Regardless of which version travellers use, information is determined based on Just the Flight's vetted network of friends, partners and bloggers and currently spans 400 countries and cities, said Peters, adding that there's also a few Easter eggs for the curious traveller. Go ahead and search fictional destinations like Narnia or Mordor.

Peter says the development team is "keen for the tool to be a genuinely useful resource and not just a gimmick because of the name." There are still gaps in data for popular cities and countries in Asia, but there are plans to expand. While the lack of complete information is a limitation, there are certainly still plenty of people it could help.

And when it doubt, a safe practice for anyone (travelling or not) is to overpay and tell staff to keep the change. It may be the difference maker between a fine dining experience and someone allegedly urinating on your door.

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