Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed December 02 2015

Kill It With Tech: To Tip Or Not To Tip

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | December 02, 2015

Kill It With Tech: To Tip Or Not To Tip

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

You sit consternated in front of a plate that once boasted a serving of rice, beans and cochinita pibil. The next conundrum to solve, aside from how to waddle back to the hotel, is whether you should tip.

Alas, this is a classic question that comes up the second we traverse beyond America, where tipping is the norm.

Thankfully, we live in an age when an app or two can be that all-knowing friend you didn’t know you invited to dinner, solving the question with a few strokes on the smartphone.

Here are a few items that might ease the anxiety that follows your meal. And by all means, lob solutions you use our way as well.

Piper: As of this writing, Piper solves tipping frustration for 59 countries, allowing travelers to figure out whether that taxi driver or waiter is in need of a little gratuity. You also save on data, which is the best part.

Tipulator: Simply and easily gauge how much tip you need to provide and over how many people were at your meal.

Gratuity: This app allows you to view six various tipping scenarios and see right away what the usual tip might be in that particular circumstance.

Global Tipping Guide: Another app that takes the guessing work out of traveling through various countries, providing what is customary for locals.

Tipping Bird: At this point it’s going to come down with what app you are comfortable with using, because most will use similar technology. In Tipping Bird’s case, you get to see what is customary in myriad countries as well as likely people you might run into such as a hotel porter, waiter in a restaurant or tour guide.

Sadly, these few tools will hardly solve all of your tipping troubles out there in the great beyond.

Editor of restaurants and hotels at Fodor’s travel publications, Erica Duecy, once offered the following advice to Forbes, which still rings true: “In most places around the world, it’s better to give something than nothing–so if you’re ever in doubt, tip. And in many cases, tipping customs can be broken down by area of the world, so what you’re supposed to tip isn’t going to vary too much from country to country in that region.”

The important thing is that tipping anxiety doesn’t keep you from exploring a city and trying some amazing new food or remarkable experiences.

Hopefully, the above alleviates a modicum of the burden, allowing you to get on out there and dive into travel. 


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.