Tipping on holiday - a guide!


55-64 year olds most likely to find tipping awkward and embarrassing

www.iceplc.com advises that 

42% find tipping embarrassing, 18% find it excruciating and 28% have no idea how much to tip!

Despite the over 55s age group taking more holidays according to ABTA’s latest research *, when it comes to tipping on holiday 55-64 year olds are the most likely to find it awkward and embarrassing. A survey of tipping habits amongst 2000 travellers commissioned by travel money provider ICE – International Currency Exchange  ** has found that 42% of over 55s get embarrassed by tipping and almost 1 in 5 (18%) find the experience excruciating – more than any other age group surveyed. This maybe down to lack of confidence around tipping etiquette – almost a third (28%) confessed they often have no idea how much to tip.

Perhaps not surprisingly, over 55s are the most sensible age group when it comes to planning their holiday money, with 21% always allowing some extra budget for tipping, compared to the UK average of 17%.

10% tends to be the rule of thumb for tips amongst 55-64 year olds, with 50% saying this was what they tended to tip, rising to 57% in the over 64 age group. 11%, however, said they never tip on holiday.

While opportunities for tipping will be dependent on the type of holiday, far from splashing the cash, the average amount of money spent on tips by 55-64 year olds on their last holiday was £39.81 compared to the UK average of £75.90.  24% spent less than £25 on tips.

Tom Johnson, Head of ICE Online Business says: “Tipping etiquette can be a real headache for many travellers and it doesn’t seem to get any easier with age and experience. While our survey shows that 50% of over 55s tip 10%, it’s worth bearing in mind that in some parts of the USA and Canada, the standard expected tip is 20%. We advise travellers to factor the cost of tips into their budget, especially for trips to North America. This way, tips won’t eat into the holiday budget, making it easier to feel generous when rewarding good service. Also, when ordering currency, make sure you have some low denomination notes for taxis and hotel porters when you arrive.”

The ICE Tipping Guide for Taxis and Restaurants


How much you should tip: Taxis & Restaurants


10% (already included)


Restaurant – 10%





Czech Republic





Only if you want – up to 5%


10% if satisfied


Optional service usually included – 10%


Restaurant – 10% if not included already






Restaurants – 10%  Taxis – Round up


Restaurant - 5-10%



  *Source:  ABTA - Older travellers aged 55 to 64 - took an average of 3.1 holidays in the 12 months to August 2013, up from 2.7 holidays per person in the previous 12 months.

  **Survey conducted on behalf of ICE by Populus, October 2013. 2,000 participants who had been on a foreign holiday within the last 3 years.

International Currency Exchange (ICE) has been providing retail foreign exchange for over 40 years and today has over 300 locations in 20 countries, on four continents, conducting one transaction every six seconds.

Through its retail network, ICE offers a wide range of products and services to support the travelling public’s requirements, including foreign currency and phonecards.

ICE’s online products include commission free secure next day home delivery currency and the ICE Travellers cashcard, an innovative prepaid MasterCard® in £, € or US$, which can be loaded with holiday spending money before travelling, allowing all the convenience of using a bank debit or credit card, but without the risks and charges sometimes associated.

article credited to www.iceplc.com  November 2013

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