Travel

Americans are cheap-asses and don't tip enough, new study shows

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Tipping comes with the territory in the US: If you eat in restaurant, drink in a bar, or stay in a hotel, you need to leave a little something for the effort. And when foreigners don't participate, Americans make a big stink. But according to a recent survey, Americans adhere to the "do as I say, not as I do" doctrine when on vacation, by simply not tipping enough.

In its Vacation Spending Index 2014, booking giant Expedia questioned 11,165 travelers from 24 countries about their money habits on vacation and found that while 86% of Americans tip while on vacation, a meager 50% actually leave a tip for hotel service staff. It's a quick way to piss off everyone from the bellhop to housekeeping. 

As Conde Nast Traveler points out, Germany, Mexico, and India all show up America when it comes to dipping into their wallets for hotel staff. In fact, Mexicans came up top as the most generous vacationers, with 96 percent of tourists reporting that they tip service staff on vacation. Australian vacationers were the second most grateful, with 92 percent happily leaving gratuity, while Germans, Canadians (yes, even those friendly Canucks), Thai, and Indians all tip above average.

Across the board, hotel concierges receive the least gratuity, with just 17% of global travelers leaving a tip; 37% of travelers show their courtesy to the hotel maid and bellhop service, while room service delivery gets tips from 35% of guests. 

Of course, Americans aren't the absolute worst. A full 23% of global travelers admitted they don't tip anyone at all. Stingy bastards. France, which tips 59% of the time, and Australia, at 50%, came out looking particularly cheap, but New Zealand wins (or perhaps loses) at leaving the fewest tips, with just 42% of Kiwis tipping whilst on vacation.

As Expedia's Vice President and General Manager John Morrey said, the incentive behind the study was to reveal “how cultural forces impact how consumers save and spend money in regards to travel".

If that's the case, then when it comes to tipping, the US -- a country fond of reminding tourists just how much to tip for the periodic check-ins and water refills -- surely abides by a double standard.

Well now, here's a tip for Americans on vacation this Summer: Tip more! Then, and only then, can you expect more. 

For more of Expedia's findings/to wallow in your own shame, head here.

Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.