Everything You Need to Know about Tipping when Traveling

Everything You Need to Know about Tipping when Traveling

Tell me where you are traveling to and I’ll tell you how much you should be tipping to avoid getting into uncomfortable situations. When abroad, we are often hesitant about tipping etiquette: is tipping mandatory, how much should we tip, is it okay to just leave the money on the table, or will it be insulting. We need to travel more! Countries that Say “No” to Tipping Japan: Tipping is frowned upon in some countries. In the case of Nippon, erring on the side of generosity can be counterproductive. Don’t make the mistake of tipping here because the waitstaff might take it the wrong way. It is almost offensive to them. My advice, if you’ve enjoyed your meal and you’ve had good service, is to be sure to say “thank you” before leaving. Singapore: Although this is not necessarily the case in all Asian countries, tipping came to be prohibited by law in Singapore. Tipping was frowned upon and even penalized until recently, though nowadays, perhaps due to Western influence and the mass arrival of tourists, it is becoming normalized, and large international hotel chains have started accepting tips. I wouldn’t risk it in the street anyway just in case. China: In this Asian giant, tipping is not only unnecessary but it can also be taken as an offense by the worker. It’s the world upside down. Instead of feeling honored, waitstaff can feel insulted and undervalued, and they might even chase you in the street to give you back your tip. In China you pay for the service and leave. The rest is unnecessary. Paraguay: Asia is not...
Top 5: Tread on Spain’s Prettiest Beaches

Top 5: Tread on Spain’s Prettiest Beaches

I suggest taking a trip through some of those Spanish beaches that will make you feel like taking off your shoes to never wear them again. We often believe we have to travel far and wide to find such paradisiacal spots- but no. They’re nearby. Secluded, romantic, and idyllic beaches and coves that you may not have visited yet. Dozens of adjectives come to mind to describe them but I’d rather you chose the words yourself after reading this post.   Papagayo Beach at Los Ajaches National Park, in Lanzarote Its volcanic environment makes it special. The fusion of blue and brown hues have earned this beach the top position in many a ranking of the Island’s prettiest beaches. It’s part of Los Ajaches National Park, a protected reserve with a strict daily visitor quota, to avoid the massification of tourism. And you’ll be grateful for that. As a heads-up, you’ll have to pay 3 euros to get there by car.   Cala D´Hort, Ibiza Arriving at Cala D´Hort is like getting to paradise. As you sit on the immaculate white sand, the scenery couldn’t be improved. To the front, the islands of Es Vedrá and Es Vedranell; to the back, tall cliffs; and all around the beach, a dense pine grove that keeps it even more secluded. And though this was a well-kept secret up until recently, it has become a bit of a trendy spot lately, with many flocking to its sands to at least take a selfie or photograph its stunning sunsets.     The Beach of the Cathedrals in Ribadeo, Lugo Truly out of a...
Traffic Lights around the World for all Tastes

Traffic Lights around the World for all Tastes

What would our life be without traffic lights? Waiting for the light to turn green from the other side of the street is not a waste of time. Not at all, in fact, it’s life-saving. These devices have changed quite a bit since 1914, when the first traffic light in history went up in Cleveland (USA). They have them for all tastes: frugal ones, funny ones, and gender-friendly ones. We’ll be traveling around the world through traffic lights.   Iceland’s Romantic Traffic Lights You can’t put a price tag or limits on creativity.  The Icelandic town of Akureyri had the brilliant idea of subbing round lights for green and red heart-shaped ones. As a result, through this curious idea, the Akureyri authorities have managed to get pedestrians to pay more attention to pedestrian traffic lights, reducing the number of accidents.   Berlin Traffic Lights: Ich Bin ein Berliner The minute we set foot in Berlin, one of the first things to strike us are the traffic lights. For those not in the know, these funny looking figures are known as Ampelmännchen, and when the red figure opens its arms, it means no crossing. If, on the other hand, the green figure lights up and takes a step forward, you are allowed to move on. The Ampelmännchen have become so popular that they are a mark of identity of the city itself, as well as the star image in souvenir shops.   Gender-Friendly Traffic Lights in Valencia Traffic lights for men and traffic lights for women. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the city council decided to dress traffic...
Segway Tours across 3 European Capitals

Segway Tours across 3 European Capitals

JimmytheJ   It’s faster than walking, more stimulating than cycling, easier than riding a motorbike, and more ecological than any other motored vehicle. The Segway tourism trend has reached virtually all European capitals. Segway city visits are a goldmine for tour agencies. Don’t be intimidated! You don’t have to be fit. All you need is a bit of balance, a body weight between 45 and 110 kg, and being over 12 years of age. The rest comes by itself. The Berlin Wall and Surroundings by Segway It’s becoming increasingly common to see them touring the streets of Berlin, the Wall, crossing at Checkpoint Charlie, or at Museum Island. The truth is that they’re a great formula for seeing a city like Belin, taking into account its sheer size, the low temperatures in the winter, and its wide sidewalks. Besides, Berliners are used to bikes, and pedestrians tend to be accommodating. The company I’d recommend in Berlin is City Segway Tours with two tours daily, the City Tour, which lasts 4 hours and tours the Wall, Postdamer Platz, the Brandeburg Gate, and the Reichstag, or the Mini Segway Tour, which is shorter (one and a half hours) and only offered in German and English. It goes from Unten den Linden to the Brandeburg Gate, and ends up at Alexanderplatz. Further information on this website. Touring the Entrails of Valletta on Two Wheels Valletta is one of those places that, proud of its sea, lives life facing the Mediterranean. Arriving in Malta’s capital is arriving in a well-preserved walled medieval city full of monuments. Just so you get an idea: Valletta,...
Join Amsterdam’s Free Tours Trend

Join Amsterdam’s Free Tours Trend

Travelers that show other travelers around. The phenomenon of free tours in Europe is in Amsterdam to stay. The ones showing you the ins and outs of the city are tour guides that have just graduated, or students of tourism –motivated by their love of the trade. Fancy a walk around the city’s canals? How about a tour of Amsterdam’s most popular coffeeshops? A stroll through the red-light district? Or perhaps you’d rather see the Jewish Quarter and visit the house where Anne Frank lived with her family? The tours are free, and guides rely solely on tips. And though tipping is not mandatory, it’s a good way to reward their efforts.   Tour of the Red-Light District Its reputation precedes it. But at the red-light district, not everything is what it seems. Prostitution is regulated. The girls pay taxes for standing there. Parlors have licenses and working girls undergo regular health checks. They have the protection of the police and the respect of their neighbors. They have all of that backing them. But unfortunately, a first unguided visit to the red-light district may give a different impression. My advice is to sign up for one of the free tours organized by companies such as Sandemans, where they’ll tell you all about this legendary Dutch neighborhood. The walk is fun and constructive. And best of all, it’s a great way to first make contact with a phenomenon pretty much unseen in the rest of Europe.   Bike Tour around the Canals Amsterdam is a semicircle formed by several rings of water. It boasts over 100 kilometers of canals and...