What Is A Travel Style You Just Can't Wrap Your Head Around

Travel Forums General Talk What Is A Travel Style You Just Can't Wrap Your Head Around

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61. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 556 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

But it isn't OK to say all the negative things that have been said about taxes and tipping.


I guess there we will have to disagree. I have no problem with people expressing their frustration. The fact we are finacially contributing to a system we fundamentally disagree with I think does give us the right to voice our opinion. It is easy to say well just don't visit that sort of country, but is that really any fairer? Telling tourists who even though while in your country will participate in the system that because they voiced their opinion disagreeing with the system they should never go there again? Seems a tad bit extreme. I don't think any tourist believes they will change the country they visit but I don't think that means they should be barred from saying why they disliked something in that country. For the record what you said about bargaining is pretty much my motto when I am in those type of countries

sometimes in hotels there is an extra fee (like you sometimes have at resorts -- always read the fine print)

I discovered that when researching accomodation options in Miami Beach. Even the AU setting on the search directories didn't add it to the price. We had to manually calculate all the prices to see really how much it would cost. It was incredibly tedious, though in the end we ended up in a place without a resort fee.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Jul-2017, at 22:06 by Teoni ]

62. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1057 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting greatgrandmaR

I do not know why you folks seem to feel it is OK to disparage the local customs in North America when you would not do the same thing about any other country in the world.

The thread is about travel styles and tipping was mentioned - and obviously it's hit a raw nerve because, excepting North Americans, most travellers "can't wrap their head around it". As someone (probably you yourself) said, restaurant workers and waiting staff depend on their tips to earn a living wage. Most of us can't get around the fact that a leading economy like the States doesn't pay its waiting staff a living wage and expects customers to do so in addition to the costs the establishment charges.

And we know we can't do anything about it because we are the visitors but we still don't like it even though we accept that it's the custom there. And as evidenced here, it's putting off some people from visiting your country.

I'm not sure we wouldn't "disparage" things in other countries if we thought we didn't like them - it's just that you brought up tipping and we visitors clearly don't like it.

63. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 333 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Land of the free Labour! Or Labor as Americans spell it (Incorrectly).
:P

64. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 760 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

People can express frustration without saying that our way is wrong. Some restaurants in the US will automatically add 15% as a service fee to the check like they do in France. Do you complain about the service charge in restaurants in France? I think not. You know about that and expect it.

I didn't really bring up tipping - it came up in a discussion of the cruise ship fees.

Waiters at a sit down restaurant can make big bucks in tips - much more than the minimum wage that the employer would be required to pay them - even when they have to share with the bus-boys etc. You do not need to feel sorry for them.

It is the people who serve you in the little diners where food is cheap that really have to hustle to make a living wage because the tip is a percentage of the food cost and where the food costs less, the tips are less. My daughter worked as a breakfast waitress at a motel (she couldn't work lunch or dinner because she was only 18 and they served alcoholic drinks at lunch and dinner) and her usual tip was about 25 cents, because in those days breakfast cost only about $2.00. Her sister worked as a pizza delivery person and got great tips because she was a pretty little blonde girl and the guys were generous.

65. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 556 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

15% as a service fee to the check like they do in France.

I am not sure France is the best example because the advertised prices include the service fee, so you know what your paying before you get the bill.

People can express frustration without saying that our way is wrong.

Again I would disagree. Expressing that you think something is wrong is part of your opinion. There are things I've seen or experienced as a tourist that I thought was wrong and I wouldn't hesitate to say so.

66. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 760 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Yes but you shouldn't be saying that we are doing it to rip you off or that it is false advertising. It is only false advertising if you do not know the rules that we go by. And accusing someone of something like that is libelous (or slander if spoken). Those words cannot be taken back and they are injurious.

And even if we agree with you that it is wrong, it is legal here and it would be very hard for us to change anything. I have been going to the same hairdresser for over 40 years. Thirty years ago she tried to start her own salon where there was no tipping - everything was included in the price. She couldn't do it. She still has her own salon, but the beauticians expect to be tipped. And I tip her when she does my hair even though she is the salon owner (which in the old days we did not do). I know a lot about her finances (more than I would normally do for someone I went to casually), and I know she needs the tips. She does a really good job and she's a friend, so I tip fairly generously.

I think there is a difference (however slight) between complaining about human rights violations or other such things that we see when traveling, and complaining about having to tip or pay tax. Tipping is only about money. It is not life or death.

I was in Costa Rica and I saw a guide who was feeding the monkeys to get them to come over to the boat and get up close and personal with the tourists. I knew it was wrong and that he should not have been doing that. I knew also why he did it - he wanted the big tips. And what he fed the monkey was healthy food which they eat in the wild, but which it is hard for them to open the fruit themselves. It is a dangerous practice because the monkeys are wild animals and they definitely bite. So the question is - should I report that. I haven't done so far because I hesitate to impact his bottom line by getting him struck off the guide roles (which is what would happen).

(I took two tours and when I asked I was told that I should tip the guides. I booked the tours through hotel and at one point, my mouth went ahead of my brain and I remarked that being recommended as a guide by the hotel would be very advantageous and did the guides pay the hotel staff to be recommended. And the guy at the desk was embarrassed, and said 'only small gifts'}

67. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 556 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Yes but you shouldn't be saying that we are doing it to rip you off or that it is false advertising.

I don't think anyone actually said it is a rip off, but it does feel like that because of the backgrounds we of the non tipping and what you pay is what's displayed population come from. Though in saying that I have eaten at a couple of American restaurants where the price was really dear and you do find youself thinking "and you still can't afford to pay your staff?" but then perhaps American produce is very expensive, energy or property rates are too high or restaurants are taxed highly. I know that I don't know what other costs could be prohibiting employers from paying their staff but like I said you can't switch of that part off your brain that has been drummed into you since you were a kid.

I don't believe it has to be a human rights violation for tourists to complain. When I said I've seen things that I thought weren't right I was meaning social or cultural practices that I thought if they changed it a lot of people would be better off. They weren't serious things but I still thought they were unfair and fundamentally wrong.

When I visited Costa RIca I never saw the guides feeding the monkeys but then I didn't know there was a reporting service for that sort of thing. While I was in Costa Rica I did a little digging into the tipping culture (I wanted to make sure I got it right) and the answer I got was in general Costa Ricans' don't expect tips unless you are American (or English speaking in which case it is just assumed you are American) and we certainly noticed European and Latin American tourists would go through unhassled but we were always given the "tip please" signal. Of course the Americans were all paying up and the Costa Ricans' couldn't understand why we were hesitating. It isn't their fault in the end, having less exposure to non-American English speaking tourists they are probably unaware there is a portion of the English speaking world that don't practise tipping, but I am quite happy to educate them;)

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jul-2017, at 19:18 by Teoni ]

68. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1163 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting greatgrandmaR

Yes but you shouldn't be saying that we are doing it to rip you off or that it is false advertising. It is only false advertising if you do not know the rules that we go by. And accusing someone of something like that is libelous (or slander if spoken). Those words cannot be taken back and they are injurious.

Okay this reads like it's getting a little overly heated. Accusations of libel on forums are threatening so can we either calm it down and discuss nicely or if you insist it's defamatory I can delete the thread.

69. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 760 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

Quoting greatgrandmaR

Yes but you shouldn't be saying that we are doing it to rip you off or that it is false advertising. It is only false advertising if you do not know the rules that we go by. And accusing someone of something like that is libelous (or slander if spoken). Those words cannot be taken back and they are injurious.

Okay this reads like it's getting a little overly heated. Accusations of libel on forums are threatening so can we either calm it down and discuss nicely or if you insist it's defamatory I can delete the thread.

No I'm not accusing anyone of libel that's in this discussion. I think the discussion is helpful in that it might show the people from the UK (or countries where there is some kind of uniform taxation and where there isn't much tipping) why the things in the US and Canada are the way they are. It's a cultural difference in the way we handle money. I guess if you are not accustomed to sales tax and tipping it would seem strange but I had not thought people would see it as a rip-off so much that they would consider not going to BC in Canada because they might have to tip people. I DO think that complaining about things like sales tax is criticizing our culture in a way that would not occur if it were any other country.

Sales tax is a regressive tax because everyone pays regardless of their ability, but it is a way that various governments raise money so that they can provide services like police, roads etc. Some places have more taxes than others. Virginia for instance in addition to an income tax, and real estate tax, has a personal property tax on things like cars and boats (these are taxes that tourists don't have to deal with). That means that the sales tax on gas and cigarettes is lower. It also means that people from the northern part of Virginia keep their boats in Maryland and the people in Maryland go over to Virginia to buy cigarettes (and also fireworks, but that's another discussion)

70. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 760 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

When I visited Costa RIca I never saw the guides feeding the monkeys but then I didn't know there was a reporting service for that sort of thing.

I knew because I had a different guide the previous day and we talked to him quite a bit and he explained the process by which someone gets to be a licensed guide. I would have used him for the following day tour, but he didn't have a way to accept a credit card payment, and we didn't have enough cash or a way to get more so we could pay him for the tour. (We never use ATM machines at home, so we didn't have an ATM card.)

That brings up another point - back to the original topic - travel style that doesn't work for us.

Some people are too cheap to hire a guide, and then they try to overhear what the guides are saying to people who have paid. This is not only not fair to the guide who has his services hijacked, but it isn't fair to the people who have paid for a guide. It isn't only in Costa Rica that this happens, but it it particularly egregious there

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