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By Request: Toilets and Tips

One of my recent tour members said it would be good for me to have a post about having cash for toilets and how much to tip.

If you’re coming to the UK or Europe on a plane, the airport bathrooms are free. Toilets at some of the train stations and other public restrooms require coins to use the toilet (that’s what they call it over there – it took me a long time to get used to saying “toilet” instead of bathroom).

Some require exact coins to be put in a slot. Recently I have been to toilets where they take a credit card! But really, it's better to have cash. So before you leave the airport, have some cash and get change in coins if you are going to be out and about.

Tipping is not a way of life in Ireland, the UK and Europe like it is here in the US.

You can give a pound/euro or 2 to taxi cab drivers. I believe the taxis in Edinburgh and Glasgow take credit cards. The taxis in Bath were cash only.

For meals, if you have a server come to your table, you can round up to the nearest pound or leave a pound or 2 extra. 20% is over paying. Their staff is paid a salary and not dependent on tips.

Recently I posted a question on Facebook about tipping to make sure this blog is up to date.

Here are a couple of the responses:

“There is no obligation to give tips. For good service in restaurants, etc, 10% is normal. When visiting London, I have noticed that a service charge of 10% or 12.5% is often directly added to restaurant bills – this is still very rare in Scotland. Tipping is generally less generous than in the USA, but it is appreciated.” “Taxi drivers are rounded up unless they are rude.” “I do 10% in cafes or restaurants if service is good. Try to keep a few pound coins in my wallet for cafes as you often can’t add a tip via their chip & pin which I usually pay by.” “Tipping is not obligatory. Tips should be given for good, friendly service at 10%, or 15% for exceptional service. Generally tips are pooled and shared, but pay tips in cash if you want greater certainty that the staff and not the management or owners will benefit.”

For tours, £5-£10 per day per person for the driver/guide is normal.

People have tipped Inverness Tours between £20-£100 per person for a 6 day tour. (I think £100 is excessive, but the guides from Inverness Tours are fabulous!)

And if you’re interested in another tour and getting all of this helpful information, here are details on our 2024 Outlander Tours of Scotland.

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