Tipping

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Tipping

The French have a clear idea of when they should be tipped. Bills in bars and restaurants include a 15% service fee, but it is customary to round out your bill with some small change unless you're dissatisfied. The amount of this varies: anywhere from €0.10 if you've merely bought a beer, to €2 to €3 after a meal. Tip taxi drivers and hairdressers about 15%. In some theaters and hotels, coat check attendants may expect nothing if there is a sign saying "pourboire interdit" (tips forbidden); otherwise give them €1. The same goes for washroom attendants, unless another sum is posted.

If you stay in a hotel for more than two or three days, it is customary to leave something for the chambermaid—about €1.50 per day. In expensive hotels you may well call on the services of a baggage porter (bell boy) and hotel porter and possibly the telephone receptionist. All expect a tip: plan on about €1.50 per item for the baggage boy, but the other tips will depend on how much you've used their services—common sense must guide you here. In hotels that provide room service, give €1 to €2 to the waiter (this does not apply to breakfast served in your room). If the chambermaid does some pressing or laundering for you, give her €1 to €2 on top of the charge made.

Gas-station attendants get nothing for gas or oil, but about €1 for checking tires. Train and airport porters get a fixed €1 to €1.50 per bag, but you're better off getting your own baggage cart if you can.

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