Monday, July 13, 2009

What You See Is What You Get

As with any trip to a new country, there's plenty of cultural differences to figure out. Of course, planning to
move to a new country means taking those differences a little more seriously and locking them away for future use.

Take, for example, tipping & sales tax.

In New Zealand, there is no tipping! I have read that NZers laugh at Americans who come visit and when paying for a restauraunt bill, try to tip.

This seems like such a strange concept to me...not to tip for good service. Tipping is such a part of what you're supposed to do here in America...I think it will feel really wrong to walk out of a restauraunt without tipping.

But I'm glad I know this little tidbit so I won't seem too touristy :)

Another interesting shopping tidbit is that the price on the tag is the price you pay. Sales tax is already included in the price. So no more having to do mental math to figure out your 8.2% sales tax...or whatever the sales tax may be in the area you happen to be in.

Tipping & sales tax are so ingrained in my head when shopping that it will feel strange to not worry about figuring it into the cost!

And speaking of strange...I have a whole big post in my head about re-learning to drive, New Zealand style!!


  1. In NZ servers are paid a living wage by their employers (instead of just $2 per hour or whatever in the US). That's why you don't need to tip.

  2. The no tipping thing is hard to get used to! It's like that in some (not all) European countries. Being a former waitress it's especially hard for me to wrap my head around. But there they are paid better wages and it is a bit of an insult to assume they need more on top of that wage. This was the case especially in Spain where most waiters are men and well, you get the idea... And in England they think it's just dumb that anyone would tip for someone just filling up a beer glass or mixing a drink...and I kind of agree! HA! Anyway, it's just fascinating to me to read about all of your preparations. One last thing - while I was in Hawaii my friends were talking about how some people to make the flight to Australia (and/or NZ) easier stop over in Hawaii for a bit. Not sure if that's in your plans, but I thought I'd pass that tip along! Best of luck and can't wait to read more!