"what some of you think about the tipping issue" .
I think Americans worry about it too much,, because it is more important in the States, and even though they read that it is not as important in other countries,, deep down they just have a time accepting that leaving a coin or two in most cases is just fine.
I don't use porters.
I round up for taxis. Never that much, maybe a euro or two. For airport run I may round up to nearest 5. There is a one euro sur charge for each suitcase in a taxi, so why tip on top of that??
Waiters in cafes ,, for light meal or snack. Just change.
I wouldn't tip a shuttle bus driver, unless he carried my bag , loaded and unloaded it,, but I haven't had that experience.
I know this may sound harsh,, but really , the average europeon just does not find this hard hearted. Wait staff are better paid then there are in the States, you will note many waiters are not young kids, but grown men who do this as a career, they get medical etc,, not like the poor college kid in the States getting 3 bucks an hour.
Of course it is nice to give someone a little something extra if they do something nice or extra for you.
I tipped our hotel maid this past trip, I asked for extra towels on first day, and she made sure we had extra towels every day after that, I apprieciated that.
I also gave the waitress in our breakfast room a carnet of metro tickets when we were leaving, she was thrilled, I asked somewhat hesitantly as I assumed she likely had a pass, but she reacted very happily to the offer.
So, yes, be nice and tip when YOU WANT to, but no, you are not EXPECTED to , and no one will hate you..
PS I do wonder if at some very touristy places that are frequented by Americans in particular( like Rue Cler area because of RS) if more waiters expect tips from Americans because Americans just tip anyways?? I am wondering about this, I have no idea?