When it comes to tipping even the most avid traveller may be unsure. Coming from Australia (where tipping is rare) I especially find it hard to know when to tip and where to tip. In some countries it is customary to tip, in others it is perceived as an insult. For our use, and others that need it, we have come up with a list of countries from around the world and their tipping guidelines to make our lives that much easier whilst on the road.

If you are brought up in the U.S tipping would come easy to you, but for those that haven’t been we thought we would start off with the country where tipping is the norm.

Tipping in the U.S

At hotels: The bellboy that brings your luggage to the room should receive $1 to $2 for each bag delivered. Your housekeeper should be tipped $2 to $5 per day. The concierge however don’t expect tips for giving simple requests such as directions, but of course you can if you would like.

At restaurants: Waiters and waitresses should be tipped 15 to 20 percent of the total bill of the meal. Bartenders generally get a dollar a drink.

Tour guides: Tour guides should receive a few dollars for their service and how much you enjoyed your experience. $5 to $10 per person for half-day excursions and $10 to $20 for full-day tours is expected.

Tipping Around the World

Argentina: Tip 10 percent in restaurants, give your bellman 2 pesos per bag, but don’t tip your taxi driver.

Australia: Australians don’t expect tips. Wait staff get paid over $20/hr, trust us, we are never expecting a tip.

Austria: In restaurants a service charge is usually automatically added, but follow U.S. tipping guidelines for everyone else.

Belgium: Tipping here is not customary but you may offer a gratuity for excellent service. Most restaurants do add a 10 percent service charge to the bill so look for that before deciding to give a few extra dollars.

Brazil: Serviço of 10% is typically already added to the bill. You needn’t add anything on top of that.

Canada: Follows the U.S tipping customs.

The Caribbean: Also follows the U.S tipping customs, however some all-inclusive resorts will already add on that 10 to 15 percent service charge.

China: Tipping in China is extremely uncommon and can even be considered rude in some circumstances.

Czech Republic: Foreigners are expected to leave at least a 10% tip.

Denmark: Everything is included on bills and restaurants—servers will be surprised if you leave something extra.

Egypt: Most restaurants stick at least a 10% service charge on the bill. It’s also customary to tip some unlikely recipients—movie-theater ushers, for example, will expect a small gratuity.

France: Generally, a tip is not expected – especially not for drinks. Most bills will say “service compris” (service included). That said, most locals leave their pocket change — starting from as little as 50 cents, and up to 10%.

Germany: A service charge is automatically included in restaurant bills but it’s common to either round up the bill or leave an extra 5 to 10 percent for good service. Tip your taxi driver 5 to 10 percent, give your bellman one euro per bag, and leave one or two euros per day for your hotel housekeeper.

Hong Kong: Tipping is acceptable in Hong Kong. A 10 percent service charge is generally included in restaurant bills, but roundup taxi fares and offer bellman $2 or $3HK per bag.

Italy: Tipping in Italy isn’t compulsory. A service fee is often included in restaurant tabs.

Japan: Tipping is uncommon in Japan and sometimes viewed as rude–especially if you try to hand someone money directly. If you really want to tip someone for good service, place it in an envelope first.

Mexico: Follow U.S. tipping customs.

Singapore: At hotels you only need to tip the bellman one or two dollars per bag. In restaurants, a 10 percent service charge is levied on all bills, so you are all sorted there.

South Africa: Tip 10 to 20 percent in restaurants. Group tour guides should receive 10 to 15 rand per person per day while private guides generally receive 50 rand for half-day tours and 100 rand for all-day excursions. Leave about 50 rand per day for your hotel housekeeper and tip the bellman about 5 rand per bag. Give taxi drivers 10 percent of the fare.

Thailand: Tipping is not customary in Thailand, but tokens of your appreciation are always happily accepted.

United Arab Emirates: Hospitality workers are generally low-paid here so while tipping isn’t expected, it’s very much appreciated.

United Kingdom: It’s painful to tip on top of an already astronomical bill, but service is often included, so be sure to inspect your check before deciding to give out any tips.

To help even further, we find that that the GlobeTipping app is very useful for those times when you are sitting in a restaurant in a foreign country and unsure what to tip.

Do you have any tipping customs from your  home country we need to add?

Stephen and Jess signoff


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