Your Fool-Proof Guide to Tipping Around the World

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Awesome Tips   Traveler's Toolbox  

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The moment you step off the plane in a new country, the questioning of whether or not to tip begins. Should you tip the taxi driver? Should you tip the porter who helped you with your bags? Should you tip the bartender who mixed your welcome drink? And how much?

In some countries, leaving a tip is customary, and in others, it’s completely unheard of. So instead of feeling like a jerk after stiffing the mariachi band or giving your cab money to the Australian waiter (who makes over $20 an hour), follow this simple guide to mastering the art of tipping abroad.

Brazil

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Restaurants: Tips are not expected, but 10 percent is often included in your bill, so take a look before leaving any money on the table.

Hotels: Two dollars is a respectable amount for a porter or housekeeper (per day).

Other: Cab drivers expect a small tip ($1-$2 will do), but private drivers and tour guides should be given at least $20 for a full day.

Colombia

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Restaurants: Tips are often included in the bill, but that’s typically only 8 to 10-percent. Whether a partial tip is included in the bill or not, 15 to 18-percent should be the final amount left on the table.

Hotels: Leave roughly $1 to $2 for porters and housekeepers (per day).

Other: It’s unnecessary to tip taxi drivers, but personal drivers and tour guides expect $5 to $10 per day.

Costa Rica

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Restaurants: Tips are generally included in the bill in Costa Rica, but if you receive exceptional service, leave a dollar or two extra.

Hotels: Fifty cents to $1 per bag is appropriate for porters, and housekeepers appreciate a tip of at least $1 per day.

Other: Tip a couple of dollars to your cab driver (especially if they helped with your bags), and always give tour guides $5 to $10 at the end of the day.

Mexico

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Restaurants: A 10 to 15-percent tip is expected at most restaurants (especially in touristy areas), and cash is always preferred.

Hotels: Tip the porter roughly $1 per bag, but leave around $2 to $4 for the housekeeper each day.

Other: Round up the bill with your taxi driver or give him $1 to $2 for helping with your bags. Gas station attendants, doormen, musicians and most anyone performing a service is hoping for a tip in Mexico, so use your judgment and give anywhere from $.50 to $10.

The Caribbean

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Restaurants: Resort packages are common in the Caribbean, and service fees (tips) are often included in those. If the bill is outside of your resort package, tip anywhere from 15 to 20 percent depending on the quality of service.

Hotels: In addition to the resort service charge, a couple of dollars to a porter is appreciated, and a $10 to $20 tip to the concierge can quite possibly get you onto a tour that’s already “full.”

Other: Tip tour guides an additional $25 for a full day of guidance and drivers roughly $10 per day, depending on their services.

Thailand

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Restaurants: A tip of $1 for a waiter or waitress is appreciated at restaurants.

Hotels: Housekeepers and concierges don’t expect tips, but tip your porter $1 to $2 per bag.

Other: Round out the tab with your taxi driver or give an extra dollar at the end of your ride. Tip roughly $2 an hour for tour guides, $3 to your masseuse and $.50 to bathroom attendants.

India

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Restaurants: Fifteen percent has become the appropriate tip for your waiter, but check the bill to make sure a 10-percent service charge hasn’t already been added.

Hotels: Housekeepers aren’t paid very well in India, so $4 to $5 per day is greatly appreciated. One dollar per bag is appropriate for porters.

Other: A couple dollars per day is appropriate for a driver, but taxi and rickshaw drivers aren’t expecting one. If you feel inclined, just round up the bill.

China

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Tipping is against the law in China and it can even be seen as rude in some places. The 10 to 20-percent service fee that may already be on your bill is another good reason not to tip in this country.

Indonesia

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Restaurants: A 10-percent tip is usually included in your bill, but throwing down some loose change to reach roughly 15 percent is common.

Hotels: Similar to restaurants, hotels in Indonesia typically include a 10-percent service fee, but handing a dollar or two to anyone who lends a hand is always appreciated.

Other: Ten percent does the trick for taxis, but tour guides should receive roughly $10 per person for an entire day’s work. For short tours or activities, a $2 to $3 tip is appreciated. A 15 to 20-percent tip is appropriate for massages and other spa services.

France

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Restaurants: Leaving a 10-percent tip (or whatever change you have in your pocket) is customary at most French restaurants, but tips aren’t expected at the bar.

Hotels: One to $2 is appropriate for porters, while housekeepers expect more along the lines of $2 to $3.

Other: Tip your tour guides $35-$40 per day and even more (about $60) for those who are nationally certified. Taxi drivers expect just a couple of dollars, but leave a little extra if they were helpful.

Germany

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Restaurants: Ten to 15-percent tips are perfect for waiters and bartenders depending on the quality of service.

Hotels: Two to $3 per bag is acceptable for a porter, while $6 to $7 per night is a more appropriate tip for housekeeper.

Other: Taxi drivers don’t expect tips but rounding up to the next dollar has become common in most European countries.

Croatia

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Restaurants: Make sure the tip hasn’t already been included in your bill, then tip anywhere from 10 to 15 percent. Tips aren’t as common in Croatia as other European countries, so a little bit can go a long way in getting exceptional treatment.

Hotels: Give your porter $1 per bag and leave your tip for the housekeeper (a few dollars per day of your stay) in an envelope in the room when you check out.

Other: Simply round up to the next dollar with taxi drivers, but give a tour guide a 10 to 20-percent tip on top of the fee you paid. Tipping isn’t frowned upon in Croatia, so don’t be afraid to tip a few dollars if someone was a big help.

Italy

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Restaurants: Ten percent is the going rate for restaurant tips in Italy, and it’s not often more.

Hotels: Tip your housekeepers a couple of dollars per night, and $5 to $10 is plenty for porters.

Other: Surprisingly, gondoliers don’t expect tips and many Italians will refuse your tip at first, but it’s not frowned upon to insist and leave the tip anyway.

Spain

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Restaurants: Cash is preferred when tipping in Spain and anywhere from 7 to 15 percent usually does the trick. Tips are more dependent on the quality of service in Spain, so don’t feel required to leave a tip for poor service.

Hotels: Tips are accepted by most hotel attendants who go out of their way to help you. Tip housekeepers up front $5 to $7 per day if you want exceptional service, and porters are accustomed to $1 to $2 per bag.

Other: Leave your taxi driver an extra dollar or two, but tip personal drivers roughly $40 per person for a full day.

Turkey

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Restaurants: Tips aren’t often put on credit cards in Turkey, so leave about 10 percent in cash on the table.

Hotels: Porters expect $1 or $2 per bag, but don’t be afraid to tip up to $10 to a helpful concierge or hotel attendant.

Other: There’s no need to tip your taxi driver in Turkey, but they may just round up to the next dollar anyway. Tip your tour guides up to $10 per person per day and car park attendants roughly $4. Tip your masseur at least $10 or 10 percent if the bill is greater.

United Kingdom

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Restaurants: Dining out in the U.K. can be far from affordable, but often times the tip is already included in your bill. If not, leave 10 to 15 percent for your waiter or waitress. Tipping in bars is not common.

Hotels: Tip your porter $3 to $4 per bag and housekeepers $3 to$4 per day. Bigger tips are expected at high-end hotels.

Other: Tips aren’t often expected in the U.K. but 10 percent is acceptable if you feel inclined to tip your guide or driver.

Australia/New Zealand

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Restaurants: Tips are not expected and often times not accepted in restaurants of Australia and New Zealand. At most, a 10 to 15-percent tip is considered customary at high-end restaurants.

Hotels: It’s recommended to give a porter roughly $1 per bag and to leave anywhere from $1 to $5 for your housekeeper per day.

Other: Ten percent has become the norm for tipping cab drivers, while a $20 tip is more appropriate for a full day with a private driver or guide. Tip 10 to 15 percent for massages and spa treatments.

South Africa

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Restaurants: Ten to 15 percent is appropriate when tipping a waiter or waitress.

Hotels: Tip $1 per bag to the porter and roughly the same per night to the housekeeper. Tip an extremely helpful hotel attendant or concierge as high as $5.

Other: Tip airport porters and parking attendants $1 to $2.

Dubai

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Restaurants and Hotels: Hotels, restaurants and bars in Dubai all add a 10-percent service charge to your bill. Tipping on top of that amount is completely up to you and the level of service you received. Although, tipping porters is more common, and a $2 to $3 tip is appropriate.

Other: You’re not expected to tip your cab driver but rounding up is always appreciated. Parking valets expect a tip similar to that of the porters.

Egypt

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Restaurants: The tip will be included in your bill in Egypt, but add up to 10 percent to that amount for exceptional service.

Hotels: One dollar per bag is acceptable for porters, and $1 per day is appropriate for housekeepers. Giving your concierge $10 at the beginning of your stay can go a long way in ensuring you get excellent service and great advice.

Other: Leave your cab driver a tip of 10 to 15 percent and tip your tour guide roughly $20 per person for a full day of fun.

United States

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Restaurants: Tipping isn’t mandatory at most restaurants in the United States, but it’s widely expected. Waiters and waitresses appreciate 15 to 20-percent tips for quality service.

Hotels: Porters expect roughly $1 per bag and parking attendants are hoping for $2 to $3. You’re not expected to leave a tip for your housekeeper in most American hotels.

Other: Tip taxi drivers, tour guides, instructors and masseuses roughly the same as you would your waiter. Fifteen to 20 percent is almost always appropriate.

Canada

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Restaurants: Fifteen to 20 percent is expected at most restaurants and bars, and anything lower than that is usually stating that you received poor service. Many waiters and waitresses in Canada and the United States rely mostly or entirely on tips.

Hotels: One to $2 per bag is acceptable for porters, and housekeepers expect roughly the same per day. It’s recommended that you leave the housekeeper’s tip daily, because it may be a different person each day.

Other: Ten to 15 percent is an adequate tip for taxi drivers, but guides, instructors, masseuses, hairdressers and other service personnel expect more along the lines of 15 to 20 percent.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

Comments:

  • Tipping is the least enjoyable aspect of travelling. In countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where waiters are paid a decent wage, there is not need or expectation to tip. Unfortunately in North America waiters are paid either minimum wage or less, and tipping is really used to pass on part of the wage from employer to customer. I would much prefer that employers pay waiters 20% more, increase their prices the same amount, and eliminate this distasteful practice of tipping. Tipping no longer serves to reward good service; it is simply expected, even demanded openly by some waiters I have encountered in the US.
    I have travelled extensively in Canada for business and now for pleasure, and 10 to 15% is a standard amount for restaurants. 20%, as suggested in this article, is at the excessive end.

  • I live in Canada. Yes, you can tip your wait staff but I don’t do a lot of tipping. I think it is wrong to force people who save up their hard earned money to tip 15-20%. They make just as much money an hour as I do. Now you add 20% tips on that and they are making double than me. I save money so we(family of 5) can go out and have a nice sit down meal (nothing too fancy but not fast food) a 3-4 times a year. Tipping is fine but do not force us to do it.

  • Thank you so much. Very informative.

    I suggest you add Cruises i.e. 3, 5, 7 day , How much should you tip your waiter or steward at the end of cruise. Also waiters in entertainment areas.

  • Great tips, I prefer the amount of tips being wrote down in cash amount like it is in this email instead of the percent Idea of 5 ,10 ,15 ,or 20% etc. always a problem for me , not good at Math. thank you for that great help to me.

  • Hello, I would like to correct something about tipping in restaurants in Canada. Waiters do NOT rely solely on tips. They are paid a minimum wage, That amounts to roughly $2 less than the minimum wage of all workers.

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