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Tipping etiquette around the world

Tipping Around The World

With searches for “tipping abroad” and “tipping around the world” seeing an increase of 100% and 88% respectively over the last 12 months, it’s clear to see that more of us are travelling abroad, and want to make sure we’re tipping waiters, taxi drivers and hotel porters what they expect.

But, with tipping rules differing globally, it’s hard knowing how much to budget for. That’s why we’ve created this handy tipping index. We looked at countries across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania to discover how much you should tip everyone from your taxi drivers to your waiters. Read on to find out more.

Tipping Around The World

How much should you tip in Europe?

If you’re embarking on a European cruise with us, it’s good to know that as a general rule at any restaurant in Europe, expect to pay around 10% of the total value as a tip – so, if a meal costs you €50, you’ll want to put down a tip of around €5. Usually, tips are added to your bill, so always check your receipt to avoid double tipping.

In some countries such as Austria, tips are slightly lower at 5%, whereas in other countries, there’s no obligation to tip in a restaurant, such as in Italy, Belgium, and Portugal. However, in a couple of central European countries such as Hungary and Poland, restaurant tips can total around 15% of the total bill.

When it comes to hotel porters, as a general rule, expect to pay around €1-€2 per bag, although in the Netherlands, Poland, and Belgium, it’s not customary to tip at all. Similarly with hotel maids, the average is around €2 per night, although this can be up to €5 per night in Spain and Germany.

Finally, when it comes to taxi drivers, it’s not as customary to tip, with it not expected in Italy, Czechia, the Netherlands, or Ireland; and in the UK and Germany, it’s only customary to round the fare up. For most other countries in Europe, pay around 10% of the fare as a tip – so if the trip cost you €10, tip the taxi driver an extra €1.

How much should you tip in Asia?

Tipping isn’t as customary in Asia as it is in other parts of the world, and in some countries, it can be taken as an insult.

You’re not required to tip in a restaurant if you’re in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Japan, or South Korea. In most other countries, like Singapore and Thailand, 10% is the rule, although this can increase to 15%-20% in Middle Eastern countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

It's not customary to tip hotel porters in China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, or the Philippines, but for most places, you can expect to pay around $1 per bag. In Hong Kong and Qatar, this can increase to between $3-$5.

It’s less common to tip maids, with several countries not tipping them, including Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia – although for most other places, around $2 a night is expected.

There’s even less obligation to tip taxi drivers, with nine of the countries listed not tipping, and you only needing to round up the fare in the UAE, India, Indonesia, Bahrain, and Jordan – something definitely worth knowing if you’re heading off on an Asian or Middle Eastern cruise with us.

How much should you tip in North America?

Most of us know that Americans are big on tipping, as workers often rely on them to pay their bills. So, if you’re travelling to this part of the world, expect to spend more on tipping.

For restaurants, whilst in Mexico only 10% is customary, this increases up to 20% in Canada and the Dominican Republic, and up to 25% in the USA, if you feel you’ve had excellent service. If you’ve received bad service, then don’t think you can leave without tipping – instead, explain to your waiter why you weren’t happy, and then tip 10%.

For hotel porters, expect to tip $1-$2 per bag, or 10-20 pesos per bag in Mexico; and up to $3 or 50 pesos a night for maids. For taxis, 10% is standard, although you could increase this to 15% of the total fare in the USA; whereas you won’t need to tip your taxi driver in Mexico.

How much should you tip in South America?

If you’ve booked a South American cruise with us, then you’ll want to make sure you leave yourself some spare change for tipping.

Across Peru, Argentina, and Brazil, a 10% tip for restaurants is standard, and if you’re in a taxi, at most, you’ll only need to round the fare up. For hotel porters and maids, pay around 3 Soles in Peru per bag, 1-3 Pesos in Argentina, and R$5-R$6 in Brazil.

How much should you tip in Africa?

Across Africa, a 10% tip for restaurants is standard in Egypt, Kenya, and Tunisia, but this can increase to up to 15% in South Africa and Morocco. The only country it’s common to tip taxi drivers is in South Africa, at around 10%. You only need to round up the fair in Tunisia and Morocco, and it’s not expected at all in Egypt and Kenya.

For hotel porters, pay around 5 Dinars per bag in Tunisia, 10 Rand per bag in South Africa, and 10-20 Dirhams in Morocco. For hotel maids, 10-15 Rand per night is customary in South Africa, and 20 Dirhams per night in Morocco. In Kenya and Tunisia, you tend to tip over a weekly period, at around 200-500 Shillings, and 20 Dinars per week respectively.

How much should you tip in Australasia?

Unlike the other continents on our list, there’s no obligation to tip in Australia or New Zealand – whether that’s for waiters, taxi drivers, hotel porters, or hotel maids. Of course, if you feel you’ve had excellent service, you can put down a few dollars, but there’s no expectation.

Top tips for tipping abroad

So, now you know roughly how much you should tip across the world, take a look at our top tips, so you can be the savviest tipper overseas.

1. Always carry cash

Whilst it’s super easy to pay by card everywhere you go in Europe, in some countries, cash is king – and even if it’s not, you can’t tip hotel porters and maids without it. So, it’s always worth changing some currency before you travel, so you can make sure you tip fairly while abroad.

2. Do your research beforehand

In some countries, it’s not just in restaurants, hotels, and taxis you’ll be expected to tip. For example, in the USA, if you want to get served again in a bar, always leave a dollar or two once you’ve been served your first drink. You might also want to tip at a coffee shop, although despite there usually being a tip jar at the counter in the USA, there’s no obligation to.

3. Remember that tipping can be seen as an insult

Whilst you usually tip to show your appreciation for the good service you’ve received, remember that it’s not always perceived that way across the world. In certain countries in Asia, tipping can be seen as insulting, so don’t automatically reach for the cash once you’ve eaten your meal, or been dropped off at your destination, unless you know it’s going to be appreciated.

So, now you know how much you need to tip across the world, it’s time to book your next holiday, if you haven’t already! If you want to tick off several countries in one go, then why not take a look at our cruise deals? From hopping across states in the US, to admiring the beauty of Australia and New Zealand and so much more, we’ve got the perfect trip for everyone, at the best price.

Methodology

Sources:


Methodology:

This dataset shows the suggested tipping amounts/percentages for Restaurants, Hotels (Porter and Maid), and Taxi Drivers, across 50 different countries.

All data is correct as of 11/05/2023.

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