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Your guide to tipping etiquette around the world

Tipping Etiquette Around the World

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Tipping is customary in North America. When traveling, I know to always have plenty of small bills on hand to show my appreciation. I have also found myself questioning in my head, how much is correct, and should I have tipped that person?

Tipping is not always common practice around the world. In China or Japan, leaving a tip can be seen as offensive. Before visiting any country, be prepared and know what is customary. Here is a general guide for tipping etiquette around the world.

Tipping at Restaurants

In the U.S., many restaurant servers are reliant on tips for their income. In other counties, service charges are automatically added to the bill in place of a tip. Here is how to tip in restaurants across the world:

  • Africa: 10% if no service charge is added
  • Asia: No tip (except for Hong Kong, tip 10%)
  • Australia: 10% for a high end restaurant
  • Europe: 10% if no service charge is added
  • North America: 10-20%
  • South America: 10% if no service charge is added

Hotel Tipping

Place the tip in a marked envelope for housekeeping if available. Often times, housekeeping will not take the tip unless it is clearly marked for them. Please also tip the concierge staff when service is provided.

  • Africa: $1 per bag for bellman, $2 per day for housekeeping
  • Asia: No tip
  • Australia: $1 per bag for bellman, $1-$5 per day for housekeeping
  • Europe: 1 Euro per bag for bellman, 1-2 Euros per day for housekeeping
  • North America: $1-2 per bag for bellman, $5 per day for housekeeping
  • South America: $1 per bag per bellman, $2 per day for housekeeping

Taxi Drivers

Widely around the world, it is common practice to tip taxi drivers by asking them to keep the change or give them 10% of the fare.

Tipping Tour Guides

It is always expected to tip tour guides around the world. This is the only exception for tipping in China. It is expected and greatly appreciated. Tip tour guides $10-20 per person for full-day tours.

High-tech Tipping

To make ensure the tip is the right amount, download Piper Travel Tipping app on a smartphone. The app lists advice for tipping around the world and is available offline. I also use Pocket Travel. This app is a currency converter that calculates the total in both currencies as well.

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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 14 year-old daughter and 12 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…

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