Guide to Tipping when Traveling the World

by Jules on July 6, 2010

Don't forget the tip, unless you're in Japan!

Many countries around the world expect a tip as standard but there are a few countries out there where tipping is an insult, so before you head off on your next travel adventure, make sure you know before you go;

USA – Many restaurant waiters rely on tips in America to supplement their salary and a tip of least 15% is expected, in fact any less that that is considered rude, unless the service has been bad. And tips of up to 20% tips are becoming more common. In bars, a 10-15% tip is normal.
Canada – Workers get their tips taxed in Canada and also expect between 15-20% to be left.
Germany – Don’t leave your tip on the table when in Germany, slip it into your waiter’s hand instead and as in much of Europe, up to 15% as a tip is acceptable.
Italy, France – There is almost always an automatic service charge included in restaurants, although an additional 5% is also appreciated. In those European countries that don’t include a service charge as standard, then 15% extra as a tip is considered customary when in restaurants, although it is not expected in bars.
China, Thailand, Singapore – Some of the hotel restaurants in China, Thailand and Singapore are starting to include an additional 10% gratuity within the bill so check before you leave extra. In fact, in China tips used be discouraged!
India – There are different service charges in place depending on which Indian state you are visiting, although a little extra would be appreciated by your waiter.
Japan – Many restaurants in Japan have one central till point which you pay at on leaving and tips really aren’t expected in Japan and in fact may even be given back to you!

Wherever you’re heading off to next in the world, read up on the local customs and etiquette before you travel with a PureTravel Guide, which covers every country in the world!

Oceania – Tipping isn’t that common in the restaurants and bars of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands, although good service can be rewarded with a tip of up to 10%.
Uruguay, Argentina, Chile – There are no automatic service charges in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile so tipping 10-15% is polite, obviously depending on the level of service you receive. Some South American restaurants and hotels also charge for utensil usage as well, so watch out for that.
Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil – When in Costa Rica, Peru or Brazil, you’ll find that 10% has already been added as a service charge to your bill but you can tip extra on top of that especially if the service has been good.
Mexico – At pretty much every dining and drinking establishment across Mexico, a tip of around 15% is standard although don’t get caught out if a top-notch restaurant has already added a service charge.
Middle East and Africa – Check your restaurant and bar bills in case a service charge has already been added. Otherwise a 10% tip is polite, although do check the local customs before you travel.

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