How to Tip When You're Traveling Abroad

How to Tip When You're Traveling Abroad

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How to Tip When You're Traveling Abroad
Roman Sigaev/shutterstock


When jetting off to a foreign country, there are so many details to remember: your passport, your credit cards and their travel perks, and confirmation numbers for important reservations. But, one bit of preparation often overlooked is researching the tipping etiquette for the country you'll be visiting. To help save you from any foreign faux pas, here's a country-by-country primer for some of the most popular destinations around the globe.

La Boca Neighborhood in Buenos Aires
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An expansive South American nation with stunning mountains, glacial lakes, vast swaths of grassland, and bustling urban centers, Argentina is as sophisticated a destination as any. Tipping standards vary based on activity or service performed. Unless taxi drivers perform some special service, they do not expect tips because they have a union and wages are regularly increased. But many other workers do rely on tips. If you take a long-distance bus ride and store luggage in the cargo hold, tip the baggage handler 2 pesos per bag.
Restaurants: Cash tips of 10 percent to 15 percent are customary.
Hotels: You should tip 1 to 2 pesos per bag for luggage that's carried to your hotel room.

Sydney, Australia


In Australia, many travel industry workers are paid fairly high wages, and therefore do not rely on tips. So the standard here is, you don't have to tip unless you really want to. In taxis, for instance, no tip is necessary, but it can be a nice gesture to give $2 or 10 percent of the fare.
Restaurants: Tipping at bars in Australia is incredibly uncommon. At restaurants and cafes, however, tips have slowly become part of the transaction, but are still not obligatory.
Hotels: There are no services in hotels where tips are expected. If you still want to show your appreciation, consider $2 for a doorman, or a few dollars for the maid who tidies your room.

Les Deux in Paris, France
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The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles, and melt-in-your mouth croissants, there's so much to see and do, including dining at fabulous restaurants and lounging at world-class hotels, which means many occasions involving tips. In France, there's always a service charge added to bills. Mandated by law, the money from the service charge is passed on to staff, in addition to their salary. Still, tips for good service are customary.
Restaurants: In cafes, tipping 1 euro for every 20 euros spent is appropriate. In more upscale restaurants (think three stars or higher), leaving a tip of 20 euros is a proper gesture.
Hotels: Be prepared to tip about 2 euros per piece of luggage for the porter and 1 to 2 euros per day for the housekeeping staff. The hotel concierge will expect 10 to 15 euros each time a restaurant reservation is made.

Pargue, Czech Republic


Known for its abundance of castles and equally abundant native beers, the Czech Republic is a place where tipping etiquette can be confusing. In big cities such as Prague and other popular tourist areas, tipping is expected. But in rural areas, the same does not hold true. As for taxis, there's also a variety of standards. Taxis from the airport to a city center typically have a fixed price, and therefore no tip is required. But if you're feeling generous, 10 percent is a proper amount to tip.
Restaurants: Leaving 10 percent to 15 percent is standard at restaurants, when a tip has not already been included in the bill. It is not, however, customary to leave a wad of cash and change on the table, as is often done in the U.S. The preferred approach involves the waiter showing you the bill, and you handing the waiter your payment, including the tip.
Hotels: A $2 tip is appropriate for the porter at a hotel.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy
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With ancient ruins, the Vatican, and the Colosseum, there's a lot to see and do, especially in Rome. In Italy, some situations may or may not require tips. Tipping cab drivers, for instance, is not typically done. But if the driver helps you with luggage and provides useful information, give a small tip to show appreciation.
Restaurants: Service fees (ranging from 1 to 3 euros) are typically added to a check. As a result, the standard tip involves merely adding a few euros to the check's total. If service was particularly memorable, consider giving 10 euros.
Hotels: For the porter at your hotel, 5 euros is standard. Set aside 1 to 2 euros per night for housekeeping.

Tokyo, Japan
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Tipping is uncommon in Japan. Depending on the situation or person, a tip may be downright refused or cause confusion. The Japanese believe good service should be standard and, as a result, do not seek tips. Still, if you insist on showing your appreciation monetarily, put the tip in an envelope or wrap it in paper. For instance, you could give a tour guide 2,500 to 5,000 yen in an envelope.
Restaurants: It's best not to tip in a restaurant. Yes, that concept may seem shocking, but that's the standard in Japan. Rather than money, simply thank your waiter for good service.
Hotels: When staying at a traditional Japanese inn, leave 5,000 yen in an envelope for a one- or two-night stay.

Marrakesh souq, Morocco
Maurizio De Mattei/shutterstock


It's almost as if tipping etiquette around the world is designed to confuse you. Morocco is another country where there's no real standard. For taxi rides, simply round up to the nearest 5 dirhams. For example, if the meter says 16, you pay 20. When there's no meter, be sure to fix a price before hopping in the cab.
Restaurants: If you receive good service, leave 10 percent or more, depending on how pleased you are. But check the bill first, many upscale restaurants add 10 percent to the bill.
Hotels: The bellboy may be tipped about 10 dirhams or $2. Hotel maids on the other hand, are poorly paid, so leave 100 dirhams for a stay of a week or more. But be sure to tuck the tip inside your pillowcase, ensuring the maid actually gets the money, rather than the head housekeeper who inspects the room on checkout day.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum, Mexico


One of the most popular destinations for Americans seeking sun and sand, tipping customs in Mexico are much like those for the U.S. -- with the exception of taxi drivers. It's not the norm to tip a taxi driver, but if you want show appreciation for extra service, such as unloading your bags, $2 to $5 is acceptable.
Restaurants: For good service, the typical tip is 15 percent of the cost of food and beverages. This distinction is important because a 16 percent value-added tax is often tacked onto bills, and you'll want to subtract that amount when calculating a tip. In some restaurants, a tip is automatically added. Look for the word "propina" to know if this is the case.
Hotels: Tip the housekeeper $3 to $5 per bedroom, per housekeeping visit. Consider leaving more if your room is particularly messy.

Madrid, Spain


In Spain, locals place great emphasis on manners and etiquette. And etiquette here involves tipping. Round up the fare with your taxi driver and give a guide 30 euros per day, per person.
Restaurants: Particularly in upscale restaurants, tipping is expected and is typically about 10 percent of the bill. Unlike many other countries, there are no service charges added to bills here. However, some higher-priced restaurants may include a value-added tax.
Hotels: If the concierge performs a special task for you, give 5 to 10 euros. Cleaning staff should receive about 5 euros per day (and if you want them to be really nice to you, consider giving that tip at the start of your stay). Give bellboys about 1 euro per suitcase.

Cape Town, South Africa


Keep plenty of local currency on hand, as it's best to tip in rand, rather than U.S. dollars in South Africa. Tip tour guides and coach drivers at day's end, 10 rand per person for day tours. The amount will be split between the tour guide and driver. Taxi drivers, on the other hand, should receive about 10 percent of the fare.
Restaurants: In larger towns, tip about 10 percent to 15 percent of the total bill. If there are more than six dinner guests, the restaurant may add a 10 percent service charge.
Hotels: The standard housekeeping tip is 50 rand per person, per day. Tip the porter who carries your bags 15 rand.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok, Thailand


Tipping is not the custom in Thailand, a country known for beautiful temples, opulent royal palaces, and tropical beaches. Still, small gratuities are appreciated. When taking a taxi for instance, the custom is to round up the fare. If the meter says 51 baht, pay 60.
Restaurants: It's customary to leave loose change as a tip. But when dining in an upscale restaurant, tipping 5 percent or even 10 percent is standard.
Hotels: Tipping at hotels is not expected, but it is appreciated. You may want to give the porter 20 to 50 baht for carrying your bags and leave 20 baht under your pillow for the housekeeper.

London, United Kingdom
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Queen Elizabeth's subjects do not expect tips, according to TripAdvisor. Staff in the U.K. are required by law to be paid at least the national minimum wage, which has lessened the need for tips. Still, there are times and places where tipping is customary. For instance, you should consider giving a cab driver whatever small change you have. Or simply round up the fare to the nearest pound.
Restaurants: When service has not been included in a restaurant bill, leave a 10 to 15 percent tip. Tipping in pubs is not usually done.
Hotels: Give a porter between 1 to 2 pounds per bag. Leave the chambermaid 1 to 2 pounds as well. But at five-star hotels, increase both of those recommendations to 5 pounds.

Ashraf Jandali/shutterstock


A land of opulence and excess that includes the capital of Abu Dhabi and the playground for the rich, Dubai, there are no hard-and-fast tipping rules in the U.A.E. The standard varies by service or industry, but the big takeaway is that while it's customary to tip, it is not mandatory. If you hire a guide, provide a tip of $10 to $20 per day. Drivers should receive about $5 per person, per day.
Restaurants: Many restaurants indicate on the bill whether a service charge has been included. However, it's still customary to leave a tip. From 15 percent to 20 percent is standard, but it should be based on the quality of service received.
Hotels: Be prepared to tip porters about $2 per bag, doormen $2 and $3, and maids about $3 per day.

Great Wall of China


The rule of thumb in China is that no one tips anyone. It's a no-tipping culture. However, it has become the norm to tip tour guides and drivers, the amount tipped is left to your discretion.
Restaurants: It is not customary to leave a tip at restaurants frequented by locals.
Hotels: At hotels where the guests are predominantly domestic, you do not tip. But at hotels serving primarily overseas visitors, tip the porter about 5 yuan per suitcase. Upscale hotels add a service charge of 10 percent to 15 percent, eliminating the need for tipping.

Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal
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Portugal is easy -- tipping is standard. Service-industry workers are not paid exceptionally well, so know that tips are expected. While you can give a taxi driver any amount you feel comfortable with, the easiest approach is to round up the fare to the nearest 5 euros. Some travelers add 10 percent of the fare.
Restaurants: A typical restaurant tip is 10 percent of the bill or more, depending on the service.
Hotels: Tip your bellhop 1 to 2 euros, and the maid about 1 euro per day. It's also a nice gesture to leave behind your travel toiletries, according to TripAdvisor.

Istanbul, Turkey
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A country that bridges Europe and Asia with a fascinating mix of cultures and customs, Turkey is a place where tipping is fairly straightforward. Cab drivers do not expect tips, but certainly appreciate them. Want to tip your driver? Simply round the fare up to the nearest full lira. Tour guides should be given $10 to $15 per day, per person. One additional important point of etiquette here, tip in dollars or euros, not coins.
Restaurants: Leaving 10 percent of the bill is the norm.
Hotels: Tip the porter 4 to 5 Turkish lira per bag. Leave the housekeeper who tidied your room 5 to 10 Turkish lira.

Budapest, Hungary
Artur Synenko/shutterstock


When in Hungary, do tip, and tip in cash. That's the big takeaway for this central European country famous for its medieval castles. Hungarians normally tip for everything -- dining out, a drink at a bar, and taxis. When taking a taxi, be sure to round up the fare as a tip.
Restaurants: It is customary tip is 10 percent of the bill. Not leaving a tip is the height of rudeness in this country, an indication that you were completely unimpressed by the meal or service, and it's best to leave the tip in cash.
Hotels: Porters should receive about $1 to $2 per bag. Leave the cleaning staff $3 to $5 per day. And if the concierge does something to make your visit especially memorable, tip about $20.

St. Petersburg, Russia
Roman Evgenev/shutterstock


When visiting Russia, have your rubles ready, as they are the most popular form of tipping currency. Cab drivers should be tipped about 10 percent of the fare, but do negotiate that fare before getting into the car.
Restaurants: Anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent is an acceptable tip for restaurant dining. But be sure to give the money directly to the waiter, otherwise it may end up pocketed by management.
Hotels: Leave housekeeping staff the equivalent of $1 to $2 per day in rubles. The money is typically paid daily and left in an ashtray in your room. Porters should be tipped $3 to $5. And a concierge who provides outstanding service can expect a $10 to $20 tip.

Machu Picchu, Peru


If Machu Picchu or a trek through the Andes are on your to-do list, then you may want to brush up on tipping guidelines for Peru. Because it's such a large country, tipping etiquette varies by region and by social group. But here are some general rules of thumb. Because cab fares are negotiated in advance, a tip is generally not given.
Restaurants: Often, restaurants bills include a 10 percent gratuity. The norm is to add an extra 10 percent tip if you were pleased with the service. Small restaurants do not add the tip to the bill.
Hotels: Give the porter who carries your luggage about $1 or 3 sols. The housekeeper should receive 3 to 5 sols per day.

Bali, Indonesia
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Throughout Indonesia, hotels add a substantial tax to your bill -- 21 percent, a charge that includes a 10 percent mandatory government tax and an 11 percent, legally unenforceable, service charge. As a result, tipping in Indonesia is not mandatory. Still, there are some tipping norms to be observed. While tipping is not necessary for taxi drivers, many passengers round up the fare when paying, a practice that is often necessary because drivers don't typically have change.
Restaurants: If restaurants do not include a 5 percent to 10 percent service charge in the bill, then leave a 10 percent tip.
Hotels: While a service charge is typically included in the hotel bill, the downside is that employees often don't often receive the proceeds from that charge. With that in mind, you may want to give out a few dollars to porters and cleaning staff.

Taj Mahal in Agra, India
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Have your rupees ready when visiting India, a massive country whose history dates back millennia. Standard tipping practices are somewhat murky, but the general rule is to be prepared to show your gratitude for good service with monetary compensation.
Restaurants: Tip between 15 percent and 20 percent of the bill, unless a service charge is included by the restaurant. In which case, it is acceptable to not leave a tip.
Hotels: Tip the porter 20 to 50 rupees at budget hotels. At five-star hotels, up that amount to about 100 to 250 rupees. Housekeeping should receive about the same amount -- 250 rupees. And concierges should receive the most generous of the tips. At a luxury hotel, give between 200 to 300 rupees; at budget hotels, tip 100 to 150.

Giza, Egypt
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A country that every avid traveler should consider visiting in their lifetime, Egypt offers the pyramids of Giza, the fascinating Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo, and the towering rock temples at Abu Simbel. So what to tip when visiting this fascinating country? To begin with, tipping discreetly is favored. Cab drivers can be tipped 10 percent to 15 percent.
Restaurants: At restaurants, the tip is often included in the bill, but add 5 percent to 10 percent on top of that.
Hotels: Leave housekeepers between $1 and $2 per day. If you pay this throughout your stay, rather than at departure, you'll likely receive better cleaning. Give the porter about $1 per bag. As for the concierges, these are powerful and helpful people in Egypt. Tip about $10 to $20 at the beginning of your stay to ensure a memorable experience.

Costa Rica
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Costa Rica is renowned for its rain forests and eco-adventures. Costa Ricans are usually paid quite well, so you will rarely encounter a service industry worker asking for a tip. However, consider giving cab drivers a small amount when you have luggage.
Restaurants: Because a 10 percent service charge is added to the bill, tipping at restaurants, bars, and coffee shops is entirely optional. If you really enjoyed the service, add a tip of your choosing.
Hotels: The tipping at hotels is minimal. Conde Nast Traveler suggests a mere 50 cents per bag for the porter and $1 at upscale hotels. The housekeeper should be tipped about $1.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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The home of the fascinating World Heritage site Angkor Wat, Cambodia is much like other Asian countries in that tipping is not customary. It's simply not a part of the culture. That said, Conde Nast Traveler suggests tips in certain cases. Tip a taxi driver $1, and give tour guides anywhere from $10 to $20 per day.
Restaurants: It's a nice gesture to leave the waiter $1 per diner.
Hotels: Tip the porter $1 to $2 per bag. For everything else at a nice hotel, there is a service charge already included in your bill.

Halong Bay, Vietnam


Tipping is not part of life in Vietnam. There is no need to tip anywhere. But as with nearly every other country on this list, there are occasional exceptions.
Restaurants: If a tip isn't included in the bill, Conde Nast Traveler suggests leaving about 10 percent in cash. When tips are already included in the bill, simply throw in a few extra dollars.
Hotels: For the concierge who helps arrange various niceties during your stay, tip about $20. The cleaning staff should be tipped about $2 per day, at the end of your visit. Do not tip doormen.