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Tipping Around the Globe

Language Translation Facts

Tipping Around the Globe

What should you expect?

In the US tipping for services is the norm whether waiters, bellman, concierge, valets, etc… This is not always the case in other parts of the world.

Tipping Norms Change

While it is well known that typical tipping for wait staff in restaurants and bartenders in the USA for good service is 15 to 20%, when faced with tipping in other situations and when traveling overseas people are often confused as to what the local expectations or norms are.

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For some services the ‘norm’ is perhaps changing. In the US tipping for taxi service was often considered to be 10% of the fare. But now with point-of-sale card machines in the car, the payment applications are suggesting higher tipping rates and in many cases I have found some not even offering a 10% or even a 15% option. They sometimes have 20% as the minimum suggested tip percentage. It may be hard to find, but in most cases the application does provides a feature to enter “other” or a specific amount.

I have pulled together some data from personal acquaintances and personal experience to suggest the following tipping rules for the global traveler to consider as the norm for services in a selection of countries/markets. This is by no means an official guide to tipping, but what I follow and feel is an acceptable tipping standard for each market.

Tipping Around the World
Wait staff Bartender Taxi Hotel Maid Baggage handler (airport or hotel)
Market NA Canada 15%-20% $1 a drink 10% $2 a day $1 per bag
Mexico 10% – 20% $1 a drink N/A $1 per day $1 per bag
USA 15%-20% 10% 10% over $30 fare; $2-$3 under $2 a day $1 per bag
SA Argentina 10% N/A N/A $0.50 a day $0.50 a bag
Brazil N/A N/A Round up $2 a day $2-$3 total
Euro France 10% 10% 10% $2 a day $2 a bag
Germany 5% N/A Round up/N/A $3 a day $2 a bag
Russia 10% – 15% n/a 10% max $2 a day $1 to $2 per bag
UK 10% N/A Round up/N/A N/A $2 a bag
Asia China N/A to 10% N/A to 10% N/A N/A N/A to $5 a bag
India 10% N/A Round up/N/A $0.50 a day $1 a bag
Japan N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Korea N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
MENA Egypt 10% 10% N/A $1.00 $0.50
Dubai, UAE 10-15% 10% Round up/N/A $1 – $2 a day $2 – $3

Generally if you receive good service a tip is often appreciated. In some countries for certain services only rounding the total cost to the nearest Euro, Dollar, or such is what is expected.

This can be seen in the table above. In markets such as Japan and Korea good service is expected and not something a tip should be warranted and may either confuse the person or be offensive. This is all the more reason to understand what the local custom or expectation is for when and what to tip.

Always be aware if a service charge has already been included within a bill you may receive, as this is done in a number of countries. If so, then any additional tip may be excessive.

Online resources regarding global tipping:

Here are some sites you may wish to visit for additional or more in-depth reading on global tipping expectations:

http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2008-11-11/etiquette-101-tipping-guide

http://www.tippingaroundtheworld.com/

A Guide to Tipping Around the World – GoNOMAD Travel

A Guide to Tipping Around the World: Etiquette 101 : Condé Nast …

Tipping Around The World: How Gratuities Differ Across The Globe …

Tipping Etiquette and Guidelines for Restaurants Around the World

A Tourist’s Global Guide to Tipping [infographic] – Daily Infographic

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