How to Tip When Traveling – the Definitive Guide

You may have the art of tipping down at your local pizza parlour and hairdresser, but do you know how much to tip the top-notch waiter at the gastropub where you’ll be indulging in a beyond-good pile of fish and chips on your next get-away to London? What about the chap who taxis you from the airport to your beach-side bungalow in Australia, or the Italian guides who take you to Italy’s secret gems? And we mustn’t forget the cook fueling your trek through Nepal alongside one of the country’s many adventure guides.

Tipping is a tricky trade – there are no hard and fast rules – but the good news is we’ve broken the how much and who down for you according to country. Bearing in mind that context is everything (workers at western-style resorts in countries where handing out gratuities is not the norm may expect a little something), and, barring “discretionary service charges” (i.e., built-in tips that make cash gratuities superfluous), there are standards. Here is the lowdown of the world’s tipping do’s and don’ts, invaluable information I sure could have benefitted from before being chased down the cobblestoned streets of Paris by a waiter I naively failed to tip. Heed our advice, and watch the locals: if they leave extra cash on the table at a French bistro, so should you. (I learned the hard way.) Oh, and when it comes to tour guides or adventure guides, our recommendation is no matter where you are in the world, a tip is a respectful way to show them how much you enjoyed their company.

Beyond the $1 dollar fall-back trick that goes along the lines of $1 per bag for a bellhop, $1 a day for hotel cleaning staff, $1 for a local taxi ride, and $1 for every $10 on your restaurant bill, here’s the scoop on how to tip the right way overseas. But first, some rules of thumb:

  • Tip based on your own means to pay, and whatever you think is appropriate. When your waiter goes beyond the call of duty consider tipping more than standard
  • Use “keep the change” appropriately: Unless your service in a restaurant borders on dire, leaving a few pennies in tip-expectant countries is insulting; instead, reserve “keep the change” for places like gas station mini marts where tips are not the norm, and thus the few extra pennies is more a show of respect
  • In bars that don’t present a bill but rather ask you to pay at the bar, once per night per bartender, hand over more money than the cost of the drink, saying, “And a drink for yourself”
  • In some instances, service charges are automatically added to the bill, such as when you’re a large party at a restaurant. When this occurs, leaving an additional amount is unnecessary. However, see the next point:
  • Automatic service charges are not set in stone: if your service truly does not warrant the restaurant’s pre-set amount, speak up; almost always, they will remove the charge
  • Tip in local currency

USA & Canada

  • Be sure to calculate tips pre-tax
  • Restaurants and room service: 15-20%
  • Cafes: 10%
  • Delivery, or a complicated order at a take-out joint: 10%
  • Bars: $1-2/ drink
  • Spa services (including hair and nails): 15-20% of the total (split between those who helped)
  • Valet: $2-5
  • Hotel chambermaids: $2-3/ night (more at high-end hotels, and leave it in plain sight with a note saying thank you to make it clear the money is for them)
  • Taxis: 10-15%
  • Bus tours (several hours or less): 10-20% of the cost of the tour
  • Charter and sightseeing bus drivers (when they double as guides): $3-$5 per person per day, but if the tour is longer and there is no built-in gratuity, tip the driver and guide $10 each
  • Hotel porters and airport parking lot shuttle drivers: $1/ bag


  • Restaurants and cafes: 10-15%, but watch for service charges
  • Hotel luggage transfer to the room: R$5-10
  • Hotel chambermaids: R$5/ night
  • Taxis: 10%, or simply round up to the next Real
  • Tour guides: 10-20% of total cost
  • Gas station attendants (there are no self-serve gas satiations in Brazil): R$1-2


  • Fine dining: 10% (tipping is not expected in anything less than upscale restaurants, but it is always appreciated)
  • Hotel porters: 2 AUD/ bag
  • Taxis: round up
  • Fun fact: In Australia, the word tip also means garbage dump


  • Tipping isn’t expected, so unless a service worker has done something extraordinarily well, keep the amount low (around 5-10%)
  • Guides: 1,445 NPR/ day
  • Cooks on trekking excursions: 7 NPR/ day
  • Porters: Rs20/ bag


  • Considering the country’s law-enforced 15% service charge, only leave an extra 10% for deserving service
  • Taxis: round to the nearest Euro, or tip 10%
  • Hotel, train, and airport porters: 1 EUR/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 1-2 EUR/ night
  • Museum guides: 2-3 EUR
  • Bus drivers for guided excursions: 1-2 EUR
  • Spa service providers (hairdressers etc.): 10%


  • Restaurants (if no service charge is applied): 5-10% of the total bill
  • Bars: 10% of tab
  • Taxis: round to the nearest Euro
  • Hotel porters: 1-3 EUR/ day
  • Hotel chambermaids: 3-5 EUR/ night


  • Rural Italians may see tips as insulting
  • As for all of Europe, beware of service charges
  • Typically, leave a few coins that amount to 5-10% of the bill
  • Taxis: round to the nearest Euro
  • Hotel porters: 1-2 EUR/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 2 EUR/ night


  • Tipping is infrequent, and unnecessary at bars and cafes, so it’s best to save your gratuities for the street performers
  • Upscale restaurants: leave coins up to the nearest EUR, or tip up to 5-10%
  • Taxis: tips for helping with baggage is included in pre-set luggage charges


  • Restaurants: 15-20% (if there isn’t a service charge)
  • Tipping is not expected in bars
  • Taxis: 15%
  • Hotel porters: 2 GBP/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 2 GBP/ night
  • Spa services: 10%


  • Restaurants: 15%, but if there is a service charge, leave a few Euro for the waiter, and also some change for the busboy
  • Taxis: 10%, or round up
  • Hotel porters: 1 EUR/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 1-2 EUR/ night
  • Public toilet attendants: small change


  • Round the bill to the nearest Euro, or add 5-10%; tipping is not expected
  • Taxis: round up to the nearest Euro
  • Hotel porters: 1-2 EUR/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 2 EUR/ night


  • Restaurants: 10-15% if no service charge is included
  • Tipping is not expected in bars, but if you get table service or buy a round of drinks, tip 1-2 Euros
  • Taxis: round to the nearest Euro, or go with 5-10%
  • Hotel chambermaids: 1-2 EUR/ night
  • Hotel porters: 1-2 EUR/ bag
  • Spa: no tip expected
  • Hairdresser/ manicurist: 10%


  • Taxis and restaurants: round up (for example, if your restaurant bill comes to 121.60 krona, leave 130)
  • Hotel chambermaids: 13 SEK/ night
  • Hairdressers, manicurists, etc.: No tip expected


  • Tipping in Norway is little to none primarily because it is one of the most pricey countries
  • Restaurants: If there is no service charge, tip 10% of the bill, or round up to the nearest 10 or 100 NOK
  • Taxis: round up to the nearest kroner; drivers always appreciate the gesture
  • Hotel chambermaids: 5-15 NOK/ night, but tipping cleaning staff is uncommon
  • Spas: Tips are not expected, but if you insist on leaving a little something, gift 10% of your total bill


  • Restaurants: Because there is a service charge automatically added to the bill, only tip an additional 10% for exceptional service (waiters do not expect tips, so do not worry about being chased down the street for not leaving one)
  • Taxis: round up to the nearest krone
  • Hotel chambermaids: 10-15 DKK/ night
  • Spas and hairdressers: Again, gratuity is included in the bill, so tip at your discretion


  • Taxis and restaurants: tipping is not expected, so it would just be a kind gesture to round up to the nearest kroner (for example, if your meal comes to 16,600 ISK, leave 17,000), or add 10% of the total bill
  • Hotel chambermaids: 230 ISK/ night
  • Spas and hairdressers: no tip necessary, but 10% or so is always appreciated


  • Restaurants: 3% (in major cities only; tips are not expected)
  • Hotel porters: 5-15 RMB/ bag
  • Taxis and bars: no tipping
  • Tour guides: tip 30-60 RNB (5-10 USD), or leave small gifts, such as cigarettes, wine, candles, or chocolates


  • Restaurants: 5-10% service charge covers the tip
  • Hotel porters: 7-14 EGP/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 15-20 EGP/ night
  • Taxis: round up
  • Tour guide: 50 EGP/ day per person
  • Bus driver tour guide for large groups of : 10 EGP/ person per trip
  • Bus driver tour guide for small groups: 30 EGP/ couple or person


  • Restaurants: 10% (if no service charge), and just a few rupees at smaller eateries
  • Hotel, train, and airport porters: 20 Rs/ bag
  • Taxis and tuk-tuks: no tipping necessary, but if you want to, simply round to the nearest rupee
  • Day drivers: 300 Rs
  • Guides: 500 Rs
  • Group tours: 30-50 Rs/ person


Avoid tipping; it is perceived insulting. However, if you can’t fathom not showing your appreciation with a tip, place the money in a small envelope and hand it to the deserving person. The envelope makes the money exchange seem less rude. Small gifts, like souvenirs from your hometown, can replace money.


Tips are not expected in Malaysia as service charges are aplenty. That said, if you do want to leave those who help you a treat, proceed as follows:

  • Restaurants: round up the bill
  • Taxis: 25-50 RM
  • Hotel porters: 2-10 RM/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 2-10 RM/ night
  • Private tour guide: 20-40 RM/ day per person
  • Group tour: 10% of the total price


Tipping is not standard, so simply round up your bills, or leave the likes of hotel porters 2 SGD/ bag


  • Restaurants: 10-15%
  • Bars: 15-25 MXN/ round of drinks, or 15-20% of tab
  • Hotel porters: 15 MXN/ bag
  • Taxis: no tip expected, but if they help with baggage, offer 15 pesos/ bag
  • Grocery store bagging clerks (often children): 10-15 pesos
  • Spa service providers: 15-20% (no tip is necessary if the treatment is provided by the owner of the establishment)
  • Hotel chambermaids: 20-60 pesos/ night
  • Large tour: 60-70 pesos
  • Small tour (i.e., just your family): 15-20% of tour cost
  • Chartered fishing trip: 15-20% of trip cost
  • Musicians and bands: 60-70 pesos for a night of entertainment


  • Restaurants and cafes: loose change, or an additional 10-15% of the total bill
  • Hotel porters: 5-10 MAD/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 20 MAD/ night
  • Taxis: round up to the next 10-dirham note
  • Spas: 20-25 dirhams/ person
  • Hairdressers: 10%


  • Restaurants and bars: 10-15%
  • Hotel porters: 35-70 RUB/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 60-120 RUB/ night
  • Taxis: round to the nearest ruble
  • Tour guides: 715 RUB/ eight hours of work

South Africa

  • Restaurants and bars: 10% (if no service charge)
  • Hotel porters: 15 R/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 50 R/ night
  • Taxis: 10%
  • Petrol station and parking attendants: 2-5 R
  • Private tours: 80 R/ person per full-day

United Arab Emirates

  • Restaurants: 10-15% (if no service charge)
  • Hotel porters: 5-10 AED/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 10-20 AED/ night
  • Taxis: round up to the next 5 dirhams
  • Grocery store bagging clerks: 5 AED

Dominican Republic

  • Restaurants: 15%
  • Hotel porters: 90 DOP/ bag
  • Hotel chambermaids: 100 DOP/ night
  • Taxis: round to the nearest peso


  • Restaurants, cafes, and bars: 5-10%
  • Taxis: round to the nearest lira (for example, a fare of 9.60 TL will become 10 TL)
  • Hairdressers: 10%
  • Airport porters: 2-3 TL/ bag
  • Hotel porters: 5 TL (the smallest paper bill)
  • Hotel chambermaids: 5-10 TL/ night
  • Concierge: upon checking out, it’s common to tip 20-50 TL
  • Turkish bath attendants: 10-20% split among them
  • Musicians: if you do not wave strolling musicians away, be sure to slide a 5 or 10 lira note behind the strings of the violin when the violinists leans over the table at the end of the song, or simply drop the money into his pocket
  • Tour guides: 20-30 TL (as a group)

Balearic and Canary Islands

  • Restaurants: 5-10%
  • Hotels and taxis: no tip expected


  • Restaurants: 5-10%
  • Hotels and taxis: no tip expected

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  • Brian

    I had no idea about this. Pretty interesting subject for sure though.

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