skip to Main Content

When to Tip…Around the Globe

Traveling the globe has become more common than ever.  Yet, knowing when to tip, and even how much, can be difficult as tends to vary with each destination.  Many US travelers don’t want to be known as the ugly American as improperly tipping can be considered borderline offensive or just rude.

According to Sandy Ferguson, who is employed at Asia Desk, Ltd. located in Duluth, GA says, “In India, they’ll run after you and scream for money.” Yet in Southeast Asia, where it is polite to tip, they don’t.  Ferguson suggests “Always give the bellman at least a buck a bag.”

In most Asian countries, tipping is optional. It is very much welcomed and appreciated.  However, there is a “no” tipping rule in Japan.

As Eastern and Central European countries become tourist enticers alongside Western European favorites, you’re left to wonder what to tip where, and when to put down dollars, euros, or local currency. One rule applies across the board: “Tip in cash,” not on a credit card, says Gwen Kozlowski of Exeter International in Tampa, FL. “If you don’t, the server won’t necessarily get it.”

To avoid the confusion, below is what is customary in the country or region:

Argentina – Tips are voluntary, in restaurants and bars 10 percent is standard, more is considered generous and uncommon

Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – Tips aren’t included, so leave 10 to 15 percent of the bill

Brazil – Brazilians do not have a strong tipping culture, leaving 10 to 15 percent of the bill to waiters, bartenders, hotel staff, and tour guides is appreciated

Chile   – Chileans don’t get upset about tipping, yet 10 percent in restaurants and bars is standard

France – To tip is not onus, but welcomed by taxi drivers, bellhops, housekeepers and hotel room service

Malaysia – Tipping is not a common practice, yet small gratuities will not be denied

Saudi Arabia – Tips aren’t included, so leave 10 to 15 percent of the bill

Singapore – Tipping is not customary as restaurants add gratuity to the check

Thailand – Leaving a gratuity is not customary, tips are typically added to the bill in restaurants

United Arab Emirates – The government mandates adding a 10 percent service charge to all bills at hotels, restaurants, and bars

United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland – Leaving 10 to 15 percent at restaurants is standard practice

Tim Murphy, a writer for Conde Nast Traveler, wrote an article years ago about tipping in over 50 countries and to date his suggestions continue to be very helpful.  (Https://  When in doubt, ask or do your research.  Safe travels!

Back To Top