A guide to tipping around the world

Posted by Danielle Gordon on 23 April 2014

Tipping in a foreign country is a recipe for a cultural faux pas. So follow this guide to tipping etiquette around the globe.

Tipping your way around the world

The art of tipping can be tricky at times and differs from one country to the next. In North America, the service industry depends on tips and tipping is expected of both locals and tourists. By contrast, in countries such as Japan and China (excluding Hong Kong) tipping is seen as an insult and, in some cases, it’s even illegal. Always remember: when in doubt, find out. The hotel concierge is usually the best person to ask about local tipping expectations.

Tipping in South America

Restaurants:
10%

Taxis:
Change to the nearest peso or real.

Hotels:
The equivalent of R5 to R10 a bag for porters. Housekeeping up to R50 a night.

Tour guides:
10 to 20% of tour cost. If it’s a free tour, the equivalent of R300 for three hours.

Something extra:
Movie and theatre ushers and long bus trip handlers expect a small tip (about R5).

Tipping in Africa

Restaurants:
10%

Taxis:
Small change.

Hotels:
Porters expect about R10 a bag. Housekeeping R15 a night for good service.

Tour guides:
Up to R250 a day, depending on quality of service.

Something extra:
Bathroom attendants in Egypt should be tipped between R1 and R5.

Tipping in Asia

Restaurants:
5 to 10% (but nothing in China and Japan)

Taxis:
Not expected, but you can round up to the nearest rand equivalent.

Hotels:
Tipping generally encouraged only in high-end hotels.

Tour guides:
R100 to R200 a day for every person on the tour.

Something extra:
Tipping is discouraged in Singapore, Japan and China (except in the case of tour guides).

Tipping on the Indian Ocean Islands

Restaurants:
10%

Taxis:
Small change or round up to the nearest rupee or rufiyaa.

Hotels:
R30 a bag for porters and R30 every other day for housekeeping.

Tour guides:
Not expected, but if the service is exceptional 10% of total cost will be appreciated.

Something extra:
5 to 10% in spas.

Tipping in the Middle East

Restaurants:
10 to 15%

Taxis:
Round up to the nearest dirham, rial or dinar.

Hotels:
The equivalent of R20 to R30 a bag for porters and housekeeping up to R50 a day.

Tour guides:
Not expected.

Something extra:
Petrol pump attendants and car valets from R5.

Tipping in Australia

Restaurants:
10%

Taxis:
Change to the nearest dollar.

Hotels:
R20 to R35 a bag. The same per day for housekeeping, although not expected.

Tour guides:
Not expected, but tips for exceptional service will be appreciated.

Something extra:
Tipping isn’t expected in spas and salons.

Tipping in North America

Restaurants:
10 to 25%

Taxis:
10%

Hotels:
R10 to 20 a bag (up to R50 in high-end hotels). R20 to R50 a day for housekeeping.

Tour guides:
Up to 20% of tour cost, depending on service.

Something extra:
In bars a tip is generally expected for every order.

Tipping in Eastern Europe

Restaurants:
10 to 15%

Taxis:
Small change.

Hotels:
Porters R10 a bag. R25 a day for housekeeping, although not usually expected.

Tour guides:
Up to R200 for tour guide. Half this rate for the driver.

Something extra:
About 10% for beauty therapists and hairdressers.

Tipping in Western Europe

Restaurants:
5 to 10%

Taxis:
Nothing.

Hotels:
Porters up to R25 a bag. Tips for housekeeping generally not expected.

Tour guides:
Not expected, but tips for exceptional service will be appreciated.

Something extra:
Tipping is generally not expected as the service charge is worked into your bill.






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