A guide to avoiding tipping mistakes abroad

tipping abroad

Wondering why the Indian porter glared at you while you thanked him in front of the room you booked? Were you shocked when a Japanese waiter frowned when you handed him a tip? To avoid some embarrassing situations abroad, it is best to know about the local tipping customs. Prevent mistakes, by taking a look at our overview of tipping habits around the world!

Countries where tipping is essential

Country

How much?

In which situations?

Canada

Tipping between 15 et 20% in restaurants is compulsory

Restaurants, bars, cab drivers, porters

Czech Republic

10 %

Restaurants, cafes, bars

United States

Tipping between 15 et 20% in restaurants is compulsory

Restaurants, bars, cab drivers, porters

Hungaria

Between 10 and 15%

Restaurants, cab drivers, doctors, gas stations…

Mexico

Tipping between 10 and 15% is compulsory

Restaurants, cafés, cab drivers, gas stations

Romania

10 %

Restaurants, cafes and bars

United Kingdom

Tipping between 10 and 15% is compulsory

Restaurants and cafes

In some countries, not leaving a tip when you go to a restaurant, a bar or when you take a taxi is nearly unthinkable. The amount to tip depends both on your bill and the country you are in.

“Forgetting” to tip in these countries is out of the question as you would probably end up being extremely frowned upon. Also, a waiter’s pay sometimes mostly depends on tips. However, remember to check the bill: in some cases tips are already included.

Yes, tipping can actually be unwelcome!

While in some countries not leaving a tip might be considered offensive, in others, you might upset someone if you do tip!

  • In many Asian countries, such as China, South Korea and Singapore, tipping is rather uncommon. In Japan, tipping is even taken as insulting.
  • While tipping 5% to 10% is commonplace in many European countries, this habit is basically inappropriate in Denmark, Finland and Iceland: tips simply don’t exist!
  • In Australia and New Zealand, tipping is not a habit and is not expected.

And elsewhere?

What about countries in which tipping is appreciated, but remains an option? If you can, ask a local about the tipping habits. In countries such as Kenya, Morocco and Madagascar, tipping is increasingly expected in tourist areas. For example, if you go sightseeing with a guide, tipping is advised.

When the tip is left to the discretion of the customer, you probably won’t make a mistake if you tip 5 to 10% in Europe and about 10% outside Europe. Of course, the amount you tip also depends on how good the service was!

To find out more about tipping abroad :

Take a look at Magellan’s worldwide tipping guide, which provides information about common tipping habits in over 70 countries.

Easily calculate the amount you need to tip in the US by using the Simple Tip Calculator app!

Date of publication Aug 6 2014

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