To tip, or not to tip? A quick guide

Travel News 26 Oct 2015

Tipping is a necessity in New York, but totally frowned upon in Japan. In fact, customs regarding tipping differ so greatly from one country to the next that it's easy to get confused and inadvertently offend someone. To avoid this, here is a look at what to expect as you travel the world this summer.

You have to tip in...


Don't forget to leave a little something for the driver who drops you off at your hotel, for his colleague who brings your luggage to your room, to the man in the street who offered to show you the way. Egyptians refer to tipping as "Baksheesh," and it is an indispensable part of the culture that must be integrated into your travel budget. You should leave 3-5 Egyptian Pounds for a porter, 50 for a driver who takes you sightseeing all day and a minimum of 10% of the bill for your waiter. This is also standard in Morocco and Tunisia.


Although tipping is not always mandatory, it is more than just a tradition. People working in the service industry earn much less than minimum wage, specifically because they are expected to live off of their tips. The norm is to leave around 15-20% of the bill as a tip for your server, either in cash or directly on your credit card. When at the bar, it is customary to leave at least one dollar per drink ordered.


When dining in a restaurant in Mexico, plan on leaving a 10-20% tip, as servers here also count on it to supplement their low wages. In fact, it is best to leave the tip in cash to ensure that the server actually keeps it all. If ordering a drink in a bar, leaving 10-20 pesos per drink is the norm.

You could tip in...


As in countries such as France, there is already a built-in service tax on the check (10%), but in the case of good service, Aussies will leave an additional 10% to show their appreciation.


Anytime you settle your meal or drinks, a service tax is already included. In fact, you can see the breakdown of service taxes printed at the bottom of the check. You are expected to pay the total amount unless the service was truly horrible.


One of the preferred destinations for European travelers, Greece is a country where tipping is not a part of the culture. Service taxes are again built in to the final bill, but, a little something extra will always be appreciated and such a polite gesture can always work in your favor in the long run.

You shouldn't tip in...


Tipping is frowned upon here as it is seen as intimation that their employer doesn't pay them enough. Exceptions to the rule are found in tourist areas, luxury hotels and fancy restaurants. However, though Chinese people in general will not accept tips, they have no problem with little gifts.


Don't even think of palming a little bill into the hand of the server who took care of you throughout a delightful meal. Japan does not have a tipping culture as they find it normal to provide a service to someone. In fact, what one would see as a polite gesture, the Japanese will perceive as an insult. Hotel employees are even trained in turning down tips from guests. If you really do want to leave something however, the way to do it is by sealing cash in an envelope and handing it to the person, accompanied by a slight bow of the head.


Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015.

This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.