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A Guide To Tipping Practices Around The World

Date 25 Apr 2016 | Posted by Linda Paul

Practices Around The World

While traveling around the world, tipping can often become puzzling. This is because every destination you travel to have its own set of rules when it comes to tipping.

Tipping practices are often confusing for first time travelers, so it’s best to know the norms of the destination you’re traveling to. Not following them may make you stand out from the rest or put you in an awkward situation. Years back, tipping was totally unheard of. A lot of countries in the world practiced no such thing. As tourism industry has expanded over the recent years, things have changed significantly. These days, people expect you to tip them in most of the places around the world.

Here’s a guide to get familiar with the tipping practices around the globe.

1. North America

Tipping Practices

This is one continent which really takes tipping a bit too seriously. Not surprisingly, everywhere North Americans travel, they tend to tip heavily. It’s part of their culture and the rule goes that as long as you’re served by someone, you’re required to tip them.

While in North America, tipping is not only confined to just waiters and waitresses, but generally to all fields of work such as hotel porters, taxi drivers and bartenders.


2. South America

South America

Surprisingly, as compared to North America, it’s not as much of a culture to tip in South America. Most of the restaurants would already charge you an additional 10-15% service charge, so travelers are not really required to tip. If you still wish to give something to the waiter it would be greatly appreciated.

While you tip, it is important to have a look at your bill and look for the service charge.

3. Europe


The Americans take tipping more seriously. You’ll see a different trend when in Europe. Wherever you head, the locals would really appreciate if you tip. However, it is not really expected from you to do so.

In most of the countries in Europe, you’ll be presented a bill with a service charge. If you see the restaurant hasn’t charged you, you may present a 5-10% amount to the waiter who has served you.

When it comes to tipping outside restaurants, this is mostly very unusual in Europe. The price you pay is generally considered adequate with no more tip required. However, if you wish to present something over and above that, this gesture will always be loved by the locals.

4. Africa And Middle East

 Middle East

Most people who are adventuring in Africa go there with the group tours. This is where they have to adhere to the group guidelines because the locals can be very different. Your travel agent will advise you well on how to tip while you’re out and about in Africa.

Many people who travel to Africa consider the continent to be poor. This isn’t a good reason to throw money everywhere in the form of tip. Ideally, donating to the local charities is a great practice.

In Middle East, the tipping practices are quite different. Although the amount you’d pay may be small, but you’d be required to tip more often.

5. Asia

Asians were once never used to tipping, but the trends have changed significantly over the recent years. In most of the Asian countries, tipping is highly appreciated. They would happily accept it without considering it to be a humiliation or insult.

However, Asia is a diverse continent and before you travel, you must know the customs of the country. In Japan, tipping is never favored. However, you’ll be served even better if you tip in India. In China, you may travel to many places that have a ‘no tipping’ policy.

6. Australia and New Zealand


Tipping practices in this continent are quiet different to others. According to the local custom, it is not really a common practice to be leaving tips of any kind in Australia and New Zealand.

Even if that might not offend the locals, you should be a little more careful as a traveler while in the continent. The service can be appreciated through kind words instead of presenting them money.

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