How Much to Tip Traveling Abroad

by Brandi Savitt - June 25 , 2012

tipping tips

The Around the World Tipping Cheat Sheet

The American tipping system has baffled foreign tourists for decades, but you don't need to be confused about other cultures customs when taking your next trip abroad . Check out our Fab & Fru around the world tipping cheat sheet, and save some bucks and some face on your next trip out of the country!

*In alphabetical order


Tipping is not a mandatory custom in Australia. However, a tip for good service is often given as a thank you.

Restaurants- 10% for good service at a restaurant, and always leave loose change for the bar staff at the pub.

Hotels - Tipping is uncommon.

Taxis - Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped, but it is customary to `round-up' the fare to the nearest dollar or two - especially if you have a lot of luggage and the driver has been helpful. -It is not unheard of that some cabbies actually round down the fare if they have a really a good chat with you!

CheckInTour Guides - Tips are not expected, but a small tip is appreciated.


Tipping in Canada is similar to our customs in the United States…

Restaurants - Gratuities are seldom included in restaurants prices, but you may find it has been included on the check if you have a large party. It is customary to tip approximately 15% on the total bill before tax, and 20% for exceptional service.

Hotels - $2-5 per night for housekeeping, $1-2 per bag for the bell hop, $2-3 for the valet, and $5 per request for the concierge

Taxis - A minimum of 10% for the total fare

China & Hong KongScreen Shot 2012-06-25 at 12.39.29 PM

According to Trip Advisor, tipping in China is a bit tricky… Traditionally, tipping is not a part of Chinese culture, and many establishments, including restaurants and spas, have a strict no tipping policy. In some sections of China, offering a gratuity may actually be considered rude and construed as a statement that the service provider's work is undervalued by the employer. However, tips have become expected at more luxury hotels that cater to westerners, and if you are on an organized tour, tour guides are allowed to accept and appreciate tips. *Be mindful - Hong Kong is a completely different story from Mainland China, and tipping is expected!

Restaurants - Mainland China there is no tipping, but in Hong Kong - a 10% gratuity is typically included in the check. You may also choose to leave a few coins or round up the bill if using a credit card.

Taxis - In China, taxi drives are not allowed to accept tips. However in Hong Kong, the driver will often round up the fare to the nearest 'dollar' as a tip to himself. In fact, expect drivers to NOT give you back small change.

Hotels - Again, tipping is not expected in hotels in China unless you are staying in a higher-end place. However, in Hong Kong, bell hops typically receive $5-$10 per bag!


In most European countries, tipping is done to reward good service, but is not required. However, customs do vary ever so slightly from country to country. Therefore, if you have any doubts - just ask! But generally speaking….

Restaurants - Leave an extra 10% - in cash - for really good service. If you have a large party, an extra service charge of up to 15% may be included in your bill - so always be sure to double check. Note: because of credit fraud, more and more European credit cards now have a chip inside and require a pin code to use. Because of this, many machines have trouble accepting American cards, and as a result, it is difficult to include the tip in the charge - so make sure you have enough cash to cover the gratuity.

Hotels - There is typically a service charge included in your bill, but leaving change for housekeeping or the porter is not uncommon.

Taxis - Again, tips are not necessary, but rounding up is common. And giving a little more when you have lots of bags is always appreciated!


There are basically two types of tips in India. The tip paid once a service is completed, and a tip given beforehand to ensure good service. In hotels, porters and room service attendants are generally tipped at the end of the stay. However, the amount of tip varies depending on the type of services rendered and the type of establishment.

Restaurants - In sit down restaurants it is customary to tip 10-15%. However, well known restaurants and prestigious hotels often add 10% an automatic service charge to your bill. Tipping on top of the service charge is up to you. In less formal restaurants, the tip is not a percentage of the bill so just leave a few extra rupees for good service.

Taxis & Drivers - Tipping taxi and three-wheeler drivers is not necessary. However, you may consider giving up to 10% of the fare for good service. If you hire a car throughout your stay, then, tip the driver between 50-100 rupees per day - depending on the distance traveled. Porters at railways stations and hotels typically receive 5-10 rupees per bag. But, no matter what you do, always agree on the price before hiring a car or letting someone help you with your bags!

South Africaluxury-botswana-safaris-520x288

Tipping is customary in South Africa.

Restaurants - Waitstaff typically receive 10-15%.

Taxis - Be sure to tip your driver 10%.

Hotels - It is common to tip porters 5 rand per item.

Tour Guides - receive 10-15 rand per person on the tour. The guides the driver typically pool the tips and split them.

Do you have any great tipping stories from your travels abroad?!