The custom of tipping can often be a dilemma, and confusing for travellers.
Many first-time travellers tip they are not supposed to, and do not, when they should. This can be embarrassing to say the least.
In some countries, tipping is an integral part of the hotel bill, while in others; gratuities form an important part of their income. Yet, in some countries, tipping is regarded as an insult.
Knowing when and how to tip can be an important asset to any traveller. Often, upon receiving a tip, the maitre d’hotel of a fully booked restaurant suddenly finds a table with an excellent view. In fact, tip stands for “to insure promptness” and often seasoned travellers, pending circumstances; tip before any service is rendered.
Here are some general guidelines:
Argentina – Pending on the quality of service up to 10 per cent of gratuity is expected.
Australia – tipping as a rule is not expected, but a small token of appreciation (five per cent) is always welcome. In some establishments on Sundays and Holidays a service fee may be added to the bill. In such instances the gratuity would consist of rounding up the amount.
Brazil – in restaurants 10 per cent of the bill is expected as gratuity.
Canada – servers, bartenders, bellhops, hairdressers, taxi drivers expect a trip anywhere from 10 – 15 per cent of the total excluding taxes.
Costa Rica – in most restaurants and hotels 10 per cent gratuity is expected. If the service is extraordinarily attentive more is expected.
China – due to the influence of western customs, tipping is becoming a way of life. In tourist
cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi, and Xian servers, boat- and taxi drivers expect a tip.
New Zealand – service employees, except bartenders, in both hotels and restaurants expect a tip (10 – 15 per cent), but not taxi drivers.
Egypt – tips are expected, particularly from tourists everywhere, even for the smallest service rendered. Have small change to reward boat-, taxi- and bus drivers, guides, servers, bartenders, and chamber maids. Even if a little child leads you to a restaurant he will expect a tip.
Hong Kong – In some establishments a service fee may be included. In such instances a small tip may be provided, otherwise 10 – 12 per cent of the amount on the bill should be left as gratuity.
Mexico – all service employees eagerly anticipate tips, in fact they depend on tips.
Taxi drivers are happy with five per cent of the total fare as a token of appreciation.
Japan tipping is not expected.
Fiji tipping is not expected, but tourists somehow encourage servers to solicit tips discreetly by strategically placing boxes in hotel lobbies and/or restaurants.
United Kingdom most restaurants include a gratuity in their prices advertised on menus. If you were particularly happy about an attentive server, consider a small amount. In restaurants and pubs without any printed reference to gratuity 10 per cent is usually expected.
France – in restaurants and hotels, 15 per cent (sometimes 18 per cent) gratuity is customarily included in the advertised price. You mat consider rounding up the bill, or go a little beyond if you were very pleased.
Taxi drivers expect at least 10 per cent of the fare as tip.
Italy – here restaurants charge a “cover” (coperto) and include 15 per cent service charge in their prices. Servers always appreciate a little extra, particularly from tourist.
Israel – Generally 10 per cent is considered to be adequate. For exceptional service 15 per cent may be given as gratuity.
Spain – all bills include service charges, but you can round out a restaurant bill. Tourist guides also expect to be tipped.
Scandinavia – in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, all service prices advertised include a charge. Yet, service employees appreciate five to eight per cent of the bill as extra appreciation of their efforts.
Germany – all service prices include a charge, but employees appreciate rounding up a bill. Taxi drivers expect five per cent of the total fare and also charge extra for luggage per piece above one.
Tourist guides like a token of appreciation.
Austria – Same as in Germany.
Greece – all service employees expect a tip from 10 – 15 per cent of the total, even if the invoice presented includes a gratuity.
Taxi drivers, guides, and chambermaids eagerly await fro tips particularly in large cities, but not on Aegean islands and the countryside.
U.S.A – all service employees expect to be tipped, particularly servers, as they are paid minimum wage. In some states service employees are paid “tip-minimum wage” as authorities know that customers tip if they are happy, and tip even when they are not just to satisfy appearances.
In some restaurants, management includes a 10 – 15 per cent service charge for groups of more than six if the server agrees. In some establishments service is exemplary, but in most, friendly, yet less than professional.
Turkey – In some establishment a service fee may be included. Otherwise 10 per cent gratuity is common.