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Here’s a Tip: Read Our Basic Guide to Gratuities Around the World

Written by Going Places

This blog post was updated on July 7, 2023.

For international travelers, it never hurts to brush up on how your servers should be tipped. For many travelers, figuring out tipping in another country can be intimidating and downright stressful. In fact, tipping can be like deciphering a new language. Many tourists don’t know that each country has its own set of rules and etiquette when it comes to tipping.
So before your next travel adventure, check out Here’s our guide to tipping around the world.


europe tip
When it comes to tipping in Europe, practices will vary from Germany to Croatia. In the U.S., it is not uncommon to tip 20 percent on a meal. However, tipping such a large percentage almost anywhere in Europe will be met with strange glances. If the service merits a tip and you don’t see service included on the bill, you can always leave the change. Tipping anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent is  seen as normal in Europe. Tipping more than 10 percent can be seen as excessive if not rude. If you’re still unsure, just ask someone. Lastly, if you tip through your credit card in Europe, you might get a sideways glance or two.


As a general rule, tipping is not expected in Asian locales. This cultural norm extends to bars, restaurants, ride services, and housekeeping. Japan has one of the most anti-tip cultures on the continent. In fact, tipping is taken as an insult and typically rejected by the intended recipient. The culture in Japan dictates that the customer is paying for good service and does not need to pay extra for it.

However, you can expect a service charge ranging from five to 10 percent to be applied to many bills in hotels. This includes room service charges and restaurant and bar bills. Other than hotels, tipping is largely discretionary for services such as tours. You may also encounter per diem rates for some tours.

Related: Tips on Travel Etiquette That Could Save You From Embarrassment in Europe

South Africa

While tipping is strongly encouraged and expected in South Africa, the percentage is significantly lower than what you may find in other parts of the world. For instance, the standard tipping rate for most restaurants is considered to fall at about 10 percent of the total bill. This tip is usually automatically added to the bill, removing the guessing game for the customer. It’s not expected for customers to tip at bars or for taxi services.

A small amount of a tip is welcome for housekeeping and for bell services or a hotel concierge. Many hotels in South Africa will provide a list of tipping guidelines to make it easier to discern the accepted amount. This is particularly true if you’re staying at a camp or a safari lodge. Visitors should also know that it’s customary to tip for attendants at fueling stations or for airport porters.

South America

Most restaurants and bars do not expect customers to tip in South America. The exception is fine dining restaurants, where tipping is often encouraged. You may even discover that a nicer restaurant tacks a 10 percent service charge onto the total bill.

You aren’t expected to tip taxi drivers or bartenders in South America. A few dollars is a good guide for a tip for hotel housekeeping service and porters. You may want to increase this amount for more upscale hotels and resorts. Escorted tours services are one area where not tipping is frowned upon. A good ballpark figure is the equivalent of about $10 U.S. dollars per person for a half-day activity and $15 for a tour that lasts an entire day.


As a whole, you won’t find tipping as a mainstream custom across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Unlike in the U.S., service workers don’t expect a tip in the UAE. Upscale restaurants and bars in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the exception. As in other countries, some of these locations may tack on a 10 percent service charge to the bill. When it comes to taxi drivers, rounding up to the nearest whole number is the custom.

Hotel porters and housekeepers should be tipped a dollar or two for each time they provide a service to you. The equivalent of about $5 U.S. dollars is a good goal for a hotel concierge, particularly if they go above and beyond for you.

What are some tipping norms in other countries? Tell us in the comments section below!

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