How much to tip in 10 countries

The ultimate tipping guide for your trips

Traveling is one of the great pleasures of life. Hotels, walks, restaurants, discos, and other experiences are for the enjoyment of travelers, but there is a subject that always raises doubts: tips. To tip or not to tip? That is the question every traveler has when on the road.

And nobody really knows for sure how much can be considered a good tip, or how to reward those professionals who have spent several minutes or hours in offering us a good service. Many times travelers choose not to tip to avoid the shame of being considered “stingy” or “poorly educated.” However, depending on the country, this decision ends up being worse.

Therefore we organized this guide so you know exactly what tip is expected (or not) in 10 countries: United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Brazil.

What we talk about when we talk about tipping

How to tip in bars and restaurants
Photo: Zeina Cassem/Scopio

Tip included in the bill

There are countries where the tip is already included in the account, whether you like it or not. But many people do not know that the client is not always obliged to pay for it. So read below to see which countries have a habit of adding a percentage to the tip in the account.

Tip excluded from the bill, but appreciated

There are countries that do not add the tip to the account, but “suggest” it. You are also not obligated, but it is considered good etiquette to accept the “suggestion”.

Tip excluded and not accepted

And there are also countries that tipping is not welcomed at all. Yes, you read it right. There are countries that do not charge tips and if you want to do it, they do not accept.

To tip or not to tip in 10 countries

How much to tip in the United States

It is one of the favorite destinations for many travelers. Only New York City is the quintessential tourist epicenter, not forgetting cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami or Chicago.

It should be known that in the United States the tip is a very important part of the salary of millions of people, especially in the hospitality sector. In this sector, the minimum wage is the standard pay, and employees usually earn a significant bonus due to tips. Meaning that there is generally a great expectation for generous tips, proportional to the quality of customer service.

However, the tip is not mandatory. They will not like it (staff and other customers), but you can leave the premises without tipping, if you want so.

Taxis

For example, for a taxi it is estimated that an extra 10% to 15% of the final cost of the ride should be given. 

Bars / Restaurants

You also have to know that when you go to a restaurant, the service staff generally expects to receive a tip around 15 to 20% of the bill.

Hotels

For the bellboys, generally, US $ 1 per bag is fine and for room maids, US $ 2.

Tipping guide in restaurants around the world
Photo by Victor Kusama/Scopio

How to tip in the UK

The United Kingdom is also another preferred destination for travelers (at least, before the Brexit). Whether you visit England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, you will find amazing culture, history, and attractions. Each country has its specific customs, but in general terms, regarding tips, there is a standard common sense that is always good to know: UK people are not usually known as great tippers. 

Taxis

You can either give a small amount, rounding up the fare, as you can also reach about 10%. Up to you.

Bars / Restaurants

In restaurants there is no general rule on tipping, but if you leave an amount in line with the service provided, it will be more than enough. In the pubs tips are not common.

Hotels

So also in hotels, the bellboys will wait for no less than £ 1-2 for each bag they carry. The same value applies to room maids.

How much to tip in France

You don’t have to be completely ignorant about the travel issue to know that France is the Mecca of world tourism. At least 89 million tourists visit it a year!

Taxis

In the taxis a tip between 10 and 15% of the total cost of the ride is expected.

Bars / Restaurants

In restaurants, there is a service fee included in the final cost of the bill (“service compris”) but if something extra is given, that money will always be well received. Locals usually leave up to 10%; 15-20% is considered extremely generous. In bars, however, tipping is not very common and if you simply round up the fare it will be fine.

Hotels

In the meantime, in hotels travelers are expected to pay € 1-2 per bag, plus another euro for each night for the room maid.

In Italy, tips are very welcome

On the issue of tips, Italy is a more flexible country, as there are no fixed standards really. Everything will depend on the relationship between staff and you.

Taxis / vaporettos / gondolas

With taxis, the driver is usually given the rounding up of the ride fare or, at most, 3€. Gondolians and vaporettos are not usually tipped.

Bars / Restaurants

On the issue of food and restaurants, it is normal to tip 10% of the total cost of the bill (check if it wasn’t already included in the bill) or something like 5€ for a dinner, handed directly to the waiter/waitress.

The tip is not mandatory and is ok when you are satisfied with the service provided. If you are having only a coffee though, then tipping is not usual.

Hotels

So also in hotels, where it is not stipulated to tip a specified amount for the doorman, the amount is for the client’s consideration. However, in higher-level hotels, 5€ is usually a common tip.

How much to tip in Spain

Tip guides usually say that in Spain there is a tip range of 5 to 10%. It is not true. In Spain there is no fixed percentage at all. Keep in mind that in Spain hospitality salaries are practically the same as in other professions. That is, the tip is just a “plus”. The core part of the workers’ earnings relies upon their paid salary.

Taxis

Residents have not assumed that they should leave tips in taxis. At best, the value is rounded up and everyone is happy.

Bars / Restaurants

In bars and restaurants, it is common, depending on the value of the bill, to leave from cents up to € 1 per person, in the case of a lunch or dinner. In more casual restaurants, about € 5 or € 6 in total for a group dinner is a good tip. But if you want to tip more, go ahead, especially if you had a fantastic experience.

In Japan, tipping is prohibited

Japanese flowers
Photo by Karya Schanilec/Scopio

Japan is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Known for being an average expensive country, it is a good surprise to know that tips are usually not accepted there.

Whether in taxis, tours, bars, restaurants or hotels, tips are out of the mindset of the average Japanese. The price of the service is already the total you will pay and for them, it is fine as well. If you insist and leave a tip, it may happen that the waiter runs out the restaurant to give you your money back. So don’t worry: don’t leave a tip and everything will be fine.

Also, remember that also in China and South Korea tips are not part of their culture either. So enjoy without worrying about tips.

Thailand, a cheap destination even with tips

It is one of the most exotic countries in Asia. Its culture, cuisine and beaches attract millions of tourists from all over the world. It is ideal to know a little more about the tips on this wonderful site and make the most of the kindness of Thai people.

In Thailand tips are accepted, but they are not a matter of obligation, therefore it is up to you to give them or not.

Taxis

It is common to leave a tip, but a round up of the fare is good enough.

Bars / Restaurants

In general, a percentage of 10% of the total cost of the bill is paid in restaurants or places to eat.

Hotels

As for the hotels there is no specific amount to pay for taking your luggage to your bedroom. Tips are for your consideration, depending on the treatment and friendliness of the staff.

In Mexico, tips are very appreciated

It is the Latin American country by preference for tourism. The Aztec and Mayan cultures are a worthy attraction to visit, especially the pyramids, not to mention Mexico City or the paradisiacal beaches of Cancun (yes, very crowded, but beautiful).

Taxis

Mexico is very similar to the United States in terms of tips. For taxis, usually, 10 or 15% is normal. Of course you can leave nothing, but don’t be surprised if you hear any insult from the driver.

Bars / Restaurants

In food places, it is stipulated to pay between 10 and 15% of the cost of the bill and preferably it is in cash.

Hotels

Leaving 1-2US$ or rather an amount between 20 and 40 pesos is well received by the bellman for each suitcase collected and taken to your room.

Dominican Republic, tips are unclear but expected

In the Dominican Republic, a holiday paradise for Spaniards and Americans, there is a huge appraisal in the world of restaurants. So, apart from the price of lunch and dinner, you will have to add a 28% sales tax and a 10% service charge. With this extra value that goes directly to the government pockets, it is not at all frowned upon that you don’t leave a tip. But let’s go case by case.

Taxis

If the driver has treated you well, you think you have paid a fair price for the ride, that is, that you have had a good experience, you can leave 1 to 5US $. However, if you have taken a taxi with a pre-set price (a transfer with a company, for example), you can tip nothing, and everything is fine.

Bars / Restaurants

The tip is already included and is the famous “on services” rate of 10%. However, you can add something, in cash, and leave it directly to the professionals who have served you. American tourists usually go with 1, 2 and 5 dollar bills to hand out every time they drink at a bar or dinner. It’s up to you.

Hotels

Dominicans, like most of Latin America, tend to be very friendly. So common sense prevails here. If the bellman or the room maid helps you and treats you well, leaving a tip will be very well received, either in pesos, euros or dollars.

In Brazil, tips are an important “plus” to workers

In Brazil tipping is very well seen in bars and restaurants but not so much in transportation and helpers in general. Being a country with the vast majority of the population charging very low salaries, the usual Brazilian kindness is expected to be rewarded with a tip – yes, always in the local currency, Real.

Taxis / Uber

In Brazil it is not common to leave a tip for taxi drivers, but with Uber and similar apps, it has become popular to tip small amounts (from R$ 1) in recognition of the driver’s good work in the usually insane traffic of Brazilian cities.

Bars / Restaurants

Brazilians have always been used to paying, without thinking, 10% that came embedded in each bill in bars and restaurants. In 2019, however, there has been a major change in regulation and the restaurant decides the percentage to “suggest” to the customer. In the account this value is specified as “service rate” and may vary from 8% to 15%.

However many people, even Brazilians, do not know that nobody is obliged to pay the “fee”. For whatever reason you decide not to pay it, that’s ok.  What is true is that many hospitality professionals rely heavily on tips because their salaries are really low.

Hotels

There is no standard, but waitresses and doormen (who carry the bags up to the room, doing all the heavy work for you) will appreciate if you give them something between 10 and 20 R$.

A visual tipping guide [infographic]

Tipping guide around the world
Infographic created by Trip Trip Now. Feel free to share it since you credit the source.