Outside of Europe and US — Suggested tipping amounts worldwide

By Philip Wagenaar
This item appears on page 57 of the December 2013 issue.
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(Second of two parts)

The custom of tipping for various services varies from one country to the next. In this column last month, I listed the gratuities that are expected in the European countries. This month I provide guidelines on leaving gratuities in other parts of the world.

The information in this list has been culled from my experience, the Internet (including http://wikitravel.org/en/Tipping, www.lonelyplanet.com and www.tripadvisor.com) and more.

For the list of countries and their tipping options, shown below, I used the following abbreviations: 

Restaurant = Restaurant bill. SCI = Service charge is included. SCNI = Service charge is not included. RU = Round up. P = Porter per bag. HK = Housekeeping staff daily tip. Taxi = Taxi driver. Hair = Hairdresser. Barber = Barber. Gas = Attendant at full-service gas station. Theater = Theater usher. Toilet = Toilet attendant. No = No tipping.

Africa

On the African continent, gratuities make up an important part of the wages of people in the service industry. Leaving tips of 10% to 15% is common in restaurants. Always hand over the money to the person you want to tip.

Egypt Tipping (baksheesh) is expected in tourist areas everywhere. Tip inconspicuously, as people don’t like to show that they need your tips. Restaurant: From a few pounds to 10%. P: 5 pounds in hotels. Taxi: RU. Toilet: 1-2 pounds. For more details, see this page on TripAdvisor.

Kenya Tip everywhere. Restaurant: Up to 10%; P: 50-200 shillings. HK: 500-1,000 shillings per week. Pool attendant: 100 shillings daily. For detailed information, go to www.tripadvisor.com and type “Kenya tipping” in the Search bar.

Mauritius Small tips for good service.

Morocco If SCNI, tip 10% or more for good service. HK: 100 dirhams per week. P: 10 dirhams for all bags. Taxi: RU.

South Africa Restaurant: 10% in larger towns. P: 5 rands per bag. HK: 50 rands per day. Taxi: 10%. Gas: A few rands. Parking guards: 2-5 rands.

Tanzania No tipping except on tours.

Tunisia Tip for any kind of service. The following is paraphrased from TripAdvisor. Typical situations include hotel staff showing a guest to his room and not leaving until receiving a tip. Additionally, people who show you the way who are not at work and not with their family will expect a tip most of the time.

Uganda Restaurant: 10%. Taxi: No.

Oceania

Australians and New Zealanders usually do not tip.

Australia No tipping except (due to US influence) in larger cities. Restaurant: RU. Taxi: RU.

Fiji No tipping. Christmas box may be present. Restaurant: No. P: No. Taxi: No.

New Zealand Restaurant: No. P: No. Taxi: No. 

Philippines Restaurant: 10%. Even if SCI, servers may not see any of it.

Samoa No tipping.

Central & South America

Argentina Restaurant: 10%. P: 2 pesos. Taxi: RU. Theater: 10%. Tip baggage handler on long-distance bus.

Belize Restaurant: SCNI; tip up to 15%. Dive masters: 10%-20% or US$5 per tank. In other venues, tip as in the US.

Bolivia Restaurant: SCI. Some people tip 5%-10%.

Brazil Tipping uncommon. Restaurant: SCI. (It’s called serviço and usually is 10%; however, it is not compulsory though most people do pay it.) P: 5-10 reals. HK: 5 reals. Taxi: RU.

Chile Restaurant: 10%. P: Up to 1,000 pesos. Taxi: RU. Hair/Barber: More than 1,000 pesos. Pay bagperson at supermarket 300-500 pesos for a full cart.

Colombia Restaurant: 1,000-2,000 pesos; in upscale restaurant, 10%. Most Colombians tip very little or not at all. If SCI (called propina), don’t pay anything extra. P: Yes. Taxi: No. Most hotel guests tip hotel employees.

Costa Rica Restaurant: SCI of 10%. Many restaurants add the 10% service charge and say “Service not included” at the bottom of the menu and the waiters will often add “Tips Appreciated” on your bill. Note that any additional tip is optional. P: Tip. HK: Tip.

Ecuador The currency is the US dollar. Restaurant: SCI usually. Better restaurants add a 12% tax and a 10% service charge to the bill. If the service has been outstanding, you can add another 5% for the waiter. Cheaper restaurants don’t include a tax or service charge. No further tipping is necessary. RU if you like the service. P: $0.25-$0.50; at a first-class hotel, about $1 per bag. Taxi: No or RU. Hair/Barber: Receives $0.50 or more for special services. Supermarket bag boy: $0.25-$1.

Mexico Tip as in the US. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: Tip. Gas: 2-5 pesos. Pay bagger in supermarket 2-15 pesos. Toilet: Small tip. For more details, go to www.tripadvisor.com and type “Mexico tipping.”

Paraguay Restaurant: SCI. No tipping.

Peru Restaurant: SCI, usually 10%. Leave an extra 10% for satisfactory service. Most Peruvians tip only one or two soles at small mom-and-pop restaurants that do not add a tip to the bill. P: $1. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: No.

Uruguay “U$S” is the symbol for the Uruguayan peso. Restaurant: 10%. P: U$S20 per bag. HK: U$S20. Taxi: U$S10-U$S20 or RU. Street parking attendant: U$S5-U$S10.

Asia / Middle East

Keep in mind that travelers who tip when a gratuity is not customary heighten anticipation of tips for all succeeding travelers. Due to constant overtipping, workers in luxury establishments expect grand tips. The service charge usually ends up in the restaurant owner’s pocket.

Bahrain Restaurant: Usually SCI, which goes to the owners. Additional tip RU or 10%-15%. Taxi: 10% if taxi has a meter.

Bangladesh Tipping not expected. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: No. 

Bhutan Since in this country you travel on an organized tour, you tip the driver and guide. Sometimes they will refuse the tip the first time but will accept when you offer it a second time. On treks, it is customary to tip the cook, his aide and sometimes the horsemen. Ask your guide what and how much is right.

Brunei Tipping not customary.

China Tipping not customary. Restaurant: No. Taxi: No. However, tour guides and drivers of foreign groups depend on tips.

Hong Kong/Macau Restaurant: If SCI of 10%, which it usually is, leave no additional tip. P: At least HKD10. Taxi: No.

India Tipping not customary. Restaurant: 5%-10% at your discretion. P: 20 rupees per bag. Taxi: No. 

Indonesia All of the following is paraphrased from TripAdvisor.

No VAT is added to restaurant and hotel bills. 

In major hotels, many services are inclusive of a 21% tax; 10% is a mandatory government tax, and the other 11% is a legally unenforceable service charge. Tipping is not mandatory; however, if you want to tip, perhaps provide 5%-10% of the total bill. 

Some restaurants will include a 5%-10% service charge to the bill, but if they don’t levy any service charge, you can tip between 10,000 rupiahs to 10% of the total bill. A 10% government-mandated restaurant tax is applicable, but smaller restaurants will not be levying that.

P: 5,000 rupiahs per bag. Taxi: No or RU.

In Bali, the base salary is quite low; in small hotels and restaurants, tips are generally shared.

Israel Restaurant: 10%-12%. Taxi: No. 

Japan Tipping is not customary.

Jordan Tips are not required but are appreciated. Restaurant: Small tip. Taxi: RU.

Malaysia Restaurant: SCI; may leave a small tip. 

Maldives SCI of 10% is added to everything. All tips in US dollars. At reception, look for tipping box for unseen staff. As salaries are low, additionally tip the following service people: Waiter at a resort: $10-$20 per week. P: $1-$5 per bag. HK: $10-$20 weekly. For details, Google “Maldives tipping,” then click on “Maldives: Tipping & Etiquette - TripAdvisor.”

Singapore Restaurant: 10%. Some restaurants add a service charge to the bill, but servers don’t receive the tip.

South Korea Tipping not customary. Restaurant: SCI. 

Sri Lanka Restaurant: If SCNI, leave 10%. If SCI, leave less than LKR100. P: LKR50-LKR100. HK: LKR500 per week. Pool boy: LKR500 per week.

Taiwan Restaurant: No. Sometimes SCI of 10%-15%. Taxi: No.

Thailand Tipping not customary. Restaurant: SCI. Leave coins as tip. In upscale restaurant, leave 10%. P: 20-50 baht. HK: 20-50 baht. Taxi: RU. Hair: 20-100 baht.

UAE If SCNI, 10%-15%. Hotel restaurant may add 10% optional service charge to the bill. P: 5-10 dirham. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: No.

Uzbekistan Tipping not expected. Restaurant: 3%-5%.

Vietnam Tipping is not expected but is appreciated.

Caribbean

Generally, tip as in the US.

Aruba Restaurant: Although SCI is common (usually 15%), leave an extra 5%-10%. If SCNI, leave 15%-20%.

Bahamas Restaurant: SCI. Leave additional tip for exemplary service. If SCNI, leave 15%. P: US$1. HK: US$2 per day.

Barbados SCI. Tipping is at the guest’s discretion.

British Virgin Islands Tip everywhere 15%-20%.

Cayman Islands Tipping expected. Restaurant: 15% SCI goes into a pool. If your server is good, tip extra.

Dominican Republic Tip everywhere up to 10%-20%.

Dominica Restaurant: When SCI, tipping is discretionary. When SCNI, tip 10%-15%. HK: $2-$3.

Honduras Restaurant: Tip 10%. P: $1-$2. HK: $1-$2 daily. Pay more at higher-end hotels or for especially good service. Taxi: No. Local tour guide: 10% of the tour’s cost.

Jamaica Even if SCI, tip as in the US. 

Trinidad & Tobago Restaurant: No. Airport taxi: Yes. Local taxi: No.

The following is paraphrased from TripAdvisor. In general, Trinidadians do not tip, but, as anywhere else in the world, a small tip is appreciated. Most restaurants include a 10% service charge on the bill. In many cases, this goes toward covering service staff overhead or is split equally between all waiters. If you really want to tip a particular waiter for his exceptional service, make sure to physically give him the cash or leave it on the table where he can see it. Never add it into the bill or credit card slip. 

US Virgin Islands Tip as in US.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

(Second of two parts)

The custom of tipping for various services varies from one country to the next. In this column last month, I listed the gratuities that are expected in the European countries. This month I provide guidelines on leaving gratuities in other parts of the world.

The information in this list has been culled from my experience, the Internet (including http://wikitravel.org/en/Tipping, www.lonelyplanet.com and www.tripadvisor.com) and more.

For the list of countries and their tipping options, shown below, I used the following abbreviations: 

Restaurant = Restaurant bill. SCI = Service charge is included. SCNI = Service charge is not included. RU = Round up. P = Porter per bag. HK = Housekeeping staff daily tip. Taxi = Taxi driver. Hair = Hairdresser. Barber = Barber. Gas = Attendant at full-service gas station. Theater = Theater usher. Toilet = Toilet attendant. No = No tipping.

Africa

On the African continent, gratuities make up an important part of the wages of people in the service industry. Leaving tips of 10% to 15% is common in restaurants. Always hand over the money to the person you want to tip.

Egypt Tipping (baksheesh) is expected in tourist areas everywhere. Tip inconspicuously, as people don’t like to show that they need your tips. Restaurant: From a few pounds to 10%. P: 5 pounds in hotels. Taxi: RU. Toilet: 1-2 pounds. For more details, see this page on TripAdvisor.

Kenya Tip everywhere. Restaurant: Up to 10%; P: 50-200 shillings. HK: 500-1,000 shillings per week. Pool attendant: 100 shillings daily. For detailed information, go to www.tripadvisor.com and type “Kenya tipping” in the Search bar.

Mauritius Small tips for good service.

Morocco If SCNI, tip 10% or more for good service. HK: 100 dirhams per week. P: 10 dirhams for all bags. Taxi: RU.

South Africa Restaurant: 10% in larger towns. P: 5 rands per bag. HK: 50 rands per day. Taxi: 10%. Gas: A few rands. Parking guards: 2-5 rands.

Tanzania No tipping except on tours.

Tunisia Tip for any kind of service. The following is paraphrased from TripAdvisor. Typical situations include hotel staff showing a guest to his room and not leaving until receiving a tip. Additionally, people who show you the way who are not at work and not with their family will expect a tip most of the time.

Uganda Restaurant: 10%. Taxi: No.

Oceania

Australians and New Zealanders usually do not tip.

Australia No tipping except (due to US influence) in larger cities. Restaurant: RU. Taxi: RU.

Fiji No tipping. Christmas box may be present. Restaurant: No. P: No. Taxi: No.

New Zealand Restaurant: No. P: No. Taxi: No. 

Philippines Restaurant: 10%. Even if SCI, servers may not see any of it.

Samoa No tipping.

Central & South America

Argentina Restaurant: 10%. P: 2 pesos. Taxi: RU. Theater: 10%. Tip baggage handler on long-distance bus.

Belize Restaurant: SCNI; tip up to 15%. Dive masters: 10%-20% or US$5 per tank. In other venues, tip as in the US.

Bolivia Restaurant: SCI. Some people tip 5%-10%.

Brazil Tipping uncommon. Restaurant: SCI. (It’s called serviço and usually is 10%; however, it is not compulsory though most people do pay it.) P: 5-10 reals. HK: 5 reals. Taxi: RU.

Chile Restaurant: 10%. P: Up to 1,000 pesos. Taxi: RU. Hair/Barber: More than 1,000 pesos. Pay bagperson at supermarket 300-500 pesos for a full cart.

Colombia Restaurant: 1,000-2,000 pesos; in upscale restaurant, 10%. Most Colombians tip very little or not at all. If SCI (called propina), don’t pay anything extra. P: Yes. Taxi: No. Most hotel guests tip hotel employees.

Costa Rica Restaurant: SCI of 10%. Many restaurants add the 10% service charge and say “Service not included” at the bottom of the menu and the waiters will often add “Tips Appreciated” on your bill. Note that any additional tip is optional. P: Tip. HK: Tip.

Ecuador The currency is the US dollar. Restaurant: SCI usually. Better restaurants add a 12% tax and a 10% service charge to the bill. If the service has been outstanding, you can add another 5% for the waiter. Cheaper restaurants don’t include a tax or service charge. No further tipping is necessary. RU if you like the service. P: $0.25-$0.50; at a first-class hotel, about $1 per bag. Taxi: No or RU. Hair/Barber: Receives $0.50 or more for special services. Supermarket bag boy: $0.25-$1.

Mexico Tip as in the US. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: Tip. Gas: 2-5 pesos. Pay bagger in supermarket 2-15 pesos. Toilet: Small tip. For more details, go to www.tripadvisor.com and type “Mexico tipping.”

Paraguay Restaurant: SCI. No tipping.

Peru Restaurant: SCI, usually 10%. Leave an extra 10% for satisfactory service. Most Peruvians tip only one or two soles at small mom-and-pop restaurants that do not add a tip to the bill. P: $1. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: No.

Uruguay “U$S” is the symbol for the Uruguayan peso. Restaurant: 10%. P: U$S20 per bag. HK: U$S20. Taxi: U$S10-U$S20 or RU. Street parking attendant: U$S5-U$S10.

Asia / Middle East

Keep in mind that travelers who tip when a gratuity is not customary heighten anticipation of tips for all succeeding travelers. Due to constant overtipping, workers in luxury establishments expect grand tips. The service charge usually ends up in the restaurant owner’s pocket.

Bahrain Restaurant: Usually SCI, which goes to the owners. Additional tip RU or 10%-15%. Taxi: 10% if taxi has a meter.

Bangladesh Tipping not expected. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: No. 

Bhutan Since in this country you travel on an organized tour, you tip the driver and guide. Sometimes they will refuse the tip the first time but will accept when you offer it a second time. On treks, it is customary to tip the cook, his aide and sometimes the horsemen. Ask your guide what and how much is right.

Brunei Tipping not customary.

China Tipping not customary. Restaurant: No. Taxi: No. However, tour guides and drivers of foreign groups depend on tips.

Hong Kong/Macau Restaurant: If SCI of 10%, which it usually is, leave no additional tip. P: At least HKD10. Taxi: No.

India Tipping not customary. Restaurant: 5%-10% at your discretion. P: 20 rupees per bag. Taxi: No. 

Indonesia All of the following is paraphrased from TripAdvisor.

No VAT is added to restaurant and hotel bills. 

In major hotels, many services are inclusive of a 21% tax; 10% is a mandatory government tax, and the other 11% is a legally unenforceable service charge. Tipping is not mandatory; however, if you want to tip, perhaps provide 5%-10% of the total bill. 

Some restaurants will include a 5%-10% service charge to the bill, but if they don’t levy any service charge, you can tip between 10,000 rupiahs to 10% of the total bill. A 10% government-mandated restaurant tax is applicable, but smaller restaurants will not be levying that.

P: 5,000 rupiahs per bag. Taxi: No or RU.

In Bali, the base salary is quite low; in small hotels and restaurants, tips are generally shared.

Israel Restaurant: 10%-12%. Taxi: No. 

Japan Tipping is not customary.

Jordan Tips are not required but are appreciated. Restaurant: Small tip. Taxi: RU.

Malaysia Restaurant: SCI; may leave a small tip. 

Maldives SCI of 10% is added to everything. All tips in US dollars. At reception, look for tipping box for unseen staff. As salaries are low, additionally tip the following service people: Waiter at a resort: $10-$20 per week. P: $1-$5 per bag. HK: $10-$20 weekly. For details, Google “Maldives tipping,” then click on “Maldives: Tipping & Etiquette - TripAdvisor.”

Singapore Restaurant: 10%. Some restaurants add a service charge to the bill, but servers don’t receive the tip.

South Korea Tipping not customary. Restaurant: SCI. 

Sri Lanka Restaurant: If SCNI, leave 10%. If SCI, leave less than LKR100. P: LKR50-LKR100. HK: LKR500 per week. Pool boy: LKR500 per week.

Taiwan Restaurant: No. Sometimes SCI of 10%-15%. Taxi: No.

Thailand Tipping not customary. Restaurant: SCI. Leave coins as tip. In upscale restaurant, leave 10%. P: 20-50 baht. HK: 20-50 baht. Taxi: RU. Hair: 20-100 baht.

UAE If SCNI, 10%-15%. Hotel restaurant may add 10% optional service charge to the bill. P: 5-10 dirham. Taxi: No. Hair/Barber: No.

Uzbekistan Tipping not expected. Restaurant: 3%-5%.

Vietnam Tipping is not expected but is appreciated.

Caribbean

Generally, tip as in the US.

Aruba Restaurant: Although SCI is common (usually 15%), leave an extra 5%-10%. If SCNI, leave 15%-20%.

Bahamas Restaurant: SCI. Leave additional tip for exemplary service. If SCNI, leave 15%. P: US$1. HK: US$2 per day.

Barbados SCI. Tipping is at the guest’s discretion.

British Virgin Islands Tip everywhere 15%-20%.

Cayman Islands Tipping expected. Restaurant: 15% SCI goes into a pool. If your server is good, tip extra.

Dominican Republic Tip everywhere up to 10%-20%.

Dominica Restaurant: When SCI, tipping is discretionary. When SCNI, tip 10%-15%. HK: $2-$3.

Honduras Restaurant: Tip 10%. P: $1-$2. HK: $1-$2 daily. Pay more at higher-end hotels or for especially good service. Taxi: No. Local tour guide: 10% of the tour’s cost.

Jamaica Even if SCI, tip as in the US. 

Trinidad & Tobago Restaurant: No. Airport taxi: Yes. Local taxi: No.

The following is paraphrased from TripAdvisor. In general, Trinidadians do not tip, but, as anywhere else in the world, a small tip is appreciated. Most restaurants include a 10% service charge on the bill. In many cases, this goes toward covering service staff overhead or is split equally between all waiters. If you really want to tip a particular waiter for his exceptional service, make sure to physically give him the cash or leave it on the table where he can see it. Never add it into the bill or credit card slip. 

US Virgin Islands Tip as in US.