Being a Canadian, I am used to tipping for just about everything service related.
As I travel the world, I noticed I continued my tipping habits across the world…. to the pleasant surprise and joy of every person who happens to serve me.
I would meet people around the world who get super confused about tipping. Are we supposed to tip for this cab ride? How much is the standard amount? Is it okay if I don’t tip? etc.
This tipping guide will help you make smart tipping decisions when you travel, whether your backpacking around Europe, or visiting Asia for the first time.
Growing up in North America, we tip a lot. Anything in the service industry basically accepts tips (with the exception of branded stores like H&M, etc.)
We tip taxi drivers, restaurant servers, bell hops, tour guides, doorman, housekeeping staff, and the list goes on and on.
Here’s a really handy infographic from Fodors that outlines who you can tip in North America and roughly how much you should tip:
The nice thing about being in North America is that you can tip whatever amount you want. If the service provided was bad, then don’t tip. If it was outstanding, then tip more. If you are broke and can’t really afford to tip, then stick to the standard tipping amount and only tip in places where tips are (basically) expected. I’m talking restaurants, taxi’s, and maybe your bartender.
Having travelling around Asia, Europe, and Central America, I noticed one thing that was present in every single country.
EVERYONE appreciates tips. In very very rare circumstances will they turn it away. Even in places where tipping isn’t really customary, they will gladly take it. It makes sense though. Who wants to refuse extra income?
The problem with traveling around the world is that every country has a different tipping practice. For example, it is “considered rude” to tip in certain countries, like Japan or China. I think that’s a load of shit and dumb. I’ll note that I’ve never been to those countries yet, but let’s get real. I’ve been to other Asian countries where tipping isn’t a normal practice, and they LOVE it when I hand them extra money.
They appreciate it MORE because they aren’t used to getting it. And let’s get real just one more time…. people in the service industry in these countries CLEARLY know your a tourist from another country. If you “tip” them, they aren’t oblivious to the fact you are likely accosted to doing it and are simply being polite and appreciative. Are you really going to get someone mad at you for tipping where it’s not normal practice? I’ve NEVER experienced that before. And I highly doubt you will either.
The only real problem you have is “how much” you should tip in each country. Because, some countries you’ll want to tip 15-20%, and other countries 10% is plenty.
I don’t have a chart that gives you guidelines for each country, because that would be super long, but here’s some general guidelines.
I like to tip whenever I can. Especially in poorer countries, I like to help out. Just that little dollar or two makes a big difference. Some of these people make 40 cents an hour. Some of them completely rely on tips to put food on their plates.
I used to tip always, no matter how poor or normal the service is. I changed that after working in the service industry and seeing how some people really just don’t deserve to get tipped because their service is shit. And I take this with me everywhere I go. I’m not afraid to offer money to those who went above and beyond, especially in areas where they don’t normally take tips.
It’s virtually always welcomed with a warm smile of appreciation. So try it!
Do you have a tipping tip for me? Leave it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear about it.