Your guide to tipping

Find out how to get by with your gratuities with our handy guide to tipping.

Your guide to tipping

Tipping etiquette varies from restaurant to regionand from cab to country –it really can be a tricky affair. In some places it isn’t customary but it is appreciated. In others, you’ll be followed down the street until you pay. What’s worse is that you may think you’re being generous by giving a nice tip, when really, you may actually be insulting the staff. Find out how to get by with your gratuities with this handy guide to tipping etiquette.

Canada

Restaurants: 15–20 percent, depending on the service.

Hotels: $10–$20 to the concierge for a favour; pay porters $1–$2 per bag; housekeepers get $5 per day (tip: leave something small each day, as the person who cleaned your room all week may not be the same one who comes in the day you check out).

Guides and drivers: $10–$15 per person per day for guides;10–15 per cent for taxi drivers.

New Zealand

Restaurants: 10–15 percent for the waiter.

Hotels: $1 per bag; $10–$20 to the concierge for a favour; $1–$5 per day to the housekeeper (depending on your mess).

Guides and drivers: $5 for cabdrivers; $20–$50 per person for a private guide; $5–$10 for a bus-tour guide; $25–$50 per day for a private driver.

Extra tip: be discreet and also be prepared to have your tip refused.

China

Restaurant:don't leave a tip.

Hotels: luggage porters get 10–20 Yuan per bag. If a hotel includes a service charge of 10–15 per cent, then nothing is expected (or technically allowed) beyond that.

Extra tip: China has a no-tipping culture, as does many Asian countries. So, if you do tip, be discreet and do it out of sight of employers.

India

Restaurants: 10 percent to the waiter

Hotels: 50 rupees per bag for the porter; 250 rupees a night for the housekeeper.

Guides and drivers: 400–500 rupees a day for a car and driver; allow taxi and rickshaw drivers to keep the change or tip them up to 10 percent of the fare.

Indonesia

Restaurants: a 10 percent tip is included. It is also customary to leave any loose change.

Hotels: a 10 percent service charge is included, but $1–$2 per porter or housekeeper is always appreciated.

Guides and drivers: guides should get $25–$40 per couple;tip drivers $10–$20;give taxi drivers 10 percent on top of the fare.

Malaysia

Restaurants: a 10 percent tip is usually included in your bill, but leaving 10–15 percent extra is appreciated.

Hotels: tip bellboys $1 per bag; housekeepers and cleaning staff $1–$2 per day (at the end of each day).

Guides and drivers: tip private guides or drivers $5–$10 per person, per day.

Singapore

Restaurants:a 10 per cent tip is usually included in your bill, but leaving 10–15 per cent extra is appreciated.

Hotels: tip the concierge up to $10 for special favours; bellboys get the standard $1 per bag; tip housekeepers $2–$5 per day (but it is not expected).

Guides and drivers: guides $15–$20 per person (but only for a full day, and they will split this with the driver). Round up the fare for taxi drivers or give them the change.

Thailand

Restaurants: $1 per diner for the waiter.

Hotels: $1–$2 per bag for the porter; if service charges are included, then no tip is necessary for the housekeeper or the concierge; tip your bathroom attendant $1.

Guides and drivers: $1 for taxi drivers; $2 per day for private drivers; give guides $10–$20 per person (for a full day, and they will split this with the driver).

Vietnam

Restaurants: if a gratuity fee is not included in your bill, then leave about 10 percent (in cash), or20 per cent if you pay by credit card. If the gratuity is included, round up the bill and leave a little extra.

Hotels: tip the concierge up to $10 for special favours; leave housekeepers $2–$5 per day;no need to tip doormen.

Guides and drivers: guides get $15 per person per day; drivers $5–$10 per day (to be given at the end of your time with them). Round up the fare for taxi drivers.

Italy

Restaurants: 10 percent is considered more than enough.

Hotels: give porters 3–5 euros per night; tip housekeepers 1–2 euros per night(or more for extra service).

Extra tip: tip as you see fit, but it is not customary nor is it required. Be prepared to have your tip refused.

Spain

Restaurants: round up the bill and leave between 5–15 percent in cash – but only if the service was good. If it wasn't good, simply leave the table without giving a tip.

Hotels: tip the concierge 5–10 euros for special favours; cleaning staff about 5 euros a day; bellboys 1 euro per bag.

Guides and drivers: leave guides 30–40 euros per person per day, 15–20 for drivers. Round up the fare for taxi drivers.

United Kingdom

Restaurants: if a service fee is not included, tip 10–15 percent. Tipping in pubs is not customary, although feel free to round up to the nearest pound.

Hotels: give porters 1–2 pounds per bag; tip housekeepers 1–2 poundseach per night (or up to 5 pounds each if you’re staying at a high-end hotel).

Guides and drivers: tip the cab driver with small change and round up the fare to the nearest pound; tip 20 pounds per day for a guide and 10 pounds for the driver, (or offer to take them to lunch).

Extra tip: tips are included in many bills. Be discreet when handing tips to staff.

United States

Restaurants: 15–20 per cent of total bill (a la carte menu); up to 25 per cent for exceptional service; $1–$2 per wait staff member when dining buffet style. Keep in mind that service providers generally live off their tips, so, if the service is good, it’s nice to reward them. Tip bartenders $1–$2 per drink.

Hotels: tip the concierge $5–$10 for special favours; $1 per bellhop, doorman, baggage, coatroom attendant and valet; give the housekeeper $2–$5 per night, depending on the service.

Guides and drivers: tip your cab driver 10–15 per cent, or up to 25 per cent if they get you to your destination in record time; give guides 10–20 per cent depending on their performance.

Extra tip: in most US restaurants, the waiter pays a portion of their tips to the bartender, busser, hostess and food runners. Tipping is subjective in the US – if the performance or service is good then tip as you see fit.

Do you have any tips on tipping etiquette for our members? Why not share them?





    COMMENTS

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    Pjp
    23rd Sep 2015
    9:59am
    Could you also give a guide for tipping in Australia
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    12:36pm
    Heres a tip, for Australia ;) Join a Union and agitate for a reasonable casual OR permanent rate and fight to NOT have penalty rates ripped off you !! Main thing though, join a Union and agitate mate. Don't sit back and let you-know-who exploit you.
    sidney70
    23rd Sep 2015
    10:23am
    I can never understand why we have to pay twice for service. In Australia we do not tip. You pay for the Service up front and you should get what you pay for. There should be no tipping as the Service has already been paid for. Should someone give you extra special treatment then to reward that Person should be at the discretion of the receiver.
    Sevi
    23rd Sep 2015
    10:32am
    Sidney70, not quite true, I have noticed in the past 6 or 7 years that restaurants have a clearly marked jar/jug/glass for tips
    sidney70
    23rd Sep 2015
    10:44am
    Sevi,
    Yes true but that is only for loose change if you want to leave it.
    Graeme
    23rd Sep 2015
    1:44pm
    Other bushiness have a charity collection tin for loose change, what is it about restaurants that they every last cent from us.
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    2:00pm
    Sevi/Graeme......agree :)
    fearlessfly
    23rd Sep 2015
    11:16am
    Freaking obscene practice, should be banned across the globe, let the damned employers pay their staff a proper wage ! You get ripped off up front by the hotel/restaurant/whatever, then are expected to pay a "fine" afterwards. Hate it, avoid it at all costs.
    sidney70
    23rd Sep 2015
    11:24am
    I agree fearlessfly.
    Bookworm
    23rd Sep 2015
    11:36am
    Totally agree, fearless fly. I find it one of the most stressful things when travelling overseas. I never know if I have given too much or not enough. These tips really add up over the duration of a holiday and unfortunately people in third world countries, especially, seem to think that we are all filthy rich and can afford it. To them, I suppose we are, but most of us budget very tightly when planning a trip. I really resent having to tip someone for doing what they are being paid to do!
    Graeme
    23rd Sep 2015
    1:37pm
    Totally agree
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    2:02pm
    Agree & people would have been really horrified if I had 'expected' to be TIPPED for the work I did, Back In The Day :)
    sidney70
    23rd Sep 2015
    11:59am
    The American Cruise Ships operating from Australia have stopped tipping on board. If you want to tip anyone on board that gives you good Service, you can still tip if you want to but it is no longer mandatory.
    fearlessfly
    23rd Sep 2015
    12:30pm
    Great! Beam me onboard Scottie !
    JBP
    23rd Sep 2015
    12:05pm
    Just a remainder re the USA (I have lived there)... In the restaurant don't take up the option of adding a tip to a credit card bill - you can never be sure the owner of the business will distribute to his/her employees. Give the wait staff a tip (they need it for earnings) in cash, and 15-20% of the PRE-TAX total. That's what's expected. If you can't afford to tip, many restaurants have a counter with seats, where you're not expected to tip anything except to leave any loose change.
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    12:39pm
    I can't believe the suggested tips for guides and drivers in New Zealand !! My experience has been that they always appear to be a bit embarrassed/annoyed with that practice EXCEPT for SOME cab drivers :(
    fearlessfly
    23rd Sep 2015
    3:20pm
    New Zealand is NOT and NEVER HAS been a tipping society !
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    4:19pm
    Agree Fly, the same as OZ....... BUT the insidious effects of self-ego, slavishly following other (especially the U.S.) countries and the result of increasing numbers of (affluent) overseas visitors ARE making inroads in Australia AND New Zealand :( Tight-assed me is off on another Aotearoa Adventure in two weeks and I WON'T be following the trend ;)
    Penny
    23rd Sep 2015
    1:46pm
    I don't agree with Tipping while overseas.. The Guides and Drivers get paid good money and we have paid good money to do the Tour.. So that should be the end of it...!! Ok if you are over the Top happy with the service, then Tip if you wish. On my last Trip we were told how much a day to Tip each person !!! What a joke, worked out to be a lot extra on top of what we paid for the Tour.. I worked all my life is a stressful job and no one gave me a TIP..
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    2:05pm
    Dead right Penny. Being told, IN ADVANCE, how much you are expected to pay (extra) for someone who may, or may not, be doing a poor, fair, good, very good job really is over the top !!
    fearlessfly
    23rd Sep 2015
    3:23pm
    When you work out what "coach captains" (bulldust term for bus drivers) pull in as tips per week, you'd chuck your job and join them. A single trip could net them up to $500 if everyone aboard got sucked for $10-$15 per person !
    Deb Dickman
    23rd Sep 2015
    4:37pm
    We pay enough for hotels as it is. No Tipping - NO WAY. I totally refuse to pay.
    heyyybob
    23rd Sep 2015
    5:09pm
    Dead right Deb. One of the services I expect of a Concierge is to 'oblige me' (as a paying guest of 'his' hotel) with little 'services' to make my stay more enjoyable !!
    Anonymous
    24th Sep 2015
    11:09am
    Awful American invention - should be banned worldwide and good on China. Tipping encourages employers to pay poor wages - they should pay their workers a good wage. Having said that I do tip in some instances, because I feel sorry for the employee.
    Tomtom
    24th Sep 2015
    7:19pm
    Had to laugh at this article, if I followed the advice I would spend more on tips than I have to spend on my self hahah! as far as the concierge, drivers, and guides are concerned what, they don't get a sausage off me, most of them are wealthier than I am?? And when I eat I pay for my food.
    You wealthy people should realise that when you tip these ridiculous amounts you're setting a president , us poor fellows have to follow you.

    As far as tipping in Australia and New Zealand is concerned, never, never, never! I have just come back from a NZ hol. and I didn't tip anyone, and whats more I didn't get any impression that anyone expected a tip.


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