A Tourist’s Global Guide to Tipping [infographic]

May 21, 2013 |  by  |  Lifestyle, Travel
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I have a dear friend that I met shortly after he had moved to the US from Spain.  Having just come back from a semester in Spain myself, I was a little obsessed with the country and its inhabitants.  We instantly became friends.

One time–not too long after meeting–we went to grab some drinks downtown.  Fernando, being the gentleman he is, offered to pay.  Everything was going great until I noticed that he had only left a 10% tip.  I started to panic a little.  I didn’t know him well enough to tell him to tip more, and I certainly couldn’t add to the tip without an explanation.  I decided the best course of action was to wait till he wasn’t looking and throw a few extra dollars onto the bar.

Long story short, I got caught.  He saw me stealthily try to sneak the dollar bills onto the bar and asked me deadpan, “Did I not tip enough?”  I fumbled around for an answer and finally just said, “Nope.”  He laughed and said that I should tell him these things, that he is new to the the US and doesn’t know what is customary.  Moral of the story: honesty is the only policy, and you should always do your research before going abroad.  The following infographic discusses varying tipping etiquette from around the world. [via]

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  • Dominique Duguay

    Most provinces in Canada pay the same minimum wage for all workers, regardless of place of employment.
    For these reasons I only tip 10-15%, basically the same amount as tax.
    If I’m visiting the states I’ll keep this in mind (although things cost less there anyway).

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rhoades.jason Jason Rhoades

    In Finland you would not tip at all in restaurants nor taxis. That is unheard of here.

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  • Alissa

    I am from New Zealand and I have never seen or heard of anyone giving a 10% tip to a taxi !! –’

  • Om Bhujbal

    As an Indian, I feel that some of the info in this article regarding India isnt completely true. Tipping, in general, is not mandatory and is also not expected in most cases but if given is highly apreciated.
    10% in restaurants is Ok if you like the food and if there is no service charge. USD 1 per bag (around Rs. 55) for the porter is way too high, unless its a 5 star property. Locals would tip USD 1 for all bags combined in 3 to 4 star hotels.
    For taxis, “keep the change” is not a policy followed by locals (we actually insist on paying the exact amount and wish tourists would do too to avoid spoiling the cabbies).
    As someone who has stayed in and visited the US number of times, I understand why the service staff requires tips given that they are working on minimum wage. But employers passing on the salary costs directly to the customers doesnt seem right as well. I as a customer should only be required to pay whats on the bill and not worry about causing offence.
    I always find it ironical that people in a poor country do not expect tips while those in richer countries do. :)

  • thomas pocreau

    I always pay by card…
    I don’t get this tipping thing. The owner should pay it’s waiter enough to make a living.
    In France, the minimum wage is the same for every job, so no big issue there :D

    • George

      But the owners don’t pay enough – at least not in the States.

      So if you find yourself over here, please remember to view things as they are, not as they should be when you decide, in part, whether or not that worker is going to be able to pay his rent that month.

  • titicaca

    10% in Africa!!! even in five stars hotel i didn’t see someone tipping… except if u’ve been served by a charmant girl and u want to show her that you are somehow rich so that next time you should ask her other services…

    I don’t event understand why americans consider tipping compulsory?! a server is paid by his boss!

    • George

      The server is (generally) paid peanuts by his boss. Most servers where I live don’t even pick up their checks for a few weeks because it’s not worth the gas to take them to the bank individually. A server in the US is working for the customer, not the owner. That’s his “boss”. If the customer stiffs him, he’s basically working for free.

  • George

    A better rule for the States is 20% or two dollars per person – whichever is higher. Smaller bills generally require approximately the same amount of work.

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  • CatherineAmerica

    More so than working for free, by not tipping a server you could be
    COSTING them money. I work at a restaurant where servers tip-out the
    host, bartender, cooks, etc. based on our individual SALES at the end of
    the night. If I don’t get a tip on a $100 tab, I lose $5.00 out of my
    own pocket.

    For this reason I work hard and do everything I can
    to provide great service- Still, there are some people you can’t please
    no matter what, and (living in a major tourist-destination) many
    international visitors that are unaware of/ ignore the gesture of
    tipping.

    (I especially find this to be true among guests from
    particular countries in the Euro Zone- The Euro is more valuable than
    the Dollar and they tend to take advantage of that by ordering the most
    expensive menu items… I would do the same if I were them. BUT people
    from a few specific regions can be COUNTED ON to not tip- Last week a
    couple racked up a $130.84 tab, then left $131.00 and said, “Keep the
    change.”)

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  • http://www.lettgroup.com/ The Lett Group

    Great Infographic and very interesting information. see also http://www.lettgroup.com/tipping-tips-around-the-world/

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