In the Know With Tipping Abroad

There is always an awkward moment when my husband and I have traveled abroad and we have enjoyed a casual lunch or dinner and the check arrives.  We look at each other and begin the discussions of “Do we leave a tip?” and immediately followed by, “How much do we leave?”  We have packed, planned and organized but we have failed to research THE TIP.  So, to help you out on how to be in the know about tipping abroad, I have compiled a list with recommended tipping.  These guidelines are not for fine dining.

Many of the restaurants include a service charge.  If a service charge is included, then it is not necessary to tip on top of that, unless noted.


South America

Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica- 5-10%

Argentina, Nicaragua, Peru- 10%

Colombia- many restaurants will ask if they can add 10% to the bill before it is given.



Dominican Republic- usually a 10% service charge is added and 10% additionally is suggested

St Barts- 10-15% if there is no service charge.

Aruba 15-20% if no service charge

Bahamas 15-20%

Jamaica 10-20%

Cayman Islands 15%

Turks and Caicos 15-20%

BVI 15-20%

Belize 10-15%

Mexico- 10-15%, if a service charge or “propina” is not already on the bill



As a general rule, a service charge is included in the bill, so tipping is not necessary.  If you have good service, 5-10% is acceptable. Also, tip directly to server and don’t leave it on the table.

Netherlands 5-10%

Belgium- not common

Denmark, Sweden and Finland- no

France- 10% or rounding up.

Czech Republic- No but for exceptional service, yes.

Germany, Ireland- a 5-10% is a good rule of thumb

Portugal- 10%


Italy, Austria, -generously rounding the bill up is a good idea or 10%

Slovenia- not necessary, but in tourist areas 10-15% is accepted

Croatia- 10-15%

Switzerland-no, but rounding the bill up is a good rule.

Norway- round up or about 5-10%


Spain- round up or about 10%

United Kingdom-not needed at pubs and cafes where you pay at the register. When you are served, 15-20%

Iceland-No. They find it mildly insulting.

Turkey- 10% is appreciated

Russia-5-10% and give the tip to the waiter


Middle East and Africa

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates-15-20% even with a service charge

Jordan, Morocco, and South Africa-10-15%

Egypt- 5-10%


Asia and the South Pacific

There is not a big tipping culture here, but it is slowly changing.  If there is not a service charge, then give 10% directly to the waiter.

China, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam – usually no but slowly changing in tourist areas to 10%

South Korea- not necessary

Japan-No. They see it as rude

Malaysia- 10%

India- 15-20%



Australians are confused about tipping.  Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.  First of all…don’t wait at your table for the bill.  You pay at the counter.  A tip of no more than 10% is good and many times you won’t even be prompted for a tip if you use a credit card.


New Zealand

Not necessary, but if service is good 10% is appreciated.


15-20% Just like in the US


Tipping Take Aways- Now You Know!

*If unsure- round up the bill

*Leaving large tips of 15-20% are not necessary.

*Remember to always check the bill for service charges.  In many countries, the service charge is included so leaving a tip is not necessary. You don’t need to pay twice! If there is no service charge then 10% is a good rule of thumb.

*Look for words on the bill that mean a service charge is included such as:


Propina- Mexico

Coperto or servizio-Italy

Service compris- Netherlandsand France


Enjoy your travels!

3 thoughts on “In the Know With Tipping Abroad

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