How Much Should You Tip For Food And Drink When Traveling? 5 Countries Customs Compared

Whenever you are out at any restaurant in your home country, you often might worry about tipping and what that looks like. But there are plenty of different factors at play that will determine when and how you tip.

You might tip in order to bring the bill up to a nice round number or something ending in a five. Or you might throw on a big tip because the waiter was nice to you or reduce your tip because the service was terrible.

While it might be easy to focus on tipping at your favorite restaurants at home, whenever it comes to traveling, it can be harder to figure out what tipping custom is expected. Every single country has its own rules and expectations on tips, whether you believe it or not, and you should take the time to make sure that you understand them before you sign your tip while traveling.

Tip Jars: Put In Loose Change

Before we delve too deep, one way to make sure that your tipping is where it needs to be is to look around for a tip jar. Many restaurants and bars often have creative and funny tip jar ideas, and you can very easily take some loose change and place it in the jar.

Whether you have some loose change jangling around in your pockets because of leftovers when converting the money around, or you just haven’t been to the bank in a while, you can easily remove it here.

Europe: Service Is Included

While many people tip their waiters and bartenders in European countries, that isn’t always necessary (though it is appreciated no doubt), because service is included in your fee or bill. However, throwing some extra money in the form of a tip their way can be appreciated.

North America: Tip More

For many waiters and bartenders and table bussers in North America, tips are going to be the main source of income for a lot of the service people you work with. Tips are either split among the entire staff or are the property of the person who has gotten the tip, and you should focus on tipping an extra 15% to 20% for things like meals and drinks.

Central and South America: 10% is The Norm

While mass tourism has made tipping a bit more prevalent than it was before, the tipping situation in these areas of the world is still at about 10%. If a service charge is added to your bill, then your tip can simply be rounded up.

Asia and The Pacific: Tipping Isn’t Normal

For these places, you aren’t going to find a tipping culture. China doesn’t have one, in Japan tips can cause offense, and for other countries like India and Thailand, the tips are often modest and small. For the Pacific islands, Australia, and New Zealand tipping is not expected, but will be appreciated.

The Middle East And Africa: Tip Often But Keep Amounts Small

In areas of the Middle East and Africa, the hospitality sector is pretty important and tipping is expected, and while you will be tipping more often whenever you go to eat or drink somewhere, you will be doing so in smaller amounts. And in Africa, tipping is where most of the money comes from for the people working there, so make sure to keep some bills handy.

Learn About Tipping Around The World

It can be pretty fun to see what tipping culture is like around the world, especially if you’ve only ever experienced your own culture, so don’t be afraid to learn and explore. Then put what you have seen to use the next time you hit a restaurant!


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