You’ve just tantalized your taste buds with fresh sashimi in Japan, boerewors in South Africa, flat white and lamington in Sydney, and finished it all off with a scuba diving sesh in the beautiful Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. We’d be lying if we said that just the thought of all that didn’t make us sigh with desire!
Coming back though, after such a wonderful experience, how would you express your gratitude for the service that you’ve received? Maybe leaving a tip would be a great gesture, wouldn’t it? Well, guess what; your usual tipping thresholds just might not suffice everywhere! For tipping rules vary largely across borders.
Every nation has a whole different take on the elusive custom of tipping. In some countries, it is customary and required; appreciated but not expected in few; while some other nations find it absolutely offensive!
If you’re overwhelmed learning about all that, we understand, because it’s undoubtedly a head-scratcher! To help you steer through this imbroglio, we’ve compiled a handy guide for you that meticulously articulates the tipping customs around the world. Check this out!
#1 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Although service charge is more commonly added in Argentina, tipping is considered to be a custom as it forms a substantial part of a server’s income. 10 to 15% (in local currency or US dollars) is a good amount. Still, we’ve listed the favorable tipping rates in different arenas:
- At Restaurants: 10 percent to the waiter
- At Hotels: Minimum 25 pesos for the porter. It can go up to 45 if the person is particularly helpful.
- Guides and Drivers: 10% is the bar for taxi drivers while 150–300 pesos for a full-day guide.
- Cash or Dollars? Although US Dollars are accepted, it would be better if you bring cash with you.
#2 - Sydney, Australia
Wait staff in Australia are paid a decent wage to manage their expenses. So, although tipping is appreciated, in this part of the world, it’s not customary.
- At Restaurants: 10–15 percent for the waiter.
- At Hotels: $1 per bag; $10–$20 to the concierge; and approximately $1–$5 per day to the housekeeper
- Guides and Drivers: $5 for cab drivers; $20–$50 per person for a private guide; $25–$50 per day if you hire a private driver.
- Cash or Dollars? Tipping is accepted only in local currency.
#3 - Rome, Italy
Tips aren't expected in Italy as you will normally be charged a coperto (cover charge) on top of your bill. But who doesn’t want to seem generous? So, you can leave a few Euros on the table.
- At Restaurants: Leaving tips of near about 10 percent is more than enough.
- At Hotels: 5 Euros for porters; 1-2 Euros per night for housekeepers.
- Cash or Dollars? Dollars are accepted but euros are more preferred.
#4 - Cape Town, South Africa
Popular restaurants and bars in holiday hotspots in South Africa will add a 10% service charge to the bill. But if they don’t do so, you’re free to leave a generous amount as a tip.
- At Restaurants: 10–15 percent to the waiter.
- At Hotels: A dollar per bag to the porter and per night to the housekeeper; $3–$5 to the concierge.
- Guides and Drivers: 10% for the taxi drivers and $25 per person per day for private drivers and tour guides. You can also pay the ‘car guards’ 15–20 rand and maximum 20 rand per bag to an airport porter.
- Cash or Dollars? Dollars are accepted but preferably cash for car guards and airport porters.
In contrast to this, China and Singapore consider the tipping etiquette to be offensive. So beware, don't let your subconscious mind make you leave some coins on the table!
To wrap it up
Understanding the whole tipping etiquette across nations is a task indeed, but doing a little research before you embark on your international venture will surely save you from embarrassment. So, follow this effortless guide and brush up on your tipping etiquette!