When visiting an unfamiliar country, you don’t want to be caught in an embarrassing situation because you don’t know how to proceed when it comes to tipping. In many countries, there are different “rules” for different situations, so before you go, educate yourself.
Tipping in the United States
Tipping is not required anywhere in the United States but is expected for certain services. If you dine out at a restaurant with a server, the general rule is to tip 15% or more of your total bill. If you take a taxi, or use a valet service or a doorman at your hotel, you’ll be expected to tip. The amount can vary widely, but the more you tip, the better service you’ll likely receive in the future. In many states, servers in restaurants and bars are paid less than minimum wage and are expected to earn enough in tips to make up for it. Because of this, if you’ve received good service, tip your server.
Tipping in China
Generally, no one tips in China, but there are some situations where you need to be prepared to tip. If you’re part of a group tour or utilise a driver while in China, you’ll be expected to tip. In many cases you’ll be pressured to tip until you give in. If you take a taxi, you’re not expected to tip the driver and it’s actually illegal to do so in many parts of China. Tips are not required when eating out at a restaurant and can even be considered rude.
Tipping in Africa
In Africa many people rely on tips to make a living wage, such as porters and guides. If you’re going to visit more remote parts of Africa, be sure to have plenty of small bills with you because you may find it difficult to break a large bill for the purpose of tipping. When eating out, the expected tip for your server is about 10% to 15%. A pound or two is sufficient for porters, housekeeping staff at hotels, and drivers who take you to and from the airport and hotel. For a personal driver who will be working for you most of the day, a tip of five pounds is the usual going rate. Do not tip children in Africa. This is highly frowned upon.
Tipping in France
Though, by law, establishments in France have to include a service charge with all prices, it is still customary to leave a little extra if the service you receive is good. Rounding up to the next euro is usually sufficient. In restaurants you can tip more if you’re really happy with the service. This same consideration goes for taxis too. Though you’re not expected to tip, a small gratuity is always welcome. If the driver has helped you with your bags or has been a great help to you in some other way, 5% to 10% is a nice tip to offer. If you attend a theatrical performance, you may be surprised that it’s customary to tip the usher a euro for every person in your party they help to seat, so don’t be caught off-guard on this one.
Tipping etiquette varies greatly from one country to another and from one region of a country to another. Before you set out on your next trip, take a moment to learn about tipping and what is and is not appropriate. In some cases, tipping is considered rude, so be informed to avoid what can turn into a very uncomfortable situation.
Category: Travel Information