Tipping Culture Around the World

Tipping etiquette varies widely around the world, and failure to understand local customs can lead to awkward situations. In some countries, tipping is expected, while in others it is considered offensive. It is important to do your research before traveling to a new country to learn about the tipping expectations there.

In the United States, tipping is expected in restaurants, bars, and other service industries. A standard tip is 15-20% of the bill. In Canada, tipping is also expected, but a slightly lower percentage is customary, around 10-15%. In Europe, tipping is not as common as in the United States and Canada, but it is still appreciated. A small tip of around 5-10% is considered polite.

In some countries, tipping is not expected or even considered offensive. In Japan and China, for example, tipping is not customary and can be seen as a sign that you think the service was not good enough. In these countries, it is better to simply pay the bill and leave.

If you are unsure about tipping expectations in a particular country, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not tip at all. It is also important to be aware of service charges, which are sometimes added to bills in restaurants and other businesses. Service charges are typically intended to cover the cost of tipping, so you should not add an additional tip if a service charge has already been added.

By understanding tipping expectations in different countries, you can avoid awkward situations and show your appreciation for good service in a way that is considered appropriate in the local culture.

Travel experts from Panache Cruises, the UK’s leading provider of luxury cruises, have revealed the ultimate guide to tipping so tourists can correctly show their gratitude around the globe. 

Here is a rough guide to tipping, but always ask if possible:

  • UK: Tipping is not expected in the UK, but is appreciated. A small tip of around 10% is considered polite.
  • USA: Tipping is expected in the USA, and is considered a way to show appreciation for good service. A tip of 15-20% is customary*.
  • Europe: Tipping is common and expected in Europe, and is considered a way to supplement wages. A tip of 5-15% is customary.
  • Asia: Tipping is not expected in many parts of Asia, and can even be seen as an insult. In some tourist areas, a small tip may be appreciated, but it is best to check local customs before tipping.
  • Australia: Tipping is not expected in Australia, but is appreciated. A small tip of around 10% is considered polite.
  • Middle East: Tipping is expected in the Middle East, and is considered a way to show appreciation for good service. A tip of 15-20% is customary.
  • Tipping At Sea: Tipping is expected on cruise ships, and is considered a way to show appreciation for the staff. A tip of 15-20 per person per day is customary.

*An employer of a tipped employee in the US is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the Federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the Federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. So PLEASE TIP US EMPLOYEES! And cross your fingers that fairer wages will be implemented soon.

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