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Tipping Tips

 

Tipping is not an exact science. In fact, it is not scientific at all. The system is powered by black magic as influenced by the phase of the moon and the general mood of some schizophrenic monk somewhere in Mongolia.

The good news is that around the world the very divergent practices are coming closer together. The bad news is that the trend is toward the US system (leave your car and first born son if the service was good) rather than the Japanese (tips are insulting).

The following is gleaned from books, websites, and years of experience. But use it with the understanding that you will find differences and contradictions.

Notes:

1. Be sure to look for situations where the service is included (service compris), which is very common in Europe. If it is included, only a little (very little) extra is expected or appropriate for exceptional service.

 2. Some out of the ordinary tipping situations will become obvious if you are half-way observant: the usher with his hand out, the basket with coins in it in the restroom.

3. Even with this superb guidance, mistakes will be made. Get over it and move on. There was, however, this one tour bus driver in Denali Park (I think his name was Jim) who did an outstanding job, but at the critical moment as we got off the bus I was distracted and wound up walking away with the tip still in my hand. Jim, if you see this, drop me a note and I’ll send you your tip.

Choose your country alphabetically:

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W XYZ    

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 A

America                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

(United States)              15-20%                    $1-$2 per bag                       10-15%

 

Argentina                       Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             10% or round up

 

Armenia                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          50 cents to $1 per bag         Not expected

 

Australia                         Restaurants              Porters                                 Taxis

    Not expected           $1 to $2 per bag                   Round up

    except in fine

    restaurants where

    10-15% is norm

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Austria                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 to $2 per bag                  Round up

 

Azerbaijan                      Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           50 cents - $1 per bag           Not expected

 B

Bahamas                       Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                            10%

 

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Bahrain                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 to $2 per bag                  10%

 

Belgium                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                            Round Up

                or (some disagreement here)

                                        not expected             not expected

 

Bolivia                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          75 cents per bag                   10%

 

Brazil                              Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                    $1 per bag                             10%

A note from a reader: Most of the regular restaurants (in Brazil) are strictly no tipping, it is included in the price you pay. Maybe, some high end white table cloth restaurants will get up to 10%, but that is still rare. 

Britain                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             15%

 

Brunei                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                          None                                      None

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Bulgaria                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                             Round Up

 C

Canada                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    15%                          $1-$2 per bag                       10%

 

Cayman Islands            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    15%                          $1 per bag                            10%

 

Chile                               Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%  in                     $1 per bag                             None

    addition to

    service charge

 

China                              Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    3-5%                         $1-$2 Total                            None

China’s tipping style is changing rapidly, trending toward

that of the western world.

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Columbia                       Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          75 cents per bag                  None

 

Costa Rica                     Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                         $1 per bag                             10%

 

Cuba                               Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    $1-$2                        $1-$2                                      $1-$2

 

Czech Republic            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%                      $1 per bag                             Round Up

 D

Denmark                        Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                         $1 per bag                             Round Up

 E

Ecuador                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          75 cents per bag                   None

 

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Egypt                              Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%   in                 $1 per bag                             Round Up

                                        addition to

                                        service charge

 

England                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             15%

 

Estonia                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    Not expected            Not expected                        Not expected

 F

Fiji                                   Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                          None                                     Round Up

 

Finland                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             Round Up

 

France                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%  in                  $1 per bag                             Round Up

                                        addition to service,

                                        which is included

                                        by law

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G

Germany                        Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%  in                  $1 per bag                            Round Up

                                        addition to

                                        service charge

 

Greece                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%  in                  $1 per bag                             Round Up

                                        addition to

                                        service charge

 

Guatemala                     Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%  in                      $1 per bag                            10%

                                        addition to

                                        service charge

 H

Holland                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                            Round Up

                                   

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Hong Kong                     Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%  in                      $1 per bag                             Round Up

                                        addition to

                                        service charge

 

Hungary                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           None                                      Round Up

 I                               

Iceland                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             Round Up

           

India                                Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             Round Up

                       

Indonesia                       Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          50 cents total                         Round Up

 

Ireland                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                     $1 per bag                             Round Up

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Israel                               Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    12-15%                     $1 per bag                            12-15%

 

Italy                                  Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%  in                  $1 per bag                             Round Up

                                        addition to

                                        coperto

                                    (service charge)

 J

Japan                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                         None                                      None

Tipping is considered insulting, but look for those special

situations: tipping cup, envelopes marked “Tips”.

 K

Kenya                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5%                             50 cents per bag                  None

 

Korea                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                         None                                      None

Service charges are commonly added, but tipping can

be insulting.

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 L

Luxembourg                   Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%  in                  $1 per bag                             Round Up

 M

Macao                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                            Round Up

 

Madagascar                  Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           50 cents per bag                  Round Up

 

Malaysia                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                            Round Up

 

Mexico                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                      $1 per bag                            Round Up

            Tip for everything.

 

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Morocco                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    Leave loose             50 cents per bag                   Round Up

    change

 N

Netherlands                   Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             Round Up

 

New Zealand                 Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                         None                                       None

 

Nicaragua                      Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             10%

 

North Korea                   Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    No info                      No info                                    No info

You’re on your own on this one. Let us know what you

find out.

 

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Norway                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             Round Up

 O

Oman                              Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                          None                                      None

 P

Paraguay                       Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          75 cents per bag                  10%

 

Peru                                Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           75 cents per bag                  None

 

Philippines                     Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                            Round Up

 

Poland                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                             Round Up

 

Portugal                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                     $1 per bag                             Round Up

 R

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Romania                        Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                    $1 per bag                             Round Up

 

Russia                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                     $1 per bag                            Round Up

        If tipping in dollars, you can back off a bit.

 S

Saudi Arabia                 Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                     $1-$2 per bag                      10%

 

Samoa                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                         None                                      None

 

Scotland                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10-15%                     $1 per bag                             Round Up

 

Singapore                      Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                          None                                      None

 

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South Africa                   Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           50 cents per bag                  10%

 

South Korea                  Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                          None                                      None

Service charges are commonly added, but tipping can

be insulting.

 

Spain                              Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    5-10%                       $1 per bag                             10%

 

Sweden                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10% if no                   $1 per bag                             Round Up

                                        service charge

 

Switzerland                    Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    Round up                  $1 per bag                             Round up

 T

Tanzania                        Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           None                                      None

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Taiwan                            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                             None

 

Thailand                         Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    0-5%                          None                                      None

 

Turkey                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    Round up                  $1 per bag                             Round up

 U

Ukraine                           Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           $1 per bag                             Round up

 

United Arab Emirates   Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

     None                         None                                      None

 

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United Kingdom            Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             15%

 

United States                Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    15-20%                     $1-$2 per bag                      10-15%

 V

Venezuela                      Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                           75 cents per bag                  10%

 

Vietnam                          Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    None                          None                                      None

Tipping is illegal, but service charges sometimes added.

 W

Wales                             Restaurants              Porters                                  Taxis

    10%                          $1 per bag                             10%

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XYZ 

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