A Guide to Tipping Etiquette Around the World

To give or not to give, that's usually the question when traveling abroad. These days, the answer is usually to tip, but in some countries that can be a major faux pas. Here is our guide to tipping etiquette around the world.
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Toronto skyline, Ontario, Canada
Toronto skyline, Ontario, Canada  (iStockphoto)
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Travel can be messy—from airport security and congealed airline food to lost reservations and mis-rated hotel rooms. But once you're swimming with the fish or nibbling cheese in an Italian café, it makes the logistic struggles well worth it. And then comes your bill. When traveling abroad, it's hard to know tipping etiquette. How much is too little/too much? In some countries, it's even considered offensive to open your wallet after a service. In an effort not to offend your host country, take with you our country-by-country tipping guide. Here are the 20 countries most-visited by Americans in 2010, according to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, and a general look at their tipping policies. All are listed in U.S. dollars.

Mexico & Canada
It's no surprise that the countries right across the border hold most of the same tipping policies that the U.S. does. People in the service industry are compensated with rather low wages, thus making the majority of their cash from customer tips.

Restaurants 15% to 20% depending upon your service
Bartenders $1 per drink or 15% to 20% of your final bill
Taxi Drivers Taxi drivers are not normally tipped in Mexico; however, if they give superb service, it's OK to reward them with a few extra dollars. In Canada, you should always leave 10% to 20% of your fare.
Bell Hops $1 per bag
Tour Guides 10% to 15% of the total cost of the tour

Travel Guides to Mexico's Top Vacation Spots
Travel Guides to Canada's Top Vacation Spots

United Kingdom & Ireland
Tipping is not generally expected in the U.K., though it is greatly appreciated when the service is done well.

Restaurants 10% to 12% of your total bill
Bartenders Not customary, but OK to throw down a dollar per drink if your service is exceptional. If you are making a large order, it isn't uncommon to pay the cost of an extra drink and motion for the bartender to "have one for yourself."
Taxi Drivers 5% to 10% of total fare
Bell Hops $3 to $5 per bag
Tour Guides $3 to $7 per person

Travel Guides to United Kingdom's Top Vacation Spots
Travel Guides to Ireland's Top Vacation Spots

Published: 13 Feb 2013
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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