Advice for Tipping on Your Travels – Who, Why and How much?

By Kach Umandap August 8th, 2016 Posted in Travel Blog No comments

When travelling, trying to figure out who to tip, how much to tip, and when to tip can be pretty confusing. You come face to face with employees at restaurants, airports, hotels, train stations, tours and more – but do you have to tip everybody? The truth is that the rules about tipping can vary from place to place, so it really does depend entirely on where you’re travelling. For example, in certain countries such as Japan it’s considered rude to offer a tip, whereas around USA and Europe it’s pretty standard practice. Because of this, it’s a good idea to do some research on tipping practice in your chosen destination before you set off. Assuming you’re in a country where tipping isn’t considered impolite, here’s who and how much you can expect to offer a tip to.

Hotel Staff

City Relay Reception Desk

If you’re staying in a hotel for the duration of your trip (click here for some great UK hotels) you should tip the porter who brings your luggage to the room for his services, first and foremost (especially if you have a lot of luggage!) Your housekeeper will also be hugely grateful for a tip, even if it’s just £2-3 per day. In many European hotels, you will probably find a tip jar at the front desk, and it’s polite to put something in it for the front desk staff, too.


Restaurant Review - Latest Recipe Saigon
Excellent Staff

Of all the places that you will definitely be expected to leave a tip, restaurants are it. If you’ve received good service, it’s standard practice to tip your waiter – even if the service wasn’t absolutely exceptional. You may also be able to leave a tip for the chef if you really enjoyed your food. On the other hand, if you visit a restaurant where you get terrible service, such as a waiter who’s rude and food that’s undercooked, don’t waste your money on a tip. Typically, 10% of the total bill in Europe and 15% to 20% of the total bill in the USA are the acceptable tip to offer.

Tour Guides

Pink Jeep Tour tour guide tom
Pink Jeep Tour Tour Guide Tom

If you’re planning to take a tour around a city or other destination, don’t forget to give your tour guide a tip. The amount that you offer to your tour guide as a tip can vary, depending on the length of the tour – for example if you’re taking a full day tour, you should probably tip a little more than you would if it only lasted half an hour. You should also take into account how much you enjoyed the experience when you’re deciding how much to tip your tour guide.

Service Charges

In certain destinations, you may find that a service charge is added to your bill when you visit places such as hotels or restaurants. If this is the case, you won’t be expected to tip any more than this amount, unless of course you’ve had an absolutely exceptional experience and want to!

Tipping can be pretty confusing, especially in a strange area! Doing your research before you leave can help you make sure that you tip the right people for the right things.

How do you tip on your travels and how much? Please share in the comment below!

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.