Tipping can be a sensitive issue and, with each country having its own culture and customs, it can be a minefield when it comes to showing your appreciation in the right way. From enjoying a café au lait in Paris to thanking your concierge delivering your suitcase in Tokyo, navigating gratuities can easily leave you scratching your head. Should you leave your spare change on the table? Add 20% to the bill? Opt for a handwritten ‘thank you’ note instead? It’s best not to wait until your plates have been cleared before you start to wonder whether you need to dig in your pockets for change. Instead, do a little pre-holiday research into what is expected in each country so you’re never caught short – of dollar bills.
No matter what country you are in, it’s always good to tip in cash so you can be assured that the money is going to the person who served you. Tipping in the local currency is also a good rule of thumb. Even if your home currency may be worth more, it probably isn’t to a low paid worker who may not be able to exchange it easily. You should also check whether a service charge is included in the bill, and what percent of the bill it is. If 20% has been added, there is no need to tip extra, but if the charge is 10% of the total you can usually feel free to add a few coins for the waiter. More and more restaurants around the world now accept gratuities on credit or debit card, but it’s still usually better to opt for cash.
We’ve put together this handy guide to tipping around the world, so you can always be sure of giving the right amount to the right person. Whether you’re jetting off to the Americas or the United Arab Emirates, we’ve got all the information you need on the country’ tipping etiquette.
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