Heading overseas? Here’s how much you should be tipping

It's important to be aware of local customs.

Discovering new cultures and customs is one of the best things about travelling to different countries. But overseas travel comes with its own set of questions – including, how much to tip.

While tipping isn’t common in Australia, this is not the blueprint for the rest of the world. As it varies, knowing how much to tip in different countries is tricky. In some cultures, tipping is a necessity for survival, in others it is deemed rude to do so.

Tipping has been around since the middle ages, and was initially a way of providing a reward to exceptional servants (back when the upstairs-downstairs culture was very much alive). It has since transformed over the years, and is very much a part of the hospitality and service industries.

At the end of the day, tipping is a way of thanking someone who has served you – and should always be led by how much you feel like offering. That said, there are certain unwritten rules around tipping in different countries. Here is your guide on average tipping practices around the world.

North America

There is a big tipping culture in the United States. As minimum wage is around $7.25, a lot of workers rely on tips to make a living. A good tip in America is at least 20 per cent. 

Like the US, Canada also has a prominent tipping culture. A minimum of 15 to 18 per cent gratuity is expected, but err on the side of 20 per cent for great service. 

Central and South America

Workers do not rely on tips in central and south America as much as they do in the States. Often, there is a service fee included in the bill. But it is recommended that you tip 10 to 15 per cent for exceptional service.


If you’re travelling around Europe, make sure you research the customs for each country you visit. Tipping isn’t as common here as it is in the States. Often, service charges are included in the bill. If the service charge isn’t included, it can be nice to leave a tip of around 10 per cent; this includes the UK.

Middle East

In the Middle East, it’s customary to tip in smaller amounts, such as 10 to 15 per cent. A service charge is commonly included at hotels, restaurant and bars, but often patrons will add a tip for exceptional service. 


It is not obligatory, however it is customary to tip service staff in Africa as a sign of appreciation, including on safaris. On average, between 10 to 15 per cent is the norm. Some upscale places might include a service fee in the bill.


Typically, tipping is not customary in Asia, unless you’re at an upscale restaurant. If you try to leave a tip in places like China, Japan and South Korea, you will likely be refused as exceptional service is part of the cultural norm. Tipping can even be considered rude in some cases, so make sure to do your research before jetting off. 

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