How to Tip (or Not to Tip) Your Server While Traveling

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Learn how much, when, and where to tip when traveling internationally

United Kingdom

A service fee is often included. If not, tip 10 to 15 percent. Sometimes there will be an "optional" charge added to the bill that typically goes to the owner, not the waiter. You can adjust this charge to a level you feel comfortable with and specify an amount to go directly to the waiter. Tipping in pubs is not customary.

Italy

Many locals leave a few coins that make the tip as close to 10 percent as possible. The tip doesn’t have to be exactly 10 percent; simply tip whatever is convenient. There is no expectation to leave more than 10 percent, though. 

Spain

If the service is good, you should round up the bill to anywhere from 7 to 13 percent. If the service is bad, it is acceptable to leave without giving a tip. If you do leave a tip, though, ne sure to leave the tip in cash, not on a credit card.

Paris

Check for the words service compris (usually a 10 to 15 percent charge) when you get the bill. If you see this on your bill, it means you don’t have to tip. However, most locals leave a few extra coins, especially if service is good. Like in the U.K., tipping at bars is not expected.

Germany

A tip of 10 to 15 percent is common. Be sure to hand the tip directly to the waiter rather than leaving it on the table to be sure that it goes to the intended recipient.

Switzerland

In most restaurants, there is a 15 percent service charge included with the bill. Additionally, though, it is considered polite to leave a small tip on top of the service charge. In casual places, that means small change. In fancier spots, leave between 5 and 10 percent, depending on the quality of service, of course.

Canada

Just like in the U.S., gratuity is not added to the bill. It is standard to leave a 15 to 20 percent tip at restaurants. Again, like in the U.S., the amount you tip is relative to how good the service was. 

China

There are laws that restrict tipping, so even though it may feel odd, don't leave a tip.

Japan

As in China, it typically isn’t customary to tip in Japan. You can try to tip waiters, but they may refuse your offer.

Australia/New Zealand

Until recently, tipping was not common in this area of the world. Now, leaving 10 to 15 percent at restaurants for good service is the norm. However, there is no requirement to tip at the bar.

Mexico

Waiters here don’t check in as often, but that's so that you can enjoy your meal. Leaving 10 to 15 percent in cash is preferred at restaurants. Dollars are generally accepted, as well as pesos. It is customary to tip 10 to 15 percent on tabs at bars or the equivalent of a dollar at high-end bars. 

Argentina

At restaurants that don’t include a service charge, rounding up and leaving a 10 percent tip to the waiter is common practice. However, you should not leave the tip in dollars.