Wouldn’t it be great if there was one hard and fast global rule for tipping? It would save so much confusion and awkwardness! Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and tipping can be seen as mandatory, a kind gesture, unnecessary or even offensive depending on the country you are in. Thankfully, with our guide to worldwide tipping etiquette, you won’t be making any faux pas with your gratuities.  

At Sea 

Cruise tipping etiquette starts on-board. The vast majority of cruise lines with a tipping policy will add a small gratuity charge to your bill each day automatically. Every cruise line is different when it comes to tipping, so check your cruise line’s policy online before you sail.  

Even if your cruise line includes gratuities, staff members will still greatly appreciate any personal tips- so if a particular waiter, spa worker, concierge, porter, cleaner or butler has really impressed you with their service, go ahead and hand them a little extra cash.  


Figuring out how to do tipping on an Asia cruise can be a minefield, with some Asian countries appreciating tips, and others finding them insulting! 

Both Japan and China don’t have a -tipping culture and it’s actually illegal to tip taxi drivers in some parts of China. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Hong Kong is generally a pro-tipping island, with a 10% gratuity fee in most restaurants.  Whilst in Japan, tour guides will accept tips of around 2500-5000 yen, but this should be concealed in an envelope.  

When visiting Singapore, tipping generally isn’t a thing. Restaurant tips in Singapore will likely go to the restaurant manager rather than the servers you intended them for. However, it is seen as a nice gesture here to tip tour guides 10% and round up your taxi fares.  

In Thailand, tipping is expected in Bangkok, but it’s not really a big deal elsewhere. When in Bangkok, tip taxi drivers around 33 Baht, and give tour guides around 680 Baht.  

In South Korea, don’t tip taxi drivers or restaurant servers. However, tour guides will likely appreciate a 10% tip.  

In Indonesia, you should tip 10% on top of your taxi fare, and the local equivalent of $20-30 USD for tour guides. You may expect a 5-10% service charge in restaurants. 

In the Philippines, you should tip both tour guides and taxi drivers 10%. And a 10% service fee will likely already be built into your restaurant bill.  

In India, tips are a huge part of the culture called “Baksheesh”, and it’s generally expected that you’ll hand a few rupees to anyone providing you a service – although you should do so discreetly, as flashing extra cash can attract beggars. In restaurants and bars, a 10% tip is customary.  


Tipping etiquette in France is fairly simple. There is a 15% service charge in bars, cafes and restaurants, but servers also appreciate when you round up to the nearest euro or two on top of that. French taxi drivers generally appreciate a 15-20% tip.  

The tipping situation in Germany is a little more delicate. Whilst German servers do appreciate a tip, the word tip should never actually be mentioned. Instead, when receiving your bill, you should tell your server how much you are going to pay and how much change you expect to receive- the final amount should be your bill plus the tip.  

In Italy, restaurants have a 5-10% cover charge. However, this doesn’t actually go to your server, so tip them separately. Tour guides should generally be tipped 10-20%. 

When visiting Greece, tipping isn’t particularly expected. 

In other European countries, you can expect a 10-15% service charge as part of your restaurant bill. A 25 to 40 euro tip is generally the expected amount for tour guides, and tipping in taxis isn’t customary.  

Dubai and The United Arab Emirates 

Dubai has a government mandated 10% service charge in all bars and restaurants, but you’re still generally expected to tip 15-20% on top of this. In the United Arab Emirates, the expectation is a 10-15% tip. Tour guides in these countries should generally be tipped the local equivalent of $10-15 USD.  


In the South Pacific Islands tipping is not expected, whether that’s for restaurant waitstaff, taxis or tour guides. You’ll also find that tips aren’t expected in Australia and New Zealand. You can offer a 10-15% tip in restaurants, or a tip of $20-50 (AUD) for tour guides, however this may be politely refused.  


In Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and South Africa, expect a service charge of 10% on all of your restaurant bills. If there isn’t a service charge, we recommend tipping the 10% anyway. In fact, 10% is the percentage to remember in these countries as this is also generally what you should tip taxi drivers and tour guides.  

On an African Safari, you should tip your guide the local equivalent of $10 USD per day and tip the local equivalent of $5 USD to the tracker.  

The Americas 

In the USA and Canada, neglecting to tip is a major no-no. A 20% tip in restaurants and bars is the expected norm. Taxi drivers should be tipped 10-15% and tour guides may expect a $10-$20 tip.  

In Central and South America, tour guides will be pleased with a $5-10 tip. Restaurants will likely have a service charge, or a 10% sit down charge in Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica. However, if you received excellent service, it is a nice gesture to tip 10-15% on top of this.  

In the Caribbean, tip your tour guide $20, pay a 15-20% tip in restaurants with no gratuity, and give your taxi driver an extra 10-15% on top of your fare.  

Now you know how to do tipping all over the world, you’re ready to travel anywhere and everywhere! Whether your chosen destination loves gratuities or loathes them, Cruise118 can help you get there- no tip needed!  

Charlotte Richards

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