International tipping guide: When to tip abroad

If you’re confused about who, when and how much to tip when traveling internationally, you’re not alone. Sixty percent of Americans say they always tip when they’re on vacation, though many say they don’t know what’s expected, according to a 2014 TripAdvisor survey. Here’s a guide to giving gratuities in five popular destinations for U.S. travelers. Since exchange rates vary, the suggested amounts are in U.S. dollars, but you’ll want to convert them to local currency when appropriate.

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Necessary or not expected? Depends on the country

Mexico

Tips are a big part of Mexican culture: Keep small change on hand to give to restroom attendants, parking attendants and gas station employees. For metered taxis, round up the fare, but if you’ve agreed to an amount at the start of your ride, just pay that.

Tour guides $6–$12 per person, per day

Restaurants 10–15%

Housekeeping $1–$3 a day

Sources: Mexperience, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveler

Heading to an all-inclusive resort?

Tips may be one of the things included in the price. Check with yours to be sure. Of course, even when tips aren’t expected, they’ll still be appreciated. It’s usually okay to offer a gratuity, though don’t feel hurt if it’s waved off.

Canada

While Canada’s minimum wage is higher than in most parts of the U.S., tipping customs north of the border are comparable to those stateside.

Taxi drivers 10–15%

Restaurants 15–20%

Housekeeping $5 a day

Sources: Condé Nast Traveler, Investopedia

United Kingdom

Tipping in the U.K. is confusing even to locals. Service workers receive a decent minimum wage, but the country’s high cost of living means they also depend on tips. At restaurants, your bill may have a service charge, which may or may not go to your server: Ask who pockets this amount. Cash tips are always appreciated.

Taxi drivers 10–15%

Restaurants 10% (check for service charge)

Bartender Not expected

Source: The Guardian

France

In France, tipping is seldom mandatory but not uncommon. Don’t leave exorbitant tips, but it’s always appropriate to tip for really good service. And bring some cash if you go to the theater, where ushers expect tips.

Bellhops $1 per bag

Restaurants 5–10%

Ushers, museum tour guides $1

Source: Atout France

Italy

Locals rarely leave tips, but service workers may expect them from foreigners, especially at establishments popular with tourists. In any case, large tips are never expected, and service costs are often included in your restaurant bill.

Restaurants Up to 10%

Hairdresser 5–10%

Taxi drivers Not expected

Sources: USA Today, Budget Travel

By following tipping rules when you travel, you show respect to your local hosts and signal that you’re in the know.

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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