In the USA we tip; we tip wait staff, bartenders, baristas, drivers, hairdressers, hotel staff, dog groomers – if it’s service oriented, it probably calls for a tip. Some services, especially those that work in the tourism and restaurant industries, rely on tips as their income. These folks may only make around $2.50+ an hour, which is not even minimum wage. Some are paid more, but it’s pretty challenging to make a living at $2.50 an hour so tipping is certainly in order.
Interestingly, in some countries, like China and Japan, tipping in restaurants is frowned upon. It may be fine to do so in a higher-level restaurant that caters to westerners, but be sure to check in with your host first. In China, employees have actually lost their job because they accepted a tip. In hotels, however, tipping the staff is completely common.
Here are some other “tips” to know:
- In most countries, a 10% tip is common in restaurants if no service fee is charged; this applies to India, South America, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
- Expect to tip $1 per bag to the porter at your hotel when staying in India, South America, North America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. For Europe figure 1 – 2 Euros.
- In Asia, hotel staff should be tipped $10. There are compulsory charges of 10 – 20% at the high-end hotels.
- For taxi service you’ll tip 10% of the fare in Africa and none in the Middle East. In most other countries, a “keep the change” works.