When (and When NOT!) to Tip Abroad
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Lots of folks in the US consider ~20% to be the “standard” tip amount. But when you’re traveling abroad, tipping practices vary from country to country!Who to Tip is a guide to worldwide tipping etiquette. It’s not an app, but a useful website folks can reference when traveling overseas.
Here’s how to use the guide!
Worldwide Tipping Guide
Link: Who to Tip Online Guide
Tipping customs vary significantly depending on the country. That’s why a site like Who to Tip can be helpful when you’re traveling abroad!
In some instances, for example, tipping a tour guide is expected, while tipping in a restaurant isn’t common. So it helps to research before you travel to a new country.
And just because you’re using points for a free hotel stay doesn’t mean you should neglect the hotel staff. Especially if tipping porters or housekeeping is common practice.
In Australia, for example, tips aren’t expected. And in some European countries, like Italy, a service charge is often already included in a restaurant bills, so you’d be tipping twice if you added any gratuity!
But in a country like Germany, leaving a couple of Euros for the housekeeping staff is expected for good service.
How to Use “Who to Tip”
Because tipping etiquette varies so much between countries and the type of service you’re receiving, using Who to Tip can help save you time and (sometimes!) money, because it’s a convenient spot to find tipping information for 81 countries.
Using the site is straightforward. On the homepage, you’ll find a list of countries to choose from. Click the country you want tipping information about.
From there, you’ll find an overview of tipping etiquette in that country. For example, in Italy, tipping isn’t expected unless someone exceeds your expectations.
You’ll also see tipping specifics for services like hotels, restaurants, spas, tour guides, and taxi drivers. Along with general travel tips, like when to visit the area and what type of food to try.
Million Mile Secrets team member Scott confirmed the Who to Tip information about Poland, Finland, and Mexico seems accurate.
He noted that restaurant waitstaff in Poland work partly for tips, and they very much prefer their tips in cash. And massages (and spa services in general) are very inexpensive compared to the US, so he was always happy to leave a tip.
But in Finland, for example, waiters receive a full wage, and tipping isn’t expected.
In Mexico, 15% is considered a very good tip in a restaurant. And because waiters prefer cash tips, he tried to tip in cash whenever possible during his trip there.
Are There Drawbacks?Who to Tip has information for 81 countries, but there are ~195 countries in the world (depending on which source you check). So if you’re looking for tipping information for places like Ethiopia, Seychelles, Grenada, Estonia, and others, you’ll have to find it somewhere else!
Also, you can NOT use Who to Tip without an internet connection, which could be an issue when traveling.
And it would be nice if it were an app instead of, or in addition to, a website, so it would be easier to use on-the-go.
I accessed the website on my phone. Although it worked fine, it was difficult to navigate through the information and switch between countries.
Lastly, having the ability to calculate a tip through the website would be a great improvement. And a feature I’d definitely suggest including if they created a Who to Tip app!
Other Apps and Guides With Tipping Information
The Global Tipping Guide Pro app seems to be the only travel tipping app for Android users. It costs ~$2, but doesn’t get great reviews. With the app, you’ll find tipping practices for 60+ countries and have the ability to calculate tips within the app.Piper, a travel tipping app for Apple users, could be another good option for some folks. It gets great reviews and provides tipping advice for 75 countries. Reviewers like that you can use it without an internet connection and calculate tips within the app.
You can choose to pay ~$1 for each country’s information or ~$5 for all available countries.
If you don’t want to use an app or can’t find a particular country’s tipping practices, travel sites and guide books, like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet, provide tipping guidelines for most countries.
For example, here’s TripAdvisor’s Tipping & Etiquette guide for France. And on the Lonely Planet website (and in their guidebooks), you can find tipping information, like what’s shown here for traveling & tipping in India.
In the US, folks are accustomed to tipping ~15% to ~20% for meals, spa treatments, tour guides, taxi rides, and more. But tipping customs vary significantly depending on the country!Using a website like Who to Tip can save you time (and money!) when you’re traveling abroad. Because it provides tipping etiquette for 81 countries.
How much do you tip when you’re on vacation? Have you had an interesting experience when it comes to tipping while traveling overseas? Tell me about it in the comments!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)