Never in Japan, always in the U.S and sometimes in Australia: Where Brits abroad should tip and how much to give

Finally, The Money Shop reveals all!


Tipping cultures constantly cause awkward moments for British holidaymakers.

Because etiquette varies so much from country to country, it can be extremely confusing working out how much to tip – and under what circumstances.

Luckily, help is at hand, because a new infographic lays out the answers, country by country. Read on to discover when and where service is expected to be rewarded.

Tipping cultures constantly cause awkward moments for British holidaymakers

Tipping cultures constantly cause awkward moments for British holidaymakers

Compulsory tipping

When visiting the below countries, it’s important to remember to tip your server, according to themoneyshop.com, which drew up the infographic.

USA: Tips are an essential part of many service workers’ incomes in America. Generally, the minimum wage is much lower as it’s expected it will be increased by tips, so tipping is viewed as a necessity, with 15-25 per cent considered as standard. Even a taxi fare will incur an extra 20 per cent for tips.

Canada: Canada’s tipping culture is similar to the USA’s. They are officially ‘optional’ but it is culturally expected. Unlike the USA though, service workers don’t rely on tips as they are paid a higher wage.

Portugal: Wages are often considerably lower than other European countries in Portugal, so 10 per cent tips are customary.

In some countries tipping will actually cause offence with your server

In some countries tipping will actually cause offence with your server

The polite tipper

Within these countries, tips are considered polite and a goodwill gesture, but are in no way expected.

Australia: Unlike the USA and Canada, Australia doesn’t have a consistent tipping culture. It will be appreciated when it happens (usually in restaurants and taxis) but it’s completely voluntary.

Thailand: As a general rule, tipping isn’t expected in Thailand. Tipping is more common in more expensive establishments in comparison with smaller businesses and poorer service staff who will appreciate a small tip.

Belgium: Although tipping is slightly more common in the south (French-speaking) parts of Belgium, service staff workers are generally well-paid and so tipping is uncommon.

Keep the purse strings tied

When visiting a country from the below list, leaving a tip may actually insult your server. It’s best to leave with a simple thank you to show your appreciation for great service.

Italy: Tips are often not expected as service is always included on bills. It may even be seen as offensive in some situations as it implies lower status.

Japan: Similarly to Italy, tips are not expected and may even cause embarrassment to your server. In the few situations where tipping is expected – usually for tour guides – it’s advised to put the tip in an envelope before giving it to the recipient with both hands.

Switzerland: All-inclusive bills that cover service were introduced over 35 years ago, meaning that tips have practically been abolished. It will not be expected for you to tip in Switzerland.

WHY KNOWING WHEN TO TIP IS IMPORTANT

Caroline Walton, Chief Customer Insight Officer at The Money Shop, said: ‘Having a good idea of the tipping culture of your holiday destinations means that you are better able to budget how much currency you’ll need.

‘Although tipping is largely voluntary, it is often expected from tourists in places like the USA and Canada which can be confusing. Keeping change in a separate purse or estimating how much you’ll need before you leave means you won’t be stuck when it comes to paying the final bill.’

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