Attention, savvy travellers: Always learn about the tipping customs of your destination before stepping off the plane. Our team has travelled far and wide and has faced many an awkward tipping moment along the way. The good news: they’re sharing everything they know. So, here are some of our most useful tipping tips, by country, that will help you to recognise good service without feeling your wallet’s been cleared out.
(The best part? There’s no need to tip us for these tips!)
Cafes and restaurants in France include a 15 percent service compris (tip included), but if you feel that the service and meal were worth it, leaving an extra five percent tip, a euro or two, is a nice gesture. Contrary to some opinions, it is not considered rude not to tip in France, but leaving behind a few centimes and pocket lint may not be favourable either. Cabbies in France are tipped 10 percent.
Context is everything in Spain. If you order a meal at a tapas bar, there’s often no need to tip. At restaurants a service charge is generally included in the bill but, if your meal was exceptional, add in a euro or two.
Cabbies are rarely tipped, but rounding up to the next euro, especially if your bags were carried, is a good way of saying gracias.
Tipping is customary in Turkey. In local eateries a few coins are sufficient while in mid- to high-end restaurants, a 10 to 15 percent service charge should be included in the bill. Hotel staff should receive between 5 to 20 Turkish Lira, depending on the service rendered.
For taxi drivers, if the fare is 7.60 TL, round up to 8 TL. Again, if you need help with your bags, tip a little bit extra. If you visit a Turkish bath, your masseur will expect a 10 to 20 percent tip, and you’ll be so relaxed it will be worth it.
Tipping and bargaining is a way of life here so there are no hard and fast rules. If a tip isn’t included in a restaurant bill, 10 percent is appropriate. Leave the hotel maid around 20 dirhams per night, roughly 100 per week, and the bell boy 10 dirhams. However, if you want to leave more do so as Moroccan service workers are paid poorly.
Beware that a befuddled “I’m lost” look will get you plenty of offers from unofficial guides, but 10 dirhams might just be worth good directions. For taxis, round-up the bill.
Tipping in Greece can be tricky. It’s good to ask beforehand if your restaurant bill will be rounded up. If not, 5 to 10 percent is much appreciated, but only if given directly to the waiter. (Take note: some owners do not allow their employees to accept tips at all, so ask.) Tip taxi drivers by rounding up the bill, and know that if you are being taken to a touristy area most drivers expect a bit more.
Backsheesh is a word you will hear often in Egypt as Egyptians rely heavily on tips, so expect to tip anyone who helps you. The hotel butler should get 3-10 Egyptian pounds, the maid 5-10 EGP a night. In restaurants you may see 10 percent already added to your bill, but this service charge goes to the restaurant not your waiter, so be sure to give around a 10 percent tip to your waiter as well. The taxi cab price is agreed upon beforehand with a tip already included.
When it comes to tipping, 10 percent goes a long way. For those with fuzzy math skills, most cell phones have calculators or apps you can download to calculate costs for you. After all, not worrying about whether you are undertipping or overtipping will free you up to enjoy your travels. Bon Voyage!