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Travel

How much should you tip when on holiday?

Many travellers are unsure how much they should tip at their holiday destination. We explain how much you should tip in which country and how to respond if the service you receive is substandard.

From
Ralf Kaminski
Date
Format
Tip

How much to tip where

  • Spain
    Between 5% and 10% at restaurants, but only if the service was good, ideally left in cash on the table. In taxis, you needn't tip the driver, although they appreciate it if you round up the fee if you're happy with the service. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff EUR 1 per night and give porters EUR 1 per item of luggage carried

  • France
    At restaurants, a 15% service fee is already included. However, if the service was good, you can leave a few coins on the table or round up your bill. In taxis, round upwards. At your hotel, tip service personnel about EUR 1 per person per night and give porters EUR 1 for each item of luggage carried

  • Italy
    It isn't common to tip at restaurants, but if the service is good, you can leave a few coins on the table or round up your bill. This should not exceed 10% and ideally be in cash. In taxis, round upwards. At your hotel, tip service personnel about EUR 1 per person per night and give porters EUR 1 for each item of luggage carried

  • Austria
    About 10% in restaurants and when travelling by taxi. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff EUR 1-2 per day and give porters EUR 1 for each item of luggage carried

  • Germany
    Between 5% and 10% at restaurants and in taxis. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff EUR 2-5 per day and give porters EUR 1-2 for each item of luggage carried

  • Scandinavia
    Although a service fee is mostly included in your restaurant bill, rounding up is appreciated. Otherwise, tipping is generally uncommon. However, in Finland, hotel porters expect EUR 1 for each item of luggage carried

  • Greece
    Between 10% and 15% at restaurants, ideally left your tip in cash on the table. In taxis, round up by up to 10%. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff about EUR 1 per night and give porters EUR 1 for each item of luggage carried

  • Cyprus
    Some restaurant bills already include a service fee. Otherwise, tip about 10%. In taxis, round up by up to 10%. When paying your final bill at the hotel, leave 10% in the tip box for the entire hotel staff

  • Turkey
    People who don't tip are considered rude (except in a bazaar, where the price is always haggled). A tip of 10% to 15% is typical at restaurants, ideally left in cash. Round up in taxis. Hotels often have tip boxes. Otherwise, it's customary to tip cleaning staff CHF 2-3 per day and give porters CHF 0.50 per item of luggage carried

  • Egypt
    You're always expected to tip wherever you go in Egypt (except in a bazaar). The poorly paid staff in the tourist industry rely on this money. Between 10% and 20% at restaurants and in taxis. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff CHF 0.15-0.20 per night and give porters CHF 0.20 per item of luggage carried. Temple guards will sometimes also show you closed-off areas in return for a tip.

  • United States
    Between 15% and 25% at restaurants, although this may already be included. 15-20% in taxis. Tipping is also expected elsewhere (bars, porters, etc.), even if the service is poor. This is because low-paid staff rely on this money. People who tip too little risk biting comments. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff USD 1 per bed and night and give porters USD 1 for each item of luggage carried

  • Canada
    Between 15% and 20% at restaurants and 10-15% in taxis. At your hotel, tip the cleaning staff CHF 2-3 per day and give porters CHF 1-3 for carrying your luggage

  • Maldives
    A service fee is usually included at restaurants. However, rounding up by up to 10% is appreciated. In taxis, agree the price - including the tip - before setting off. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff CHF 1-2 and give porters CHF 1 per item of luggage carried

  • Thailand
    Tip 10% at restaurants, although this is often already included in the bill. In taxis, agree on the price - including the tip - before setting off. At your hotel, tip cleaning staff CHF 2-3 per night and give porters CHF 0.50-1.00 for carrying your luggage

  • Japan
    Generally speaking, there is no tipping, since outstanding service is taken for granted everywhere

What if you're not satisfied with the service you received?

There are different views on this. Some will actually decide not to tip at all. Others base their decision on whether the service was genuinely poor or the food was at fault. After all, waiters and waitresses can't do anything about the latter, so there's no reason to punish them if they did their job properly. Intentionally leaving a small tip is one way to signal that you weren't satisfied with the service. However, it's best to complain openly and honestly about what you didn't like. A good establishment will offer you a free dessert, for example, or even reduce your bill.

There's also something else to consider in restaurants: few other professions demand so much attention to detail and yet offer an opportunity to punish mistakes financially. Remember that everyone can have a bad day or simply not have the time to devote the same amount of attention to everyone due the high volume of guests.

What if you don't have any change on you?

This is a typical problem shortly after arrival. Ideally, you should quickly break down any large notes you brought from home or withdrew from a local cash machine so that you have smaller notes or change. This usually isn't a problem at better hotels. Hotels often also have a tip box that enables you to tip a lump sum for all the hotel staff. In this case, larger notes are also appropriate.