The ultimate guide on who to tip when traveling

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Avoid awkward silences and guilt-ridden exits

Tipping on vacation is awkward. There is no way around it. Each country has its own norms, and in each hotel has a hundred employees who seem to be worth a few extra dollars. But who should we actually tip? When should we do it? And how often should we do it? And of course, how much?

the man tips

Fear no more because Travel Off Path has got you covered. Here’s the ultimate guide to who to tip when traveling.

From the airport to the hotel

Obviously it depends on how you got to the hotel. If you’re looking for your way, tip the bar later. If not, follow these rules.

Route drivers

If your hotel arranges a transfer, be sure to tip the driver. Many of them rely heavily on tips. Depending on the country, $2.50 to $5.00 per person should be enough.

Taxi drivers

Don’t tip taxi driver unless you really want to. They make money from your value at a decent rate. Rates in the tourist area are often wildly inflated, so don’t expect them.

In the hotel


hotel porter

These guys can make your arrival and departure a breeze. Reward them as such. It doesn’t take anything crazy. A few dollars per bag is ideal. A family of four can give $10-$15, especially if they are carrying luggage for a long time or in bad weather. Many porters often set the mood for the entire stay with their attitude, so make sure they know they’ve done a good job.


Often overlooked, this team helps make your room spotless every day you return (at least that’s usually the case). They are also some of the lowest paid workers in the sector, so a tip for them can go a long way.

It’s important to leave a small amount each day rather than one large tip at the end as you may have multiple maids in your room. It’s also a great idea to leave a slightly larger tip on the first day to draw a little more attention to your room.

hotel cleaning

Don’t go crazy. $5 a day is the upper limit of what is needed, especially in countries with a lower cost of living. Make sure to leave it in an obvious place so they can see it.

The Lobby Crew


In today’s Internet-dominated world, the concierge has become a little less useful for many of us. But most good hotels still have them. They’re still capable of booking things, sniffing out good bookings, and even getting you the best room, but you might not use them as often. If you are a regular at the hotel, the concierge should still be a helpful person.

hotel concierge

Tip them based on usage. If they just point you in a direction or two, you’re fine. But if they take half an hour out of your day, give them around $5.

Employees of the registration desk

As helpful as they can be, there is no need to tip at the front desk. Many of them are in management positions and receive an annual salary rather than an hourly salary. The best thing you can do for them is to go online and write their names in a good review of your hotel.

Eating out

This is where things get complicated. In the US, we tip almost every waiter or bartender who serves us. This is mainly due to the way these workers are paid. In Europe and other regions of the world, bar and restaurant staff are paid a fair hourly wage and tips are not expected – in some cases this can be taken as an insult.

the waiter serves the table


As a general rule, always tip your servers in America. North, Central and South America are waiting for a clue. In the States, Canada and Colombia – by 15-20%. In other countries, you can swing a little lower, in the 10-15% range. Brazil, Costa Rica, and Chile include a service charge or seating charge, so you don’t need to tip there.

the waiter smiles at the customers


Europeans much less likely to be tipped than anywhere else in the world. In most countries they make good wages there, and often waiters don’t get everything anyway. Some countries now actively charge a service charge (the price is the same) to make it clear that no tipping is required.

At most of these places, you can leave a little extra if the service was exceptional. Otherwise, don’t worry about it. If you’re not sure about a particular country, just ask someone when you arrive.

Africa and the Middle East

Tipping is widely expected in the Middle East. Even countries like Qatar and the UAE, which often includes a service charge, wants an additional 15-20% on top of the bill. Many African countries also look for around 10-15% of the bill as a tip.

restaurant bill


Some Asian countries, such as China, outright refuse tipping, while others do Japan, see it as something to be hard-earned beyond the good service that is already expected. Some tourist countries, such as Thailand, become more receptive to tipping after realizing how much money can be made.

This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest news that will affect your next trip, visit:

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions subject to change without notice. The decision to travel is your responsibility. Before you travel, contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry into your country of citizenship and/or any changes to travel requirements. Travel Off Path does not recommend traveling against government advice The ultimate guide on who to tip when traveling

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