Tips for Travel Tipping

These days, giving someone a tip is meant to reward them for a service rendered, but a “tip” was originally an acronym for “To Insure Promptness.” (T.I.P., get it?) Regardless of whether you’re seeking good service or thanking someone for providing it, though, a few things remain constant: 1) you should tip, 2) in cash of the correct currency, and 3) in a spirit of generosity.

But while you’re traveling, it’s hard to know who you should you tip, and how much to give. Complicating matters further, different countries have different rules for tipping, so you could unknowingly be causing confusion or even insult.

To provide some clarity, here’s our handy guide to tipping while traveling:  

TIPPING IN THE U.S. 

AIRPORT

  • Skycaps —$1-3 per bag
  • Wheelchair —$5-10
  • Electric cart —$2
  • Shuttle —$1-2 per bag if the driver helps you with bags

CABS & RIDESHARES

  • Driver—15% of fare (no less than 50 cents)
  • Help with luggage—$1 per bag

CHARTERED FLIGHTS

  • Pilot(s)—$50-100 each, to distribute amongst the crew
  • Ground crew—$1-3 per bag

CRUISE SHIP

  • Cabin steward—$5 per day
  • Waiter—$3-5 per day
  • Bar/wine steward—15-20% (at least) of bill

HOTEL (Up to 3-star / Motel)

  • Housekeeping—$5 per night (leave this each morning, as attendants rotate)
  • Lobby attendant—$1-2 per bag for help with luggage, $2 for finding a taxi on the street
  • Toiletry/towel delivery—$2-5
  • Room service waiter—15-20% of bill

HOTEL (4-star and up / Luxury resort)

  • Parking attendant—$5-10, depending on help with luggage
  • Bellhop—$5-10 for help with luggage, $5 for showing the room
  • Housekeeping— $10 per night (leave this each morning, as attendants rotate)
  • Toiletry/towel delivery—$5
  • Room service waiter—20% of bill
  • Spa esthetician or massage therapist—20-25% of spa bill
  • Concierge—$5-50 depending on the cost of what they arrange

RESTAURANT

  • Waiter—15-20% of bill, or more for excellent service
  • Sommelier—15% of wine bill
  • Bartender—15-20% of bar bill
  • Counter servers—15% of bill
  • Coat check—$1-3 per coat
  • Restroom attendant—$1-3
  • Parking attendant—$2-5
  • Maitre’d—$20-100, depending on occasion, special attention, frequency of your patronage

TOUR

  • Driver—$20-30 per day, per person, or 15-20% of day tour cost
  • Guide—$25-50 per day, per person, or 20-25% of day tour cost

TRAIN

  • Redcap—$1-2 per bag
  • Dining car waiter—15-20% of bill
  • Bar car waiter—15-20% of bar bill
  • Sleeping car attendant—$5 per passenger, per day

TIPPING WHILE ABROAD

ARGENTINA

  • Carry small notes/coins in pesos (ARS)
  • tip 10% of fare/bill for taxis, waiters

CANADA

  • Tipping guidelines similar to the U.S.
  • Tip in CAD (not USD)

CHILE

  • Tipping expected
  • USD is acceptable
  • Restaurants include 10% 

CHINA

  • Don’t tip taxi drivers or waiters
  • 10 yuan/bag at hotels
  • 65 yuan/day for tours

FRANCE

  • 1 -2 euro for:
    • a taxi ride
    • housekeeping per night
    • bellhop per bag
    • waiter per every 10 euros of the bill
  • 25-30 euros per day, per person for tours

GERMANY

  • Bedienung = tip included
  • Otherwise tip 10% of the bill, and hand tip directly to your server
  • 2 euros/bag at hotels
  • 30 euros per day, per person for tours

INDIA

  • Tip in USD or Indian rupees (INR)
  • 50 INR/bag at hotels
  • 200 INR/night for housekeeping
  • 10% of bill unless tip is included
  • 400 INR/day for car and driver

IRELAND                             

  • Round up taxi fare to nearest euro
  • 1-2 euros/bag at hotels
  • hotel may charge for housekeeping, but if not, 1-2 euros per night
  • 1-2 euros per drink for table service at pubs
  • 15-20 euros per day, per person for tours

ITALY                      

  • Coperto = tip included
  • Tip around 10% at a restaurant
  • 2-5 euros for hotel staff that help you (bellhop, parking, housekeeper, etc.)
  • 20-40 euros per person, per day for tours

JAPAN                      

  • Do not tip—it’s considered insulting

MEXICO

  • USD or Mexican pesos (MXN) are fine
  • 10-20 MXN per bag
  • 20-50 MXN per night for housekeeping
  • 100 MXN for concierge
  • 10-15% of bill for waiters, in cash
  • 100-200 MXN per day, per person for a tour, additional 100 MXN for driver

PORTUGAL

  • Round up taxi fare to nearest euro
  • Check restaurant bill for included gratuity; if none, tip 10%
  • 1-2 euro/bag
  • 10-20 euro per day, per person for tours

SPAIN

  • Round up taxi fare to nearest euro
  • 1-2 euro/bag
  • only at high-end restaurants, tip 5-10% of bill
  • 30 euros per person, per day for tours

UK

  • Tipping expected just about everywhere
  • British pounds (GPB) preferred
  • 1-3 GPB for taxi drivers, coins acceptable
  • 2-3 GPB per bag
  • if no housekeeping charge, leave 2-5 GPB per night
  • 10-20% of the bill for sit-down meals
  • 20-30 GPB/day, per person for tours