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Tipping Around the World

To tip or not to tip when traveling abroad? Here are some helpful gratuity guidelines, including books and the customs in other countries.

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Photo: Mike McEnnerney/Alamy
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At a loss about how much to tip when traveling abroad? You're not the only one.

In most other countries, people don’t give nearly as much as we do in the United States. — AAA Travel Counselor Bonnie Aiello

Read up

“You could write an entire book on this subject,” Aiello says—and people have. No matter where you’re headed, a little research in books, magazines, or online guides goes a long way toward understanding customs.

Add a little extra

In many European and Latin American countries, restaurants include service in the bill. But feel free to leave an additional 5 or 10 percent. “It’s not always required, but it’s considered generous,” Aiello says. And though taxi drivers and bartenders in Europe don’t expect tips, rounding up is welcome.

Use cash, not cards

Tips added to your credit card might not reach the intended recipient. Cash is preferable, Aiello says. For porters and bellhops, the equivalent of $1 to $2 a bag is a good rule of thumb.

Know the no-no’s

In some Asian countries, including Thailand and Japan, tipping is not customary. “If you really want to tip in these countries, do so discreetly,” Aiello says.

This article was first published in Spring 2016. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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