It’s a thought that creeps up on every trip.
Am I supposed to tip this guy?!
While personal attitudes about tipping may vary widely, the biggest differences come down to geographical areas and cultural differences. In order to prevent those awkward thoughts from ever entering your mind again, we’ve created a map of global tipping standards by drawing on several tourism-related sources:
From a North American perspective, it is a bit shocking to realize that most of the world is kind of iffy about tipping. While 10-20% gratuity is standard throughout North America and parts of South America, that is the exception rather than the norm. In most of the world tipping is either optional or only necessary in specific contexts, or a ‘tip’ is just rounding the bill up to the nearest dollar when paying.
Standards in the EU are as fragmented as you’d expect with the bulk of countries simply ‘rounding up’ on payment. But there are still a few, notably Germany and UK, that lean towards tipping (but don’t tip the bartender at a pub in UK, that would just be weird!). Interestingly the Balkans are super varied and we see regular financial recognition of service workers (Bulgaria, Romania & Albania), occasional tipping (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and no tipping (Serbia)—the region is kind of the ‘crossroads’ connecting tipping cultures in EU and Asia.
Asia has a similar complicated mix, but skewing towards no gratuity. China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia—none of these countries tip regularly. Countries like India and Indonesia have cultures where tipping in certain circumstances is encouraged, and Mongolia is a lone beacon of gratuity. Meanwhile down in Oceania, Australia has embraced tipping over the last few decades.
The one thing that is relatively consistent about tipping is the amount. Regardless of Geography when people tip the standard really seems to be 10-15%, we see this amount all over the world.
But the good news is, in most countries, you don’t have to worry about it.