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Tips on Tipping: 5 Gratuity Customs From Around the World


Gratuity customs around the world are all quite different, and it can cause a lot of confusion. Thankfully, our simple guide is here to provide some clarity.

In America, providing a tip to the person serving you is a customary show of gratitude.

Depending on the quality of service, the general rule of thumb is to tip 15–20% of your total bill. However, tipping courtesy varies depending on where you are in the world, and you want to be sure that you are not accidentally insulting anyone.

tips on tipping receipt check
Taken by T. Hernandez via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

This article outlines different tipping customs around the world so that you can confidently practice local procedures.


While tipping is customary in Mexico, it is not always required—and you are not expected to a pay a set amount. However, a tip is always appreciated. If you are visiting Mexico, you want to be sure that you are tipping all the correct people. You will want to tip restaurant servers and spa employees—just like in America—but be sure to show your appreciation for all the services you receive. You also want to tip grocery baggers, tour guides, and the entire staff of the hotel you are staying at.


While European service providers occasionally receive a tip, it is merely considered a bonus and is not customary. In contrast to America, servers make at least minimum wage, so they do not rely on tips to survive. One should note, however, that visiting Americans are sometimes expected to tip because it is a common American practice.

Should you choose to leave gratuity when visiting Europe, check your receipt for any service charges. Additionally, you should always tip in cash.


Whereas in America it is considered rude not to tip, China is quite the opposite. Many Chinese servers view the extra money as unnecessary charity and insulting. It is not recommended to tip in sit down restaurants and bars, as well as at the hairdressers. The one exception to China’s tipping custom would be tour guides. They typically work with foreigners, so they are familiar with the practice.


There are many workers in Africa who heavily rely on tips, so be sure to always have cash on hand. It common for people on the street to offer favors in exchange for payment. So long as they are adults, it is generally okay to accept these services. If you decide to go on a guided tour, adjust the tip amount according to how many people are on the tour. If it is a smaller, more intimate group, tip a bit extra.


In many respects, tipping in Russia is similar to the United States. Tipping in restaurants is generally expected, though you should use cash as most places will not accept credit card tips. If you receive your food or drinks at a counter, such as those found in a bar or coffee shop, a tip is not necessary.

Should you decide to take a taxi somewhere, you are not required to tip, as the fare is often negotiable. Russia has many popular monastery tours that you may want to experience. Though you may wish to show your appreciation, don’t tip the monk giving you the tour. Doing so is disrespectful and could potentially tempt the monk to sin.

Well, what did you think? Got anything to add about tipping in these regions? Have any tips on tipping for anywhere else? Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Rachel Cahill
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Rachel Cahill
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