International Tipping

Franc advice: Gratuity customs vary overseas

Tipping illustrationNothing strikes fear into the heart of a novice traveler like calculating tips in a strange land. Too little, and insults might be hissed. Too much, and the budget is quickly blown. Luckily, several online travel sources, including, and, discreetly advise the tipper abroad. Consider these guidelines:
    1. Argentina. Tipping is illegal, so refrain altogether.
    2. Bahamas. Add 15 percent to restaurant and bar bills, with the exception of all-inclusive resorts, where tipping is unnecessary. Porters get one dollar per bag, and taxi drivers reap 15 percent of the fare.
    3. Brazil. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped, except in Rio de Janeiro, where 10 percent is the norm. Restaurants normally add 10 percent to the bill.
    4. Britain. Service charges usually are not added to restaurant bills. A 12 to 15 percent tip is considered generous. For taxis, add 10 to 15 percent.
    5. China. Tack on 3 percent to the restaurant tab. Porters expect one to two dollars per bag, while taxi drivers don’t expect tips.
    6. Denmark. Tipping is not expected in restaurants. Round up for taxis, and give one dollar per bag to porters.
    7. France. Most restaurants add 15 percent to the bill. Leave an additional 2 to 3 percent, or any small change, for good service.
    8. Germany. Add 5 to 10 percent to restaurant bills, in addition to the automatic service charge. For taxis, round up.
    9. Japan. Tipping is considered an insult.
   10. Mexico. In restaurants, 10 to 15 percent is considered generous. For taxis, round up.