You’re on your dream vacation in exotic Istanbul, Turkey, enjoying the local cuisine and culture at a small café. The waiter walks over and hands you the bill. Now what? Do you tip—or not?
Regional tipping customs are probably the most common thing that travelers overlook when preparing for adventures abroad. What might be the right amount for the bellhop in Brussels, Belgium, would be offensive to the taxi driver in Turkey.
If you have a smartphone, help is just a download away. Both iPhone and Android phones have apps full of tips: Global Tipping for iPhone delivers gratuity guidance for hotels, bars, and restaurants in more than 30 countries. Likewise, Tipping Bird for the Android provides recommendations for common situations like restaurants, bars, and taxis. If you find yourself in a foreign country without an app to turn to, it’s always best to watch what the locals do and follow along.
Here’s a brief rundown of global tipping customs:
Asia: No tipping in most countries.
Australia: 10-15 percent.
Europe: Generally, tips of 10-15 percent are standard and are sometimes included in the bill.
Central and South America: Tips are usually added to the bill.
Middle East: Varies by country (5-10 percent) but generally a small tip is appreciated.
For more information, check out globaltippingapp.com.
Photography by Shutterstock