By Vicky Anscombe on 11 August 2015

When you think of Brits abroad, a few words spring to mind. Fun-loving, friendly, generous and adventurous, perhaps.

Sorry - we're going to have to scrap 'generous', as a new report has shown that Brits on holiday are loath to part with their cash - especially when it comes to tipping.

According to a scandalous survey by ICE, just 12% of UK travellers would use some of their unspent currency to tip hotel staff at the end of their holiday. That's poor form, you lot.

Of course, tipping around the world has always been a minefield. In some countries it's not considered hugely important, but in others, it can cause serious offence if you don't put your hand in your pocket. Our advice? Do your research so you don't end up creating unnecessary hassle for yourself - and don't forget to budget. 

For example, in some parts of the USA and Canada, tips can be around 20%. That means for every $1,000 you spend, $200 will be tips. Things are going to get pretty expensive rather quickly if you don't know local tipping etiquette.

With that in mind, we're delighted to bring you ICE's tipping guide. You'll never cause another financial faux-pas again.


In restaurants, a 5% to 10% tip in cash is best when there is no service included. Give porters €1 to €2 per bag, and the same per day for housekeeping staff. You don’t need to tip in taxis, but it's polite to round up the fare.

Canada and USA

There is no service charge in North America, so a 15% to 20% tip is expected. In hotels, porters expect $1 to $2 per bag and housekeepers get $2 to $5, depending on how swanky your hotel is. Add a 10% to 15% tip to your taxi bills.

South America

The standard tip is 10% in restaurants, if service isn’t already included. Taxi drivers don’t get a tip, as a rule, but hotel porters expect around $1 per bag. Housekeepers get $2 per day.

Southeast Asia

In Japan and China, tipping is a no-no. In Hong Kong, service is already added at top end hotels, but if not you can tip porters 10 yuan. Apart from Japan and China, the rest of Asia is happy for you to round up taxi fares.

Australia and New Zealand

Tipping is not expected in restaurants in New Zealand, but in Australia a 10% tip is expected in decent restaurants. You don’t need to tip a taxi driver in Australia, but in New Zealand people generally add 10% to their bill. In hotels, porters get $1 to $2 per bag and housekeepers get $1 to $5 per day.

Middle East

In restaurants, expect a service charge to be added, but if not, then just the standard 10% is acceptable. Tipping is not expected in taxis.


If there is no service charge added, a 5% to 10% tip is a good amount - switch to 5% in South Africa. In hotels, it’s a good idea to tip the concierge on arrival to get added services, such as arranging excursions. Porters only require £1 per bag and taxi drivers should get 10% on top of the final bill.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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