It’s tough trying to decipher what to tip from country to country, and many have no clue about how much much gratuity to leave or offer.
From the hovering bellhop hoping for some reward for his trouble to the cold shoulder from the disgruntled maitre’d left feeling unrewarded or the aggrieved bartender, it pays to find out what the norm is before arriving.
For example, in Japan, if you leave a couple of coins on the table, the waiter may chase after you to return your forgotten change, but in New York, if you leave less than 15 percent, good luck making a reservation in the same restaurant ever again!
Here’s a brief overview of tipping abroad:
It is customary to leave 10% at restaurants. Hotels generally charge around 10%, but where that is not the case then tip housekeeping and porters 1-2 pesos for taking bags into your room. You can also tip the maid a few pesos every day and get a fantastic service. Taxi drivers usually do not expect to be tipped but almost everybody leaves them the coins change.
Tipping in Australia is starting to happen more frequently, but is still entirely optional. A 10% tip in restaurants is acceptable. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers, but this form of tipping is on the increase as tourism to Australia grows.
Tipping in Austria is less common than in North America or other parts of Europe, mainly because wages are decent and a service charge is usually already included in the bill. However, in restaurants, you can tip 5-10% (depending on how fancy the establishment is), tip in cash handing money directly to the waiter. Saying “danke” when presenting your payment is the Austrian equivalent to saying, “Keep the change”. If you are not satisfied with the service, it is not unusual not to tip. Tip taxi drivers generally 10%. Tip porters 1-2€ per luggage, same for the chambermaid every morning. These tips aren’t necessary but appreciated.
Tipping is not very common in Belgium. Service workers are generally well paid and do not rely on tips. However, whether to tip or not depends on the situation. Restaurants usually add on 10-15%, but leave a few coins for good service. Where service is not included 15% tip is expected. Tipping is not the norm in hotels and in taxis, just round up the fare. Car park attendants receive 1€, cloakroom staff, 50c, toilet attendants 25c, and bar staff just small change. Tipping the taxi driver is not required in Belgium but appreciated.