Backpackers – tips on tipping abroad

Many backpackers could be spending more money than they have to on their travels because they do not understand the etiquette of tipping in their travel destination. The rules for tipping do vary depending on where in the world you are so we’ve compiled a tipping guide …

Australia – Tipping in Australia is not customary but if you wanted to offer a tip for a good service, say in a restaurant, then tipping is discretionary and 10% – 15% of your bill is adequate.

China – Generally tips are not expected in China but as more and more western travellers visit China, western customs are catching on. Tipping is becoming more popular in hotels and restaurants.

Egypt – Wages are lower in Egypt and tipping is expected. From restaurants to river cruises, foreigners are expected to tip for the service they receive.

Italy – A service charge (coperto) is normally added to your bill in a restaurant but if you feel you have had an exceptional service, leaving a 10% tip would be ideal. You can also tip taxi drivers or hotel concierge if they have helped carry your bags.

Japan – Tipping is not customary in Japan. It’s considered rude to count your change after paying the bill in a store or restaurant you can substitute a cash tip with a small gift – like a souvenir. When staying in hotels, look for a gratuity envelope in your hotel room where you can leave a cash tip.

New Zealand – Leaving a tip in New Zealand is not required but offering a 10% tip for good service and tasty food is appreciated. Hospitality and service staff in New Zealand are mostly students or part-time workers.

United States – In many restaurants and bars in the U.S. staff are paid the minimum wage or below as they are expected to make up for difference in tips. The percentage of tips can range from 10% in buffet restaurants, 15% in bars and up to 25% in restaurants.

Don’t forget your backpackers travel insurance!
You can purchase great value backpackers insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance. For a 2-month trip anywhere in the world, will cost you just £25.68* – a small price to pay to really enjoy your backpacking adventure all the more!

*Premium £25.68 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 36 taking out a Standard Worldwide including USA, Canada and Caribbean Backpacker 24/7 travel insurance policy for 2 months. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (March 2010) and are subject to change.