Tipping culture is a huge consideration when traveling around the world, as you’ll want to ensure you’re paying people fairly and not offending anyone whilst using their services. Interestingly, a recent survey of Americans discovered that as many as 66% of people have negative feelings towards tipping – understandable, given how difficult it is for many of us to make ends meet in the current climate.

However, there are some jobs where tipping is an essential part of a person’s income, so it’s important to know when it’s appropriate to give a little extra.

To help break down the complexities of tipping across the globe, here are four instances where you don’t need to tip on holiday.

Clear glass tipping jar. Times you don't need to tip.

You receive poor service

Tipping is considered gratuity for service that excels expectations – but what if you were less than satisfied with the service you receive? In countries where tips account for a proportion of a waiter or waitress’s wage, such as America, tipping is expected regardless. But across parts of Europe like the UK, people tend to only tip if the server goes above and beyond for them and makes them feel especially well looked after.

In many restaurants, you may find that a 15 – 20% gratuity has already been added to your bill – so if you aren’t inclined to do so, there’s no need to tip further. In Japan and some other countries, tipping of any kind is largely considered rude as great service is expected without additional compensation. Knowing what is expected in the country you’re visiting is key to avoiding awkward situations.

You receive no service

Tipping prompts are appearing everywhere these days, but you shouldn’t feel pressured into paying more just because the screen is asking you to. From fast-food counters where you order digitally, to coffee shops where the only time the barista speaks to you is to tell you the price of your drink, remember that tipping isn’t mandatory. If you receive no (or minimal) human service or input, there’s absolutely no reason to tip.


At an all-inclusive resort

Many all-inclusive resorts, as well as high-end establishments including luxury hotels and spas, will have already incorporated service charges into their pricing. Here, staff members are usually paid well and rarely expect tips. Of course, it’s best practice to double-check with your resort on their tipping policies.

Destinations you don’t need to tip

The best way to be clear about how and when you’re expected to tip in any given country is to do a little research before you go. Whilst these rules typically apply worldwide, there are specific nuances and cultural differences from place to place – so it’s worth knowing the norms.

If you’re ever unsure, you could ask the locals or even your server what the standard tip percentage is. This shows your willingness to be a respectful traveler and is sure to be appreciated more than undertipping or neglecting to tip when appropriate.