Top Travel Trips Where You Don’t Need to Tip

Ever wondered about the tipping etiquette while on holiday in a foreign land? Well I certainly have. Coming from an Asian country where tipping is not normally practiced, this tipping business of when and where to tip, not to mention how much, really boggles my mind.  This week’s guest post is about, the Top places to go on holiday with no tipping necessary!


Flickr photo by thetruthabout

Any traveler venturing to the United States or Canada for the first time is likely to be a little disturbed by the tipping culture of North America. Even the most basic service delivered with the merest modicum of skill requires some sort of financial reward above and beyond the standard charge.

Bringing drinks from the bar to your table – there’s a tip for that; holding a door open – there’s a tip for that; smiling sweetly – they’d probably expect a tip for that too. Outside of North America tipping culture is much less extreme, but there are some holiday destinations where tipping is simply not expected or required at all.

Here are 5 countries where you ought to be free from tipping – just don’t bother.


1. Japan

Flickr photo by @N08

Foremost among the Asian countries for a no-tipping culture, the Japanese consider it insulting to tip for services. Tipping in Japanese culture is demeaning and is generally considered a sign of an incomplete or poor service. If you wish to show your appreciation for an exceptional service, a small gift or souvenir is acceptable rather than any cash tip.

2. Spain

Flickr photo by rgtmum

Spain and its surrounding islands in the Balearics and the Canaries do not have a history of tipping. According to TripAdvisor, Spanish travelers are the worst tippers in Europe, so if they don’t tip while on holiday, then neither should you on your holiday to Majorca.

3. Slovenia

Flickr photo by jsouthorn

Tipping is not a custom in Slovenia and only recently with the influx of foreign tourism have Slovenian restaurants started accepting the idea of a gratuity. In most cases though, a tip is unexpected and not necessary should you be on holiday in a country with such superb hospitality.

4. China

Flickr photo by desoumal

Whilst not as strict as Japan, China does not have a heritage of tipping. Occasionally a gratuity will be added to a restaurant bill but only in the highly commercialized tourist areas. Hong Kong, however, is an exception where tipping is mandatory for hotel staff. Between HK$10-20 is usually appropriate.

5. Australia

Flickr photo by linh_rom

Australia is affectionately regarded for being stuck in a bit of a time warp. Their country is largely unspoiled and their tipping culture remains gloriously reserved in the past. Unaffected by the American taint of tipping, Australians do not expect a gratuity, but do be grateful if a particularly exceptional service has been delivered – the way it should be.

20 Comments

  • Ming says:

    It’s true about China!! No one (apart from the Americans) tip here and eventually even the Americans wise up!! 😉 I think they get shot or something if they accept extra money for doing their jobs…

  • Simon says:

    Fantastic…love Spain and Japan has always been 1 of my Top 5 places to visit! 🙂 Slovenia wasn’t even on my radar , has anyone been?

  • Hmmm. Spanish don’t tip. Well, in Spain they like tips. And, I’ve seen many a Spanish person tip too. So can’t really agree on that one. 😛

    China, the rich tip. Been there seen that. In rural areas where tours shoot by the North American Tipping cultures has destroyed the areass3s. As little hands come out constantly.

    Here are a few more for you.

    Iran: No tipping, same as Japan, insulting. Had to explain that to a Canadian there. She really did not get it.

    Pakistan, likewise. It’s appreciated like anywhere. But not apart of the culture.

    Philippines, no tipping. Apart from the wealthy who seem to think it’s important to do so the not so wealthy don’t steal from them. Sad.

    I’ve had this debate with many people. One of the worst North American traits that has spoiled travel in many many places. Is their tipping.

    Moreover, no matter how many times it’s debated they simply do not get it. It’s a bizarre secondary trait that they can’t comprehend that some cultures simply do not tip!

  • Difly says:

    My drunken boyfriend managed to tip a Turkish waiter £25 instead of £10 (on a £90 bill). I wondered why the waiter was kissing and hugging us as we left the restaurant – it all made sense later when I realised we had no money left!

  • How I hate the idea that you “have” to tip! I’d say that Spain is a murky area – in the tourist resorts I suspect that it’s become the usual practice but in more traditional parts of Spain (and southern France for that matter) if you try to tip you may well be chased out of the restuarant with cries of “Excuse me! You’ve forgotten your change!”

    • cumi&ciki says:

      Abi, I agree. In many places it is not necessary to tip, but since many tourists spoil the market, something unnecessary can become the ” necessary unwritten rule!”

  • Robin says:

    Wrong about Australia! Don’t leave a tip in Australia at your peril. If you get great service and dno’t tip it is the height of rudeness and don’t expect to be welcomed back at that restaurant.

    • cumi&ciki says:

      really? Well the post says no tipping necessary. not no tipping, ever. As far as i know, Australia has service tax but by all means leave a tip if you had stellar service;)

    • Nick says:

      I’ve lived in Australia my whole life (i’m 21) and I’ve never tipped, never been asked to tip and never seen anyone tip…never even heard it spoken about outside the context of America. You pay what’s on the menu (prices include tax), thats it, employers are responsible for paying their employees. I’ve heard about fancy restaurants charging ‘gratuity’ but most just increase the price of their food. I think if in Australia I tipped the people that are expected to be tipped in America, they’d be somewhere between confused and uncomfortable, like you’re putting yourself above them.

      I think it’s different than the US because they don’t expect you to be super nice or friendly, just polite. If you ask for something they help you, but otherwise waiters, etc aren’t supposed to be ‘part of your experience’.

  • ayngelina says:

    I’ve noticed there’s no tipping in most places in Central America and if it’s expected it’s included in the bill.

  • Rob says:

    I went to Japan with the US Military during the Vietnam War. On my first excursion alone off the base, I went to a restaurant, and had a fine meal. Leaving my customary American tip on the table, I headed out the door. I was a good block away when the poor little waitress caught up with me. Huffing and puffing, she put the tip back in my hands with the remark, “….you accidentally left your money on the table !”.

  • eiling says:

    ooh this is interesting! Guess when I do get to go to US, I should bring lots of USD1 notes! lol

  • S Lloyd says:

    This is a highly useful article. I never knew that tiping was bad in Japan. I was lucky then, because they could have took it badly when I was tipping there.

  • Dan says:

    The hospitality in Slovenia certainly is wonderful.

    Some of the most helpful taxi drivers, waitresses and hotel staff I’ve ever encountered.

  • Jay says:

    Hey never knew the Spaniard were so tight fisted lol, i will remember that next time i go to my local tapas bar 😉 … i mean i thought it was pretty simple. Excellent service = Good Tip, Poor service = No Tip?

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