Tip Calculator

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This tip tax calculator can help determine the tip and total amount based on the price. It can also be useful for splitting the tip between multiple people. If no tip percentage is given, the calculator will provide results based on commonly used tip percentages.


What is a tip?

A tip, also referred to as a gratuity, is some amount of money that is given by the customer to certain service workers as additional compensation on top of the price of the service. A server in a restaurant is one example of a service worker that commonly receives a tip. Typically, a server receives 15-20% of the total bill as a tip. To calculate the tip, simply multiply the total amount by the percentage tip in decimal form (0.15, 0.18, 0.2). To calculate the total amount including tip, multiply the total amount by the desired tip percentage in decimal form plus 1: 1.15, 0.18, 0.2 etc.

For example, if a bill comes out to $20, 15% of the bill is 20×0.15=$3, 18% is 20×0.18=$3.60, and 20% is 20×0.20= $4. Thus, a person who is tipping 15% would pay a total of 20×1.15=$23; a person who is tipping 18% would pay 20×1.18=$23.60; and a person who is tipping 20% would pay 20×1.20=$24.

Tipping culture can differ quite significantly between countries. For example, tipping a server in the United States is expected. This is because in the US, the tips a server receives are part of their wage. In other words, tips are expected in order to compensate for the low wages that servers receive. This is in contrast to many other countries where servers are paid a full wage, and any tips they receive are additional income. In contrast to the US, tipping servers can be seen as insulting in other countries and cultures. For example, tipping in Japan is considered insulting, as servers in Japan are paid well, and they pride themselves in the good service they provide, which is not dependent on the tip they expect to receive. Interestingly, in some particularly touristy areas, tipping has become expected from American clientele even though service workers in these areas may not otherwise expect tips from locals. In such a case, tipping is discretionary rather than mandatory or expected.

Unfortunately, there is no consistent method to ensure that service workers are tipped appropriately in their respective countries. Each country, and possibly even region, has different tipping expectations, and it is important to learn about the tipping culture in any country you plan to visit.

When and how much to tip?

There is no tipping method that is universally applicable, and the situations and guidelines below are far from exhaustive. They are meant to provide some insight into the differences in tipping culture globally. For those visiting specific countries, it is best to research what tipping culture is like in that specific country. At the very least, it can be helpful to consult hotel staff, such as a concierge (whom you should typically tip), about tipping expectations in the country. Tour guides can also be helpful in this respect, as can any locals you may know or encounter. Also, while many will accept other currencies such as the US dollar, try to tip using the local currency where possible, as this is much more convenient for the workers who may otherwise have to go through the added chore of converting the currency to something they can use.

Service workers that generally expect a tip include servers, taxi drivers, hotel staff, and tour guides. These are some of the most common service workers one may encounter in their travels, though there are many others who may also expect a tip.

US and Canada

Tipping in the US and Canada, particularly with respect to servers, is quite similar. In cases where a service charge is not already included (this sometimes happens for larger parties of 4-6 or more people), servers typically expect a 15-20% tip. In higher end restaurants, servers might expect more, but 20% is generally considered to be a good tip. Tipping less than 15% usually means that you were unhappy with the service, and servers are likely to take note of a tip below this amount.

Tipping hotel staff, such as the concierge who recommends activities or restaurants for you to try, is relatively common in the US and Canada. Depending on the amount of time and detail provided by the concierge, you may want to tip something like $5-10 for their time and expertise. A porter who helps bring your bags to your room typically expects a tip of a few dollars. A general rule of thumb to use is to tip $1 per bag, or more if you'd like. Though not as common, particularly if you keep your hotel rooms in a respectable state, it is worth considering leaving a tip for the housekeeping staff. $3-5 a day for the duration of your stay is a reasonable tip amount in this situation.

There are a variety of tour guides that you may encounter in your travels, such as walking tour guides available to the public, tour guides for a large group, or even private tour guides. For a walking tour (often advertised as free) guide, if you stay for the duration of the tour, a good rule of thumb to use is to tip $5-10 per person. A tour guide for an organized group will expect more, somewhere along the lines of $10-20 per day, which you may choose to adjust depending on the number of people in your group. For a private tour consider tipping even more, since they can often tailor the experience specifically for you.

In the US and Canada, taxi drivers expect to be tipped 10-15% of the fare. For shorter journeys, a tip of a few dollars, or rounding up the fare is also reasonable.

Asia

In many Asian countries, there is not a strong tipping culture, as there is in countries like the US. Particularly if you are dining at local establishments, a tip is often not expected. However, due to large amounts of tourism, certain establishments may be more open to (or may sometimes even expect) a tip. Consult locals or hotel staff, and use your discretion when tipping in these regions. In some cases, a service charge may already be included, and in these cases a tip is almost certainly not expected, though likely would be appreciated.

Hotel staff in these countries also may not expect a tip, unless they are in more touristy areas. However, you may consider tipping for more luxurious services such as spa treatments or massages. These workers are more likely to be accustomed to receiving a tip, though they may not expect as much as they would in countries such as the US. Even a 10% tip for a massage would be appreciated, though feel free to tip more, like 15% or even 20% (as you would in the US) if you are satisfied with the service.

Tour guides in countries such as China largely do not expect tips, though they may accept them. In other countries such as Taiwan and South Korea, tipping is more expected; 10% of the tour cost is a reasonable tip in these cases.

Taxi drivers in Asian countries typically do not expect a tip, though rounding up the fare or leaving an additional few dollars if you so choose to is not uncommon.

Middle East

Tipping can vary quite significantly in the Middle East. Cities like Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, or Doha, in Qatar, are relatively "westernized," in their expectations of tips for similar services. Qatar especially, in their hotels and restaurants frequented by traveling business people or expatriates, follow the tipping culture of the US, where servers would expect 15-20% or more for higher-end establishments. However, for local establishments, tipping is often not expected. Also, service charges may already be included in certain cases, and an additional tip, while appreciated in these circumstances, is not expected.

Tipping in hotels is largely not expected in the Middle East. In Dubai, a 10% service charge is often applied at hotels, so an additional tip is not expected. However, it is not uncommon to give a tip to porters, concierges, and other staff if you feel inclined to do so.

In the UAE and Qatar, tip $10-15 in the local currency for a tour guide. In other countries such as Jordan and Israel, tour guides may expect a larger tip on the order of $25-35.

Taxi drivers in Middle Eastern countries typically do not expect a tip, though rounding up the fare is not uncommon. In countries like Qatar, there are also different tiers of taxis. There are the local taxis that commonly use a meter, or what are referred to as "limos," which are sedans that are typically cleaner and more reputable. These, unsurprisingly, have a higher cost, though the fare is usually agreed upon prior to departing towards the destination, and no tip is expected in either case.

Europe

In most European countries, tipping is not necessary. Unlike the United States, cost to the consumer is already built into the price of the product. It is also common for a service charge to be applied, and it is not necessary to tip on top of the service charge. In cases where there is no service charge, tip 5-10%, rather than the 15-20% that is common in the United States.

Tipping in European hotels is fairly consistent across countries. Generally, tipping housekeeping staff is uncommon. For porters, tipping €1-2 per bag is typical. In other parts of Europe, like Balkan and Eastern European countries, slightly smaller amounts are expected.

In countries like the UK, France, and Germany, tipping €25-40 per day for tour guides and €10-15 for the driver is fair. In Central and Eastern European countries, as well as countries like Italy, a 10-20% tip per day of the tour is reasonable.

In most European countries, tipping taxi drivers is not expected, but rounding the fare up is fairly common. In a select few, such as France, Switzerland, and Russia, drivers expect a 10-15% tip.

Africa

In most parts of Africa, tipping servers 10-15% is customary. In some cases, a service charge of 10% will already be added. In such cases, it is not necessary to leave an additional tip, though it is worth noting that servers across Africa typically earn a low wage. Thus, if you are in a position to do so, and received good service, leaving a larger tip would be appreciated.

In hotels in Africa, tipping porters $1 per bag is fairly common, while tipping the concierge $15-20 early in the trip should ensure good service for the duration of the trip. Tipping $3-5 a day to housekeeping staff is also not uncommon.

Generally, tipping $20 a day to tour guides in many African countries is a good tip. Note that for certain types of tours, such as safaris, which are typically multi-day tours, a general rule of thumb is to tip $10 per day to the guide and $5 per day to the tracker; do this as a cumulative sum at the end of the tour, rather than each day, and try to do so using local currency.

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand, tipping is not necessary since servers receive a good wage, but the practice is common enough that servers might be accustomed to a 10-15% tip if the service warrants it. In less visited parts of Australia, indigenous cultures are even less likely to expect a tip, though tipping 10% is appreciated.

Tipping hotel staff in Australia and New Zealand follows relatively similar tipping culture to the US: $1 per bag for porter and $3-5 per day for housekeeping staff. In certain cases, staff may refuse to accept a tip, particularly if the tip is not offered face to face.

It is common to tip tour guides in Australia and New Zealand between $20-50 AUD/NZD per day; for drivers, $5-10 AUD/NZD for a day's work is customary. In indigenous cultures, tipping is less expected, though some may accept them. In these cases, make sure to use local currency, as other currencies can be more difficult to trade in these regions.

Calculating a tip in your head

Estimating a tip in your head is relatively simple for certain amounts such as 10%, 15%, 18% and 20%, which are relatively common tip amounts. Calculating a 10% tip is trivial, and each of the other common tip percentages can be calculated relative to a 10% tip.

  • 10% tip: to calculate a 10% tip, simply shift the decimal point one decimal place to the left. For example, for a $25.00 bill, a 10% tip is $2.50.
  • 20% tip: a 20% tip is easy to calculate relative to a 10% tip. Simply calculate the 10% tip as described above, then double it. Thus, for a $25.00 bill, where $2.50 is a 10% tip, a 20% tip is $5.00.
  • 15% tip: to calculate a 15% tip, first calculate a 10% tip, then divide the result by 2. Add the divided result to the 10% tip for a 15% tip. For a $25.00 bill, 10% is $2.50, and half of that is $1.25. Adding these together, $2.50 + $1.25 = $3.75, which is a 15% tip.
  • 18% tip: an 18% tip can be estimated as a 17.5% tip. It is not exact, but close enough. Calculate a 15% tip first, and a 20% tip. The average of these two tips is a 17.5% tip, and slightly more than that average would be an 18% tip. For a $25 bill, a 15% tip is $3.75, and a 20% tip is $5. (3.75+5)/2≅$4.38. An 18% tip is a slightly larger tip than this. In this case it is exactly $4.50, but picking a value between the 15% and 20% tip would get you close enough of an estimate for an 18% tip.

At each stage of the calculation, it is helpful to round amounts to the closest 0. This makes calculations much easier, and won't affect the estimates too much.

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