Global guide to tipping

When it comes to tipping, be prepared. Carry small denominations in the local currency and know the country's customs. If you're stumped as to how much to leave, observe the locals or ask a person in charge -- a concierge or maitre'd, for instance. Or consult a guidebook on tipping. But keep in mind that tipping inhabits a very gray area. So feel free to adjust your gratuity based on quality of service and your experience. Here's a sampling of tipping practices around the world. (Under hotels, the tip is per bag for the porter and per day for housekeeping staff.)

Region/Country Hotel Restaurant Taxi
France porter, 1-1.50 euros;
housekeeping, 1.50 euros
service charge included 10 percent
Italy porter, 1-2 euros;
housekeeping, 1 euro
10 percent 10 percent
Russia porter and housekeeping,
630 rubles
7-15 percent round up
United Kingdom porter and housekeeping,
1-2 pounds
service charge included; otherwise, 10 percent round up
Australia porter, 2-4 Australian dollars; housekeeping, $2 10 percent round up
China porter, 15-20 yuan;
housekeeping, 15 yuan
service charge included none
Japan none
service charge included none
Thailand porter, 20-50 bahts;
housekeeping, 20 bahts
service charge included; otherwise, 10 percent none
New Zealand none 10 percent round up
or 10 percent
Argentina porter, 3 pesos; housekeeping, 3 pesos 10-15 percent round up
Brazil porter, 2-3 real; housekeeping, 2 real 10-15 percent no tip
or 10 percent
Mexico porter and housekeeping, 10 pesos 10-15 percent none
United States porter and housekeeping, $1-2 15-20 percent 15-20 percent
Egypt porter and housekeeping, 10 pounds service charge included; otherwise, 10 percent round up
Israel porter and housekeeping, 10-15 shekels service charge included round up
Jordan porter and housekeeping, 1 dinar 10 percent round up
Morocco porter, 10-20 dirhams; housekeeping, 10 dirhams service charge added; otherwise, 10 percent round up

SOURCE: "Tips on Tipping," published by Bradt Travel Guides.