The United States are known for tipping on everything, everywhere. But what about other Northern American countries?
The list below contains tipping guides for (at the moment) 17 North American countries and is based on over 60 sources, including TripAdvisor forums, Business Insider, Conde Nast Traveler and the websites of the official tourism boards. If you do feel something is off for a certain country, let me know and I'll make a note of it for a future update.
For what concerns tipping hotel staff, the tips mostly apply top mid-range to higher end hotels. No need to tip a bellboy if there isn't one :-)
Pick a country or simply scroll down to see them all.
(Not tipping etiquette in North America you're looking for? Check out tipping etiquette around the world for the continent of your choice.)
Tipping in North America
You won't be confused when tipping in the Bahamas. The tipping etiquette is fairly straightforward and there are suggested amounts of how much and when you should tip. Nevertheless, always tip according to the caliber of service.
Tipping at restaurant and bars: Rarely will you find a restaurant that doesn't include a service charge. If you happen to dine in one, the standard amount is 15% to 20%, the latter more suited to fine dining establishments. At bars, you should tip the server 10-15%. Alternatively, you may just give $1-$2 per round to the bartender.
Tipping tour guides: If you wish to tip your tour guide for good service, around 5-10% is an acceptable amount.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi rates in Bahamas are set by the government. For taxis without a meter, it is recommended that you agree on a price beforehand. If you're in for a short ride, it's fine to just round up. For a trip of longer duration, around $1-$2 additional should suffice. Many taxis can be hired per hour or even a full day to tour you around the islands. Around $25-$35 per hour is a reasonable rate. For this type of service, it is customary to tip an additional 15%. If you're traveling after midnight or on a holiday, a bigger tip is expected.
Tipping hotel staff: At airports and hotels, porters usually receive $1 per item of luggage. Hotel cleaning staff should be given $2 per day of your stay. It's also a polite practice to leave loose change on your bedside table before you depart.
Good to know: Tipping in US dollars or British pounds is more preferred than the local currency (Bahamian dollars).
In Barbados tourist spots, service staff usually have an expectation of what a proper tip should be. Most establishments include gratuities in the bill, but it is not universal.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Most restaurants automatically add a 10-15% fee for service in their bill. You can always check so that you don't tip twice. Provided that there is no service charge, it is customary to tip 10-15%. You are welcome to tip more if the service is excellent, but this is up to your discretion. Usually, it's okay to tip in cash or add the amount to your credit card total. On the other hand, bartenders expect $1 per round of drinks. If you ordered a lot of drinks or the staff spent more time serving you than normal, a larger tip is warranted.
Tipping tour guides: It is customary to tip guides 10% of the tour cost.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi fares in Barbados are government-regulated and the rate is around $20 per hour. Taxis are not metered, so it's advised to negotiate the fare before commencing your journey. A proper tip is about 10% of the total fare, and $1 per bag if they assisted you.
Tipping hotel staff: Most hotels include a 10% service fee in their bill. Aside from that, you should give the hotel cleaning staff $2 per day and the bellhop $1 per bag.
Good to know: Most all-inclusive resorts strongly discourage tipping, but it's acceptable in others. To be sure, ask the resort staff about their tipping policy.
Belize locals are generally not big tippers, but this is changing with the increase of visitors in the country. Some service industries have an unwritten tipping standard, whereas others don't require a tip at all.
Tipping at restaurants and bars At Belize restaurants, service is rarely included in the bill. In fact, customers are encouraged to tip the servers an amount corresponding to 10-15% of the bill. At less expensive establishments, it's fine to leave loose change or tip up to 10%. Bar staff don't expect to be tipped, but for upscale establishments, 10% tip is appropriate.
Tipping tour guides: Tip tour guides a few dollars depending on the duration of the tour. If you’re on a special interest tour, consider tipping 10-15% of the package cost if you liked the service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Tipping taxi drivers is not customary in Belize. However, if the driver helps you with your baggage, it's courteous to add a few dollars on top of the total fare.
Tipping hotel staff: Many hotel and resorts incorporate a 10% service fee to visitors' bills. This amount is divided amongst bellhops, porters, and chambermaids. Further tipping is unnecessary.
Tipping etiquette in Canada is pretty much the same as that in the U.S. Most locals are willing to tip up to 20% if service is phenomenal. Service staff generally receive low salaries and rely on tips for a more decent income.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In restaurants, a 15 to 20% tip is usual. Beyond that is very generous but not uncommon. At bars, it's not a strict dollar-per-drink tip like in the U.S. Normally, locals will just tell the bartender to keep the change or give an additional 10-20¢.
Tipping tour guides: If you're planning to take a coach tour, expect to tip about 20% of the tour cost, divided between the driver and the guide.
Tipping taxi drivers: Cab drivers expect a tip of 10-20%.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip all hotel staff, especially if there's no service included in the quoted charge. Tip the doorman C$2 if he hails a taxi, the porter C$2-5 per bag, the hotel maid C$2-5 per day, and the valet C$5-10. If tips are not included in the room service charge, give an additional 15%. If the concierge went an extra mile to do you a favor, a C$10-20 gratuity will be appreciated.
Good to know: Depending on the location, sales tax in Canada ranges from 5-15%. It is advised that you base your tip on the pre-tax amount.
Tipping is starting to become a cultural norm in Costa Rica, with many employees in the service industry expecting some gratuity. There are general customs on how much you should tip, but know that it's still entirely up to you.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In addition to the 13% tax, Costa Rican restaurants automatically add another 10% for gratuity. It's typical to tip an extra 5-10% on top of this for exceptional service. In small eateries, giving a small additional sum on top of the bill is reasonable. Cocktail waiters/waitresses and bartenders are typically tipped 5-15% of the bar tab.
Tipping tour guides: For tour guides, around $2-5 per person (large group) and $5-10 per person (small group) is appropriate. For staff in a zip-line or rafting activity, consider tipping a bit more. For surfing, kayak, and horseback instructors, a suitable tip is $5-10 per person in a group. Coach drivers should be given $10 for a whole-day tour.
Tipping taxi drivers: For a short-distance trip, rounding up the fare should do. For longer-distance trips, $1-5 is a sufficient tip.
Tipping hotel staff: It is customary to tip the porter $1 per bag and the chambermaid $2 per day for the duration of your stay.
Good to know: It's acceptable to tip in US dollars or Costa Rican Colón.
Cuban workers are warm and friendly people. Salaries in the service industry are fairly low, so tipping is a nice gesture if you're satisfied. There are unwritten customs of how much you should tip but it still varies on the level of service you receive.
Tipping at restaurants and bars At Cuban restaurants, 10% is the standard tip amount. You can bump this to 15% if the service is exemplary. Musicians often play in bars and cafes, and it's customary to tip 2 CUC for the whole band.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides are normally tipped 2-5 CUC per day. For museum guides, 1 CUC per person is appropriate.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi drivers are tipped 10% of the total fare or around 1-2 CUC. If the driver helped you with your bags or gave local knowledge, you might want to add a little more.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip the porter 1 CUC if he carries your luggage to your room. Give the same amount to the chambermaid per day.
Good to know: There are two official currencies: the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) and the Cuban peso (CUP). The CUC is pegged to the US dollar and has a greater value than the CUP. All tips should be in Cuban convertible pesos.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding tipping in the Dominican Republic. It's usually up to your discretion, though there are guidelines on what a proper tip is.
Tipping at restaurants and bars At restaurants, the bill incorporates a government tax and a 10% service charge. On top of this you are encouraged to leave an extra gratuity. At all-inclusive resorts, it's customary to tip the bartender $1-2 per round of drinks.
Tipping tour guides: Tours in the Dominican Republic are quite cheap. If you're on a private tour, consider tipping the guide $25 and the driver $10 for a full day.
Tipping taxi drivers: Good tipping etiquette for taxi drivers is to leave around 10% of the total fare.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters are used to receiving $1 per bag, while chambermaids get $1-2 per day.
Good to know: Tipping in Dominican pesos is more convenient for the service staff. Either way, tipping in USD is also fine as long as you give the correct equivalent value.
In El Salvador, giving gratuity (propina) is optional. However, you will almost always receive above average service so tipping is warranted.
Tipping at restaurants and bars A 10% gratuity is included in restaurant bills. Always confirm this first so you don't tip twice. If it's not included, a 10% tip is reasonable.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides only earn a small portion from the cost of the tour, so most of them rely on tips from satisfied customers. It's polite to give at least $2 or more if you really liked the service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi drivers don't expect a propina. Even so, feel free to round up the fare or leave a small amount if the driver is very efficient.
Tipping hotel staff: All hotels incorporate an 18% tax in the bill, and further tipping is not needed. Still, it's common to tip the porter $1 per bag for his service.
Guatemalans in the service industry have low wages, so most rely on gratuities to supplement their income. Tipping is not compulsory but much appreciated.
Tipping at restaurants and bars The usual tip at cafes, bars, and restaurants is 10%. Some upscale restaurants already include this in the bill, so always check before paying.
Tipping tour guides: Guides who tour you around a natural park or museum should be given $2-3. For whole-day tours, a $5-10 tip is more appropriate. Place your tip in an envelope before handing it to the tour guide. If you're with a driver, you may also give him $3-5.
Tipping taxi drivers: Tipping taxi drivers is not customary, but you can round up the fare to thank them for their service.
Tipping hotel staff: Bellhops usually get $1 per bag. Maids get $1-2 per night of your stay.
Hondurans in the restaurant and hospitality industry have meager salaries, making tips an important part of their income. Nevertheless, there are no standard rules when it comes to tipping. You often can use your own judgment when deciding how much to tip.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Servicio printed on your bill means there's an obligatory tip included, whereas a propina voluntaria means a suggested, voluntary tip. Some restaurants do not have any of these two. In any case, a proper tip for your servers is 10-15% of the total bill.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides do not make much, so it's nice to leave a tip. If you're in for a rafting, zipline, or hiking excursion, a $5-$10 tip is suitable.
Tipping taxi drivers: No need to tip your taxi driver in Honduras.
Tipping hotel staff: Give no less than $1 per bag for the porter, and $2-$3 per night for the hotel maid.
Good to know: It's better to tip in the local currency (lempiras).
Over the last 30 years, tipping practices have become more widespread in Jamaica, probably because of American tourists bringing their tipping habits into the country. Ultimately, giving a gratuity is still up to you, though there are guidelines on when and how much you should tip.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Some Jamaican restaurants take the liberty of adding a service charge to the bill, while others don't. Ask your server about their tipping policy if you don't see a marked service fee. At modest restaurants, a 10-15% is appropriate, while a larger tip (about 20%) is customary in upmarket places. Do note that tipping for counter service is not expected. As for bars, a 12-20% gratuity is expected for the bartenders and cocktail servers.
Tipping tour guides: Tipping guides depends on how well they perform their job. If your guide has been friendly and informative, a 10% tip is suitable. For coach tours, tip the guide and driver $5-$10 each.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi drivers expect a 10-15% tip on top of the total fare. If you take a late night or early morning trip, a 25% tip is more suitable.
Tipping hotel staff: Hotel porters expect a tip of $1-$2 per item of luggage they carry to your room. Chambermaids will be happy with a tip of $1-$2 per day. Tip the concierge staff if they helped you book a reservation or did other special favors.
Good to know: All-inclusive resorts in Jamaica have a strict policy against tipping. Don't attempt to leave a tip! If you're unsure, you can always ask the reception staff.
Tipping is a Mexican social tradition. Waiters and waitresses, porters, and Tipping hotel staff are generally underpaid and depend on tips (La propina) to augment their modest salaries. There are etiquette guides to help you decide the amount of tip for a certain service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars The standard is to tip 10-15% of the final bill. In some restaurants, tips are already included in the bill, but servers still hope for an additional 5%. In bars or cantinas, table service is common and you're expected to give 5-10 Mexican pesos per round. If you're ordering at the bar counter, a couple of pesos per drink is reasonable.
Tipping tour guides: Depending on your satisfaction and duration of the tour, tipping is very much welcomed. A good tip is around 20-50 pesos for a half-day tour and 40-70 pesos for a whole-day tour. You may also choose to tip 10-15% of the overall tour cost.
Tipping taxi drivers: You don't tip your taxi driver in Mexico because fares are pre-negotiated. If, however, the driver is particularly helpful, a 10-peso tip should suffice.
Tipping hotel staff: Porters who help with your luggage should be tipped 25-50 pesos. Housekeeping staff should be tipped 30-50 pesos per night of your stay.
Good to know: Other people you need to tip are: musicians playing inside restaurants (5-10 pesos), gas station attendants (5-10 pesos), food delivery guys (10 pesos), grocery baggers (5 pesos), street car park attendants (10-20 pesos), and car window washers (5 pesos).
Tipping as a sign of appreciation for good service is normal in Nicaragua. There are several rules-of-thumb when it comes to giving gratuity depending on the type of service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In a sit-down restaurant, the standard is to tip 10% of the total bill. Some classy restaurants will add a service charge, in which case it's not necessary to tip further. IVA or the 15% sales tax in bills is not the same as the included service charge. At bars, leave small change in the tip jar.
Tipping tour guides: Around 10% of the excursion cost is a suitable tip for tour guides.
Tipping taxi drivers: It's not common to tip taxi drivers in Nicaragua.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip porters 30 córdobas or $1 per bag, doormen $1-$2 if they hail a cab, and maids $1 a night.
Good to know: If you're exchanging cash, avoid doing it at airports. You'll find that the exchange rate there is considerably lower than the fair rate.
Locals in Panama are fairly relaxed about tipping. It's not a mandatory practice, but is considered a form of reward for above average service.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Tips (propina) are sometimes automatically added in the bill. If it's not, a 10% tip is appropriate. The same rule applies to bars.
Tipping tour guides: Around $5-$10 is a reasonable tip for tour guides, depending on the length of the tour and how well they did their job.
Tipping taxi drivers: Tipping taxi drivers is not customary in Panama.
Tipping hotel staff: Most hotels include a 10% service charge in the bill. Nonetheless, it's a common practice to tip the staff individually. For porters, give 50 cents to $1. For housekeeping, leave $1-$2 per day on your bedside table.
Like in most Caribbean islands, tipping is an accepted custom in Saint Lucia. Gratuities of 10-15% are becoming customary in most establishments.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Do as the locals do: aim to tip 10% in a restaurant. Check first if the bill doesn't include service before deciding to tip extra. Tipping at bars is also common. Around 10% is a reasonable tip for the bartender or cocktail servers.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides will appreciate a small gratuity at the end of the tour. The suggested amount is 10% of the tour price.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxi drivers expect about 10% on top of the fare.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip porters US$1 or EC$2-3 per bag he carries and hotel maids US$1 per day.
Good to know: Resorts operating at an all-inclusive basis often prohibit tipping of their wait staff. Always check the resort tipping policy first.
Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago, tipping is not forced on any customer. Even so, tips are considered bonuses for a job well done.
Tipping at restaurants and bars Most restaurants include gratuities in the bill. If this is the case, you don't need to tip any further. If it's not, 10-15% is the standard amount. Tipping bartenders is also welcome, especially if you're at a high-class bar.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides may not expect a tip, but that doesn't mean you can't offer a small gratuity for excellent service.
Tipping taxi drivers: Taxis usually operate on a fixed fare basis. As a rule of thumb, you don't tip taxi drivers in Trinidad. On the other hand, drivers in Tobago may expect a 10% on top of the fare.
Tipping hotel staff: Bellhops should be tipped $1 per piece of luggage. Chambermaids can be given a few dollars per day.
Good to know: In Trinidad and Tobago, the polite way of tipping is to hand the cash directly to the server and not leave it on the table. Also, tipping by credit card is generally not accepted.
United States of America
The United States are the tipping country. Wait staff barely make $2 an hour, so they heavily rely on tips to supplement their income. Coming from Cornell professor Michael Lynn, “Servers work in the U.S. with the expectation to be tipped – it's a social contract.” Even if you're not legally mandated to leave a tip, it's universally seen as rude if you don't.
Tipping at restaurants and bars In modest to upscale restaurants, the standard tip is 15-20%. If you're with a big group (five or more people), 25% is more appropriate. Some diners will automatically include an obligatory tip for big groups. If the restaurant is extra fancy, a suitable tip is 25% of the bill. A tip of less than 15% means that you're not satisfied with the service. You should never leave nothing, unless the service was so bad that you may as well complain to the restaurant manager. You can also tip the maitre d' and sommelier around $5-$10. At bars, always add a dollar or two for every drink you purchase. The same applies if someone serves your drinks on a table. If you're buying coffee in the morning, remember that buying over the counter should be tip-free. Don't be obliged to give anything if you see a tip jar near the cash register.
Tipping tour guides: Tour guides expect around 15-20% of the excursion cost.
Tipping taxi drivers: Always tip your driver. The standard is 10-20% of the total fare. If the driver is extra helpful, consider adding a couple more dollars.
Tipping hotel staff: Tip porters $1-$2 per item of luggage. For hotel cleaning staff, leave $2-$5 on your pillow or nightstand every morning. If you availed room service, tipping 10-15% on top of the bill is customary. Tip valet attendants $1-$5 every time they assist you. You're not expected to tip the doorman every time he opens the door for you, but if he hails you a cab, tip him a couple dollars. Tipping concierge should not depend on how friendly they are, but on the difficulty of tasks you ask them to do. If they book you a reservation or secure tickets to a show, tip them $10-$20 before you depart.
Good to know: Here's a useful tip: prepare a lot of $1 bills because you'll use them a lot.