Travel planning


In the US tipping is commonly accepted and expected by almost everyone, but it’s always hard to know what to do while traveling overseas. Here are a few tips for tipping while abroad.

Restaurants and services

Tipping in restaurants is not as customary as it is in the US. In most parts of the world, the standard is usually 5- 10% of the total bill or simply rounding up; 10% – 15% for exceptional service. Include the tip when you pay the bill and indicate that you don’t need change or tell them the full amount you’d like to pay. It isn’t customary to leave the tip on the table after paying your bill as it is in the US. If you don’t have the exact amount, tell the wait person how much you are paying in total, or how much change you would like. Be sure to check if the gratuity has already been included in the bill. Should you still have questions about tipping, just ask your server, ask the host, ask the concierge or a local, or just leave a little more than you think you should, we’re sure you won’t hear a complaint!

Tipping your taxi driver will be appreciated. Rounding up to the nearest number is good practice. For longer drives, you may consider giving more.

AFAR Magazine has created a helpful shortlist of how to handle tipping in Europe, with lots of helpful country-specific tips.

Tipping your bicycle tour leaders

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated. Gratuity amounts vary widely and it is entirely up to you how much to tip.

Note that Expedition tour pricing includes tour leader gratuities.

As a guideline, we suggest 5-8% of the tour cost per traveler – this is for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we recommend tipping as individuals, not as a group.

No. Please note that while checks are a common means of payment in the US, for tipping Tour Leaders they are not an option.

No. US-dollars (or other foreign currency that is not used as an official currency in Europe) cannot be used for tipping in Europe.

Tour Leaders in Chile and Argentina will gladly accept tips in US-dollars as well as in local currency. Some Tour Leaders have had trouble exchanging bills given to them as they had slight tears. While that won’t diminish a bill’s value or use, exchange offices and banks oftentimes refuse those bills, so be aware when tipping in US-dollars.

Refer to our information on Tipping in Cuba.

We can help process your chosen tipping amount for Tour Leaders.