Let’s be honest: one of the trickiest parts of visiting any new country is getting a sense of how tipping works. Is it required? Expected? Necessary for workers to earn a living wage or extra wages that show true appreciation for excellent service?
The same questions are perfectly valid when pondering the customs of tipping in Jordan. Luckily the answers are not too complicated as you’ll soon discover. While the Jordanian Dinar (JD) is pegged to the U.S. dollar, Jordan is not like the U.S. when it comes to tipping – it’s more like the U.K. in both culture and customs, with whom it shares an important historic relationship.
As you plan your trip to Jordan, you’ll want to know about tipping first, so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises once you’re on your trip. To discover the answers to all your burning questions, read on and you’ll learn about tipping in Jordan and the many different circumstances where you might wonder whether to tip – or how much.
Jordan Tipping Tips
To begin, let’s be clear: tipping in Jordan is not compulsory. Nothing adverse will happen if you don’t tip – besides not having as happy faces around you during your holiday. So don’t feel forced to tip if you don’t come from a country with a tipping culture. However, people who work in the tourism sector have low wages, so they rely heavily on tips, which is why I advise you to leave at least a small contribution wherever you go.
If you need a quick scan, here’s a compilation of the advice I always give travelers regarding leaving tips in Jordan.
- Tip #1: Chipping in Is Common in Group Tours – Those traveling in big groups can agree on a sum of money per person and give it to the tour guide.
- Tip #2: Tips Are Expected at Restaurants – Larger restaurants will automatically add a tip to the bill, but you should always have cash to leave at least 10% of your bill, regardless of the restaurant’s status.
- Tip #3: It Is Not Necessary (but well-appreciated) to Tip at Hotels – If you arrive with heavy luggage and the bellboy helps you with them to your room, you should tip 1 JD per bag. If you stay longer than two days at your hotel, you should tip room cleaners the same amount.
- Tip #4: You Don’t Tip All Drivers the Same – Tourists don’t have to tip private drivers– unless they consider they’ve provided an excellent service. However, they should always try to tip taxi drivers. There’s no established sum, so just round up to the next JD.
- Tip #5: Be Prepared to Tip Local Guides at Tourist Sites – Local tour guides in Petra, and Wadi Rum will expect tips. The same happens with horse boys in Petra; they expect –even demand– tips. No exceptions.
Also, before going much further into this article, it helps to bookmark this page with the exchange rate between Jordanian Dinar and U.S. dollars; it’ll help you understand how much these tips mean if you’re planning your trip in USD and will spend JD while in Jordan.
Tipping at Restaurants in Jordan
Unlike other cases, I dare to say that leaving tips in Jordan for restaurant servers is the most standard and expected practice. Many restaurants add a 10% service charge but try to tip waiters 5% or 10% gratuity if they don’t. If you’re traveling on a group tour, a way to calculate the tip is to ask for 1 JD per person.
Tipping at Hotels in Jordan
Technically, it is not necessary to tip any staff member as most hotels in Jordan already include the service fee in the guest’s final bill. However, travelers should tip bellboys and room cleaners if it is within their budget.
If the bellboy carries large and heavy bags that you have difficulty managing, you can tip them 1 JD per bag as they are actually assisting you. As for room cleaners, tipping between 1-2 JD is acceptable.
Tipping Drivers in Jordan
Like I said before, you don’t have to tip all drivers. Private drivers who work for well-established companies are well-paid. Also, the service fee is included in the tour price. Consequently, you don’t have to tip private drivers unless the service is beyond what you expected.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have taxi drivers who have extremely low base salaries and buy/run their taxis. When taking a cab, tourists should always bring change and round up the taxi price to the closest whole figure.
Tipping Tour Guides in Jordan
You’ll see, leaving tips in Jordan landmarks is a tricky matter, which is why giving tips to tour guides isn’t as simple as deciding if you want to tip or not.
Unless you rent a car or go by bus, you will book a tour to get to Jordan’s most popular sites, read Petra and Wadi Rum. Your tour guide will expect a tip at the end of the day, and here, the easiest way is for every passenger to chip in with 1 or 2 JD.
However, notice that when you arrive at Jordan’s landmarks, your guides will hand you over to other tour guides from those sites. They can be historic tour guides in Petra or the Bedouin driver who takes you around Wadi Rum. You should tip them anywhere from 1 to 5 JD.
Now, I’d like to focus on Petra for a minute. Petra tickets include a short horse ride from the entrance to the Siq; hence, you’ll see horse boys inviting you to ride their horses. Horse boys are a complex subject when it comes to tipping in Jordan. Why? Because their invitation will be followed by the express demand of a generous tip once you get off their horse. I highly advise you to tip them at least 5 JD if you want to avoid a scene.
Other Places You Might Leave a Tip in Jordan
As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for tipping in Jordan. You might even visit places where you might be doubtful whether tipping is necessary and, if so, how much you should tip.
- Spas – Tipping in spas in Jordan is definitely up to the guest. You can tip the spa worker between 5-10 JD if you enjoy the service.
- Bars – Bars follow pretty much the same tipping etiquette as restaurants. Travelers should leave between 5-10% tip if the service is good. Another option is to round up to the nearest JD.
- Other Places – I think I’ve covered most of the places you can visit on your trip to Jordan. If you go somewhere I haven’t mentioned in the article, remember that the easiest way to tip is to count 10% of your bill or just round up to the nearest JD.
Have any questions about tipping in Jordan? Let me know in the comments so I can share advice for everyone curious about this particular aspect of visiting Jordan.