travel_tipping

Travel Tipping Etiquette

While I believe myself to be a savvy traveler and know pretty much what to tip and when to tip staff, lately I have been questioning some of my tipping habits – wondering, “Am I tipping too much?” or “Do I tip the maid if she brings extra towels to my room?”

I imagine there may be times your managers asks himself or herself the same questions. Maybe you even ask yourself the same questions when you travel for work or pleasure. So, I sent Jasmine on a search to find out the definitive on this subject. She did such a great job, I thought we should share it with you. You might want to make a small card for your manager to carry in their wallet or travel pouch or just forward them a soft copy.

And be sure to keep this information close for yourself as well.

Two very good sites Jasmine shared with me on tipping for you to bookmark:

Emily Post General Tipping Guidelines

The below advice was found along with more great information at TipGuide.org which also offers a handy iPhone view.

At the hotel
Before you arrive at a nicer hotel or resort, inquire as to whether gratuities are included in the price of the room. Some hotels are now charging a daily fee that covers all tipping for hotel services. If there is not a daily fee, these rates are appropriate:

  • Valet or parking attendant – $1-3 is appropriate for parking or returning the car. It is not necessary to tip for parking, but always for returning the car.
  • Doorman – If he hails you a cab, $1-2. If he helps you with your bags in or out of the car, $1 a bag. Use $1-2 per bag if he carries them all the way to the room. If he just opens the door, nothing. If he is helpful with directions or restaurant recommendations, $5.
  • Bellman – When he helps you with your bags, tip $1-2 per bag. Give him the tip when he shows you your room. If he just carries the bags to the front desk and then disappears, save it for the person who carries the bags to your room. Upon checkout, tip a bellman who helps with your bags. Tip more for additional services.
  • Front Desk – Typically there is no tip for the front desk, but if they help you with early check-in or late check-out, tip $1-2.
  • Concierge – $5-10 for help with hard-to-get dinner reservations or theater tickets. Tipping is optional for just plain advice, but $5 is the minimum. Tipping can be done at the end of the trip or at the time of service, just keep is straight so that you are fair.
  • Butler – $5-10 per service or $50-100 per night. Very special services like meals when the restaurant is closed are more like $50.
  • Room Service – If gratuity is included, add nothing or $1. Otherwise add 15-20% to the total charge.
  • Delivery of special items – If you request extra pillows or an iron, tip $1 per item received, minimum $2.
  • Maid service – $3-5 per day typically, up to $10 per day depending upon how much mess you make. Tip daily because there might be a different maid each day. Leave the tip on your pillow. Err on the side of being generous, and tip on the last day also. If they change out your linens by request, give $1-2 each time.
  • Bath Butler – 15-20%. Bath butlers are not very common. They draw a luxurious bath for you with your choice of available options such as champagne, candles, chocolates, aromatic salts, rose petals, music, etc. (Side note from Jasmine: While I never knew such a special butler existed I thought I better keep this bullet item in the event you find yourself in a situation where you have a Bath Butler! If you do, enjoy the bath and please tip appropriately.)
  • Swimming pool or gym attendant – Nothing, unless you require special services such as extra seating or inflating pool toys; then it is $2-5. If you want the same deck chairs every day, then tip $2-3 per chair beginning the first day.
  • Tanning Butler – $5-10 per lotion application.
  • Ski Valet – $2-5 per person, per day. A ski valet helps with rentals, stores shoes and provides dry boots each day, and stores your gear at the end of the day. They also provide trail maps, ski lift times, rides to the lift, etc. If he serves as a guide on special trails, tip an extra $50.
  • Hotel maintenance staff or Technology Engineer – Nothing to replace a light bulb, fix the air conditioning, internet access, etc. If they teach you how to do something on your computer that is not a responsibility of the hotel like burning a CD, then tip $10-20.
  • Personal Shopper – Personal shoppers don’t typically work for the hotel. 10% of the total purchases is appropriate. You can also have the hotel send them a gift of jewelry or wine. Recommending their services to others is a great tip.
  • Spa Technician – Most hotels automatically include an 18% service charge in the bill. If it is not included, tip 18%. If the service is provided in your room, the hotel will typically add a separate fee of $25-40 to your treatment – the 18% tip is on the new total.

Thanks for reading and please, tip responsibly.

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