Travel Etiquette: Tips for Tipping

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Travel Etiqutte - Tipping

Photo Credit: H.L.I.T on Flickr

Traveling families make a budget when we travel, including money for transportation, hotel, food, etc. – but do we think about gratuities? Tipping is considerate, helps make up for low wages of employees – and may get you better service.

But, who should you tip? Look through the categories below:

Tipping Hotel Staff

  • Housekeepers – I’ve worked with hotel housekeepers and know that they do backbreaking work. They definitely deserve a gratuity. Since you may not have the same housekeeper each day, leave a tip each day. Remember to leave a note explaining that the money is a tip so there is no misunderstanding.
  • Bellhop – The person that carries your luggage to your room should be tipped.
  • Concierge – If they have gone out of their way for you such as getting a restaurant reservation that is always filled, or purchasing a surprise gift to leave in your room, tip them.
  • Valets – Tip both the person who parks your car and the person who drives it to you.
  • Room service servers – It’s a nice gesture to give a small tip, but look at the bill to see if it is already included.

Tipping for Transportation

  • Taxi drivers
  • Shuttle bus drivers for airports, car rentals and hotels
  • Airport wheelchair assistants
  • Tour bus drivers

Tipping on Cruises 

When you take a vacation on a cruise, you will receive a brochure about the ship which often contains information on who to tip and how much. Again, read carefully to learn if gratuities are included on your bill. There is also a website just for tips on cruises, which includes the recommended amount of money.

Extras to Keep in Mind for Tips

  • Spa personnel
  • Any employee who carries your luggage, at the airport, train station, etc.
  • Doormen

There is no reason to tip if the service is not up to par. Do not feel obligated to do so. But the opposite is true as well: tip extra for over-the-top service. If you are using a coupon or get some type of discount, calculate your gratuity based on the full price.

Personally, when I cruise, I tip the Rroom steward the most. They are always working to be sure your room is perfect and you are comfortable. I have also found that tips for doormen can often lead to suggestions for local restaurants, inexpensive car service, and more.

If you need assistance figuring out the amount of money to leave for a tip, there’s an app for that. Some work for different countries and most help you split the tip.

What do you think about tipping when you travel?


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