Tipping While Traveling

Tipping While TravelingNo matter what time of year you decide to take your vacation, you’re going to be looking for the best accommodations you can find. The first thing you will do (especially if you are a new traveler) is start looking into hotels that have all the amenities you are looking for. If you choose a luxury hotel, you are going to be encountering a lot of people who are there to perform services for you, to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as it can be.

If the question of who and how much to tip is something you’ve been pondering, look no further. Here is a quick list of the people you might encounter who may be expecting tips for their good service.

  • Bellboy/bellhop – helps transport luggage, runs errands, brings mail and packages
  • Concierge – makes dinner reservations and performs other special services
  • Doorman – brings luggage from and to cabs and opens the door for guests
  • Housekeeping – cleans the room(s), turns down sheets
  • Valet – parks and retrieves vehicles
  • Room Service Waiter – brings special food orders to the room

Your destination will make a difference when it comes to tipping. In a typical hotel in America, for instance, you will want to tip the housekeeping staff between $2 and $5 per night. When the accommodations are small and the price for the hotel is fairly moderate, tipping no more than $3 is acceptable. For luxury hotels, always stick to the higher level of tipping, especially if the services match the quality of the hotel. Each time a housekeeper performs any kind of special service, such as cleaning an emergency mess, tip them one or two dollars, depending on the effort spent.

When you travel around the world, be aware of the local cultures and customs when it comes to tipping. Policies vary all around the world. In Europe and Japan, it is not the custom to tip a maid or housekeeper. Travel over to Mexico and you will find housekeepers are very grateful for a generous tip. You can find out whether or not tips are expected at your destination by checking tourist websites for that country. You can also ask at the front desk when you check in.

Don’t use your home currency to tip someone. Use their local currency and give it directly to the housekeeper or leave it in a labeled envelope. Housekeepers know not to pick up money that is left out on the counters or tables. Tip every day when you leave the room. Housekeepers work on rotation and the person who cleaned your rooms all week long might be gone the day you check out. Therefore leaving a large tip at the end of your stay is not the best idea. Most hotels have gentle reminders placed around the rooms that express whether a tip is appreciated or not. When in doubt, just ask.

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