How Much to Tip: The Art of Travel Tipping
Many travelers are unaware that the acronym TIPS actually stands for: To Insure Proper Service. So it only stands to reason that a proper travel budget will always have a line item for travel tipping. But how much should we really allot for tips and gratuities?
From the moment you leave your front door until your tired pretty head hits those crisp white linens in your hotel room, you’ve already probably tipped your driver, curbside baggage attendants, the valet, bellman, and front desk clerk. But then you can’t forget about the other employees who’ve helped you throughout your stay like: room service, housekeeping and the concierge. Let my tipping guide ease your mind and help you know when and how much to tip.
How Much to Tip
One thing is for sure, tips have increased in the U.S. While never mandatory, it’s certainly appreciated and expected. So how much is customary? When is it necessary? What is considered a generous tip? Rule of thumb, when in doubt, start out at 20% and move up or down 5% according to the level of service provided.
Please note: Proper tipping etiquette varies from country to country. These rates are based on domestic travel in the U.S.
Tipping Guide for Various Services Provided
- Doorman: $3 – $5 if he has hailed a cab, assisted with a package or arranged transportation
- Bellman: $3 per bag, the heavier the bag, the heavier the tip
- Front Desk: $20 if you’ve received a complimentary upgrade
- Concierge: $10 – $20 each time s/he assists you with a request
- Room Service: Service charge will be included on the bill unless noted otherwise
- Housekeeping: $5 – $10 per day
- Valet: $5 when picking up
- Chauffeur / Driver: $20
- Airport Shuttle: $5 per person
- Taxi Driver: 20%
- Skycap: $2 per bag, $5 if the bags are heavy
- Gate representative: Airline reps (usually) cannot accept any forms of gratuity
- Tour Guides: 20% for group tours and 10% for private tours
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