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Tipping Tips For Your Summer Travels

Excited for your summer travels? Ready for R&R, adventures, new experiences, sightseeing? You’ve planned, organized and budgeted; alas you’re on your way! With all the aforementioned, remember it’s good etiquette practice to recognize and be kind to all the service people who will be helping you enjoy your time at your destination.

Being kind to others should always be front and center, for it just makes our world around us a better place. Outwardly recognizing those who perform services shows them how beholden you are, and is a feel-good for all. Acknowledge your servers with a “Thank you,” “I’m grateful for your excellent service,” “We appreciate your help with all our bags.” Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give.

Another form of recognition to your servers is tipping. Granted, the topic of tipping seems to be everywhere these days, and often in a negative light. However, there are many hard workers who are doing their job of serving their customers, and doing it well. While tipping is sometimes at your discretion, there are some general travel tipping guidelines in which to be mindful.

  • At the airport:
    • Parking long term and taking a courtesy shuttle? Two to four dollars to your driver or discretionary.
    • Taking the shuttle van to the rental car lot or hotel? A dollar or two per bag to your driver.
    • Using your airline’s curbside service (aka curbside concierge)? Two dollars per lighter bags, up to five dollars per heavy piece of luggage for your handler.
    • Needing special assistance (i.e. wheelchair assistance)? Three or four dollars, up to five if your handler totes your carry-on.
    • Getting coffee on the go? While discretionary, a dollar or two in the tip jar or on the tip button is fine.
    • Grabbing a meal to go? Here it’s discretionary as well; consider 10-15% of your meal or a custom amount on the tip button.
    • Dining at a sit down restaurant? 15-20% of your meal and drink fees for your server.
    • Getting a drink at the bar? A dollar or two per drink, or 15-20% of your tab for your bartender.
    • Catching a ride share to your hotel? Contingent on level of service, 10-20% of your fare through the app for your driver.
    • Utilizing a taxi to your destination? 15-20% of your fare, paying on the screen via credit card, or cash tip to your driver.
  •   At your hotel:
    • Concierge? For general information or questions, you do not need to tip. However, if your concierge goes above and beyond in getting you fast reservations, or “hard to get” event tickets, $10-20 is a nice show of appreciation.
    • Doorman? Who doesn’t love a greeting and a smile when a door is opened for you? Alternatively, if your doorman provides a service for you such as calling a cab, two to three dollars. If they help with your luggage, one to two dollars per bag; up to five dollars for heavier luggage.
    • Valet (parking) service? Three to five dollars for their hustle and retrieval; you can pay them before or after they get your car.
    • Bellhop? Same as Doorman, one to two dollars per bag; up to five dollars for heavier luggage.
    • Housekeeping? Three to five dollars per day. If you’ve opted to conserve and wait until the end of your (week) stay to have your room cleaned $35-40.
    • Room service? Check your reservations prior to your trip to see if room service gratuity is included. If not, 15-20% of your meal and drinks on your hotel tab, and a dollar or two to your attendant per extra towels or blankets brought to your room.
    • Hotel restaurant? 15-20% of your meal and drink fees, on your hotel tab.
    • Hotel continental breakfast? You are not obligated to tip, however if a server takes your coffee and juice order 15-20% is customary.
    • Hotel spa? 15-20% of your service for your specialist. Most spas provide an envelope to leave at their reception desk for your person. Be sure to check your reservations to see if gratuity for spa services is included, or if it will be included on your final bill.
    • Hotel pool/beach attendant? Most hotels include towel service. If you have an attendant who provides towels, water, drinks, food or other amenities tip your attendant a dollar per towel or bottled water; three to 10 dollars for food or 15-20% food and drinks; three to five dollars for setting up your seats and umbrellas.
    • Kids club or hotel childcare center? Five to 10 dollars per child per day to (each) caregiver. If hotel policy is no cash tips for these attendants, ask if they could accept a gift card to a coffee shop or something similar.

Enjoy your stay, decompress, experience all, make memories and most of all have fun!