Adding a tip to a restaurant bill is pretty standard in the U.S. But what about when you stay at a hotel? Do you tip everyone who works there, or just some people? And how much exactly should you be tipping? Knowing how to tip right, could actually eliminate unnecessary money stress.
To help you get a better idea of hotel tip etiquette, here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you’re traveling.
Forgetting to tip housekeepers
Housekeepers make an annual mean wage of $29,580, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, consider tipping them the next time you stay at a hotel. Experts suggest $5 per day as a good tip, but you may want to add a little more if you’re leaving behind a mess or have kids who cause you to leave dirty diapers in the trash.
Tip: Keep enough cash to leave a new tip each day. Housekeeping staff might change from day to day, so don’t tip just at the end of your stay.
Failing to reward work that is above standards
Maybe the staff accommodated an unusual request, or gave you an upgrade at a reduced rate when you arrived, helping you to save money on travel costs. Any extra work that went above and beyond the usual standard should be rewarded with a tip.
Forgetting that a gratuity already is included
Talk to your hotel staff when you check in to see if the hotel automatically includes a gratuity in your charges. You may still want to add an additional tip here or there for extra service, but remember that a gratuity may be part of the bill at the end of your stay.
Giving an ordinary tip during extraordinary times
Because of COVID-19, hotels have changed policies to make sure they are meeting pandemic rules. These protocols can add time to the work hotel employees perform to serve you.
So, consider boosting your tip during these extraordinary times. The housekeeper who is more meticulous about cleaning your room or the front desk worker who does her job despite the risk of being exposed to the virus deserve an extra reward for all they do.
Keeping your wallet closed for shuttle drivers
Some hotels may offer shuttle services to and from the airport. You may also be able to use these services to get to a restaurant or event without the need for a cab or Uber driver.
In these cases, give your shuttle driver a few dollars. You also might want to add a little more to the tip if the driver helps with your suitcases or other bags.
Taking valet service for granted
If your hotel offers a valet service for your car, it might be a good idea to include a tip either when the valet parks the car or retrieves it from the hotel’s valet lot.
If you want extra care for your car, add a few more dollars to the tip and make the request to the valet. And like the shuttle driver, consider a bump up in the tip if the valet helps you load and unload bags.
Tipping when it’s not necessary
There are times when tipping is not necessary. If the water doesn’t work or the air conditioner is blowing hot air, you do not need to tip the person who performs the repair.
Other situations are less clear. For example, if a concierge’s local knowledge adds something special to your stay, a tip makes sense. But there is no need to tip when asking for directions to a local attraction.
Butler service is another gray area. Consider rewarding butlers with a tip if you use their services on a regular basis during your stay. Otherwise, you can skip the tip.
Forgetting to bring extra cash
Tips can add up over the course of a stay, depending on how much you would like to tip hotel workers and how often you decide to use hotel services. The easiest way to reward workers is with a cash tip, so try to pack some extra cash specifically for any tipping situations you encounter.
Hotel tipping can be confusing for even the most seasoned traveler. But knowing the basic tipping rules allows you to have a good stay while also properly tipping staff who help you.
Tuck a few extra dollars into your wallet and reward those who offer extra help during your stay.
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