Who And How Much Should You Tip While Traveling?
You have planned and booked your vacation, set your budget, packed your suitcase, and you’re off on your trip of a lifetime. You feel confident that you have allowed enough in your budget for all types of contingencies… food, transportation, hotels, and souvenirs…but is that really everything? One thing that a great number of travelers forget to plan for is tipping!
How do you know who to tip and how much you should tip them? It’s possibly a higher number than you would guess, and if you haven’t planned well, the unexpected tips could totally destroy your budget.
Travel Tipping Tips:
Most of us, due to our lifestyle and experience, understand gratuities for servers in restaurants and what percentage of our ticket we should tip for good service. But a great majority of people are not aware of all the service providers that we come into contact with while we’re traveling. These people typically work for minimum wage and depend on tips to help get them through.
- If you’re flying and use a Skycap to handle your luggage, a $2 per bag tip is recommended, if you have several heavy bags, $5 per bag…remember he is moving your heavy luggage around for you and saving you the backbreaking hassle.
- If you need a wheelchair at the airport, the person pushing you from place to place would appreciate at least $5, unless they are taking you long distances, like boarding a cruise ship or to your hotel room in a big resort, then $10 would be appropriate. .
- If you’re staying at a hotel, there are several service providers who work on your behalf to make sure you have a pleasant stay:
- If you use the services of a bellhop, $1 – $5 a bag is a good guideline.
- If you order room service, your tip can be determined the same as you would for a restaurant.
- If you use the hotel’s valet service, it is optional to tip when your car is being parked, but when the car is being delivered to you, $2 – $3 is appropriate.
- If you use the hotel shuttle, a gratuity should be $2 per bag. They are hauling them in and out of the shuttle
- A concierge who get you a table for dining would be a $5 tip.
- Probably some of the most forgotten and neglected people are the housekeeping staff, who work very hard to make sure you have a nice clean room to stay in. $1 – $5 per night would be greatly appreciated.
- Going on a tour or activity? Tours are $5 per day per person to the tour guide and $3 per person per day to the driver. If the driver is the tour guide, $5 per person per day is appropriate.
- Going on a cruise? You don’t give gratuities on cruise ships anymore. They are automatically added to your bill and settled at the end of the trip or you can prepay when you pay your final payment. Depending on the cabin category, the gratuities can be from $12.50 per person per day upward. That gets split between the entire staff of the ship, except for the bar service. That gratuity is added to the cost of each drink. Some cruise lines have drink packages you can pre buy and add the gratuity then. Or sometimes special perks come with your cruise which include drink packages. Sometimes those include gratuities and sometimes you pay extra for that. You decide how many alcohol, sodas and water you drink and if the drink packages are a value.
Remember, when you are giving a gratuity, you are thanking and rewarding someone for a job well-done, and encouraging them to continue giving excellent service.
Also, when you’re traveling, be prepared, have cash in your wallet to tip with…credit cards won’t work for many of these positions. $1 and $5 bills are good to have on hand.
Although these are good guidelines, you may receive service from someone not mentioned here who has done a great job and you could consider rewarding them,
Plan your trip and your trip budget to accommodate tipping those who serve you well.
Are you ready to start planning your trip? I am a seasoned traveler and travel agent… Contact me, together we can plan your travel.