To Tip Or Not To Tip?

Going out for dinner tonight, are you going to leave a tip?

Of course you are, it’s just a known thing, unless of course you receive such bad service that you feel you want to make it known by not leaving a tip. Sometimes though even after receiving the worst service a tip has already been included in your bill, it was mandatory at that restaurant.

When travelling on vacation or business though tipping is not so obviously as clear as a restaurant experience. How about the hotel you are staying at and enjoying all the facilities that it offers?

There are no set rules for hotels, you don’t want to under tip, but you also don’t want to throw your hard earned money around and insulting workers who might be above the tipping chain, or in whose culture tipping is not expected or even seen as an insult.

What do you do when you pull up in your car and the valet swiftly whisks you out of the car and tells you not to worry the car parking is taken care of. Whilst that is being done someone else grabs your bags to take inside, whilst that was being done someone else takes you up to your room in the elevator and shows you around your room.

The stress hits immediately, how much do you tip the butler and also shouldn’t you be tipping the other two guys, even if you didn’t know who they were. Then the butler politely informs you to put your wallet away and wait until check out when one gratuity would be split between everyone involved.

Now that’s a relief  isn’t it, for the rest of the stay you can enjoy free shuttle rides, help with your bags without having to worry about keeping bundles of Dollar bills. Still it’s hard to know if that rule applies at every hotel with butler service, especially in developing countries where every dollar counts to take home to their family.

For the All Inclusive resorts in places like Mexico and the Caribbean it’s hard not to be tempted to tip when butlers bring you coffee and muffins in the morning, setting up your sun bed with towels and tables by the pool, bringing fresh towels and delivering bottles of cold water even when the resort has made it clear that service is included. Imagine the stress when you notice other guests tipping on every occasion, do you then start to think that maybe you should be tipping everyone now instead of at the end of your stay.

So we decided to take the advice of a travel expert who inspects hotel’s for a living, the answer is simpler than you think.

To be safe whenever a service is performed you need to tip, break a $20 or two at the front desk on check in for $1 and $5 bills. When you pull up in front of the hotel and the man takes your bags, that’s the first thing you do, give $1-2 per bag. It’s not required for the doorman as that’s his job, but every time someone gets your car, anytime someone helps, you need to tip, that’s part of the cost of travel.

Tipping per bag applies to both the bellman who takes the bag from your car to the front desk and  whoever brings your bags to the room. If that person shows you around the room, you should up the tip  $5-10. To ensure the best service you should tip the housekeeper and anytime someone brings you something to your room have a few dollars handy to give,the same rule applies to a butler.

If you are still not sure, don’t stress out just ask the front desk or question the concierge and even when a service charge is included it is recommended that at the end of the stay to do one tip that is distributed internally.

So don’t let the worry of tipping ruin your hard-earned holiday, just go with the flow and have a wonderful vacation.

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