Here is Steve’s annual tipping guide for travelers
Each year I get a bunch of emails asking for my recommendations for tipping when traveling. One major thing people should realize is that most tipping is based on the culture of the country you are traveling to. For example, the standard restaurant tipping for a waiter is 15% to 20% in the U.S. while the culture of tipping in Denmark is that no tips are expected or required. Keep in mind that most service providers in the U.S. are paid a very minimum wage with the expectation that their tips will provide them with a reasonable living wage. In addition to a financial tip, I really enjoy personally asking for the person’s name and personally thanking them for such outstanding service and to let them know that such service has been a blessing to me. I also make sure their boss knows how great a job they did. Here is my list for recommended tipping:
Skycap: $1 per bag
Doorman: If he hails a cab I provide $1-$2. If he runs down the block to flag a cab at the corner I make it $5.
Bellhop: $1 – $2 per bag. Only pay them once when they deliver bags to your room.
Housekeeper: This is the one many people forget to tip. $2-$5 per day. You need to leave tip daily because the person that makes up your room on Wednesday may not be the same person that does it the next day. Leave a note by the money marked “Housekeeping – Thank you”
Concierge: $5-10 for tickets or restaurant reservations; $20 for hard-to-get tickets or reservations (or 10-20% of the ticket price)
Taxi or Uber Driver: 15-20%
Wait service (sit down): 15-20%. For a buffet: 10%
Bartender: $1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab
Restroom Attendant: $1
Valet Parking: $2-$5. Tip when the car is returned to you.
Tour guide: $5 a day per person for a long tour. $5 to $10 for one day tour.
Tour bus driver: $3 per day per person.
Weekly Travel Alert writer: $1000 (just kidding!)
Here is a nice article I found for other tipping guidelines. CLICK HERE to read more.
I hate to say this but sometimes I get exhausted with all the tipping checking into a hotel – If I arrive in a taxi I give the taxi driver a tip, then the doorman gets a tip, then the bellhop gets a tip to take my bags to my room. I almost always run out of $1 and $5 dollar bills when I travel. I am going to start putting a small roll of $1 in my briefcase so I don’t have the embarrassment of not having any cash to thank a hard-working staff person for a job well done.
There is one thing as important as tipping and that is a sincere, “Thank you” – When I receive outstanding service I make it a point to tell the person but I also ask for the manager so I can thank him or her and share how much the wonderful service means to me. You can just see the giant smile this brings to their whole team when you take the time to sincerely thank someone. When I am meeting with a group dinner in a restaurant or hotel and the food and service is outstanding I will ask that the whole wait staff to come out so we can thank them with a standing ovation. You can see on their faces how much joy that brings them to know they are appreciated. Let’s make 2021 the year when we remember to use the two words, “Thank you” with everyone around us.
Tipping is also moving from paper money to digital tips – There is a new digital app called TipYo that now allows you to tip via a QR code using apple pay or a credit card. The focus of this app is on hotel and resort tipping and with many functions at hotels being turned into touchless transactions this may make sense. CLICK HERE to read more.
Greece for Everyone! – I love everything about Greece; the people, the food, the beauty of nature this country offers. One of the greatest ways to experience Greece is to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul. Wander amongst the ruins of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, travel the roads where Paul, Silas, Lydia, and countless other names we know from the Bible, had traversed. Our footsteps will also lead you to many of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Delphi, the rock-monasteries of Meteora, The Parthenon, and Ancient Corinth. Join Women of the Midwest this September 15-24 (a women-only departure), or travel with Father Brendan Kelly (mixed-gender departure) June 1-10, 2022. Both journeys offer an exclusive 3-night/4-day island cruise extension. The number of participants is very limited and both tours are filling. Do not hesitate to secure your spot by calling or emailing Beth at our friendly group department today, (402) 858-0033 / GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com.
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