24 May Tipping Etiquette For Summer Travelers
Summer is a popular time for vacation getaways. According to a 2004 survey conducted by American Express, U.S. travelers expect to spend 37% more than they did last year on airfare, accommodations, sightseeing, meals, souvenirs, and other vacation expenses. The level of service received from the travel industry can either enhance or diminish one’s vacation experience.
Appropriate tipping is one way to encourage employees to provide guests with the exceptional service that guarantees a memorable vacation. According to legend, the word “tip” is an acronym for “To Insure Promptness”, which was on an innkeeper’s sign. Coins dropped near the sign accelerated delivery of drinks.
Today, a tip is an amount voluntarily given to express appreciation after the service has been completed. Although the amount of the tip is left to the discretion of the giver, tips are a significant component of total compensation for services performed by employees. The amount of the tip will vary, based on the area and elegance of the establishment.
Here are some tipping guidelines to consider while traveling on vacation: Tipping at Airports: Skycaps: $1-$2 per bag depending on size and weight. Taxi Drivers: 10-15% of the bill. Tipping at Hotels: Doorman: $1-$2 per bag for taking your luggage pieces out of the car and putting them onto the bell cart. $1-$2 for securing a taxicab for you. Bellman: $1-$2 per bag depending on size and weight. $1-$2 every time the bellman brings something to your room. $5-$10 if the bellman does something special for you, such as going to the drugstore to make a purchase for you.
Concierge: $5-$10 if a real effort has been made for you, such as securing hard-to-get theatre tickets, handling your air tickets, reservations at a popular restaurant, etc. Housekeeping: $1-$2 per person per day. If you ask housekeeping to do some special service for you, such as bringing extra towels, tip an additional $1-$2. On the last day of your stay, place the money in an envelope labeled “housekeeping” and leave it on your pillow or bathroom console, where it can easily be seen.
Room Service Attendant: 15-20% of your bill, with a minimum of $2, each time food and drinks are delivered, unless the room service charge and gratuity are already on the bill. In that case, additional tipping is optional. Tipping for Valet Services: If you choose to use a restaurant, hotel, or shopping mall’s valet service, tip $2-$3 each time the valet attendant retrieves your automobile.
Overnight charges may be additional. Tipping at Restaurants: Maitre d’/Host: Tip $10-$20, if he/she gave you a particularly good table or tried hard to please you. The tip should be given before you sit down at your table. Wait Staff: 15-20% of the bill, minus wine and taxes, depending on size of the party and the type of restaurant.
Wine Sommelier (Wine Steward): 10-15% of the cost of the wines, with a minimum of $5. Coat Room Attendant: $1 per coat, plus $1-$2 additional if you leave tote bags, briefcases, dripping umbrellas, etc. Restroom Attendant: Tip $1-$2 for handing you a towel or if you use any products displayed on the sink. Tip $3 if he/she does something special for you, such as lending you a sewing kit, finding your safety pins,
brushing you, etc. Julie Hoggatt is the founder and director of The Etiquette and Protocol School of Michiana. She provides training and consultations in business etiquette, dining etiquette, techno-etiquette, and international protocol. The School also provides children’s etiquette and tea etiquette programs.