Tipping while on vacation can be so confusing. Who should you tip while on vacation? Do you tip everyone who helps you? Are tips ever included? Do you get better service when you tip? We asked some travel experts to find what is standard for tipping in both the US and abroad.
According to The Getaway Girl, tips of $1 – $2 (per bag or day) is generally appropriate for porters, bellmen, hotel room attendants, those hailing a taxi, and parking attendants. If your bags are extra heavy, tip the bellmen or porter extra. Ann and Fran from The Caribbean and Beyond recommend tipping a concierge a minimum of $5, but up to $20 or 25 or more depending on the level of service. They also suggest that you tip a tour guide $5 (something I always forget to do). I always tip shuttle drivers a $1 or $2 per bag, but only if they help with bags. If I check bags at airport curbside check-in, I also tip $1-$2 per bag.
DJ Jones from the World of Deej recommends that you tip a bellman extra if he goes above and beyond by giving you recommendations, getting you ice, or showing your the layout of the room. Have you ever arrived at a hotel valet only to realize you have no cash? DJ notes that many valets share pools of tips at the end of the day, so you can tip them extra the next time.
Traveling internationally? Tim Leffel from the World’s Cheapest Destinations notes that US tipping guidelines are often much higher than that of other countries. To get a good idea of what to tip, he suggests asking a stranger or a local expat from your country about tipping guidelines. Don’t be surprised if they recommend that you round up the bill to the next whole number. You may also get some great information about where to go while on your trip. Ann and Fran from The Caribbean and Beyond also recommend that you ask your hotel concierge about local tipping customs when traveling overseas.
Porters, bellmen, shuttle drivers, curbside check-in, valet: $1-$2 bag (more for bellmen if they provide extra service)
Concierge: $5-$25 depending on level of service
Tour guides – $5
Housekeeping – $1-$2 per day