Don’t Forget to Tip: Etiquette for Traveling

When you take off for foreign lands, or perhaps even a business meeting, treating others well by tipping is usually an action that you will want to practice. In many places, tipping is simply good business etiquette, but how do you know when to tip? Here are a couple of tips for tipping when traveling:


Drivers and Valet

The next time you are taking a trip, whether for pleasure or business, please consider those who are helping you along the way. These service care providers do not typically make enough to live on salary alone and rely on the supplemental income of tips. It all starts the minute you leave for the airport. Unless you are driving yourself to park in the parking garage, you will need someone to drive you. A friend would likely enjoy a coffee, but if, however, you choose to take a taxi or limo, the recommended tip is ten to fifteen percent for the driver. If you have taken a shuttle or bus, the tip should be two dollars per person. Throughout the trip, if you use valet, be sure to tip one to two dollars each time you get your car.



Porters are available to assist you at the airport and train terminals. Traveling is stressful enough, take advantage of their services and ease the strain on your back and your mind. The average tip for a porter is one dollar per bag. If your bags are especially heavy or the porters follow you for an extended length of time, consider giving more.

Bellhops and Doormen

When doormen hold open the door for you, a smile and a greeting would be appreciated, but compensation is not necessary. Tip a dollar for one that hails you a cab, though. Bellhops that assist you with your bags should be tipped one to two dollars per bag. Again, if your bags are especially heavy, or you are on the 25th floor, consider adding a little extra. If you request to have your bags held for you, be sure to tip one dollar per bag upon receiving them again.


What should you tip the concierge? If all you are looking for are quick directions no tip is necessary. If you are looking for tickets to a show or dinner reservations, a tip of five to ten dollars would be appreciated. If you are looking for tickets to the hottest sold-out show and they can score some for you, be prepared to compensate them handsomely. A tip of $20 or more would do the trick.


Tour Guide

Tours are a great way to see a new city or attraction. If you are using a tour company, a half day trip warrants one to two dollars per person. If you are taking a full day or multiple day tour, consider spending two to three dollars per person per day. If your tour involves a bus driver, don’t forget to tip them two dollars per person as well. If you are guided by a government or national park official, no tip is required.


Typically, when taking a cruise, the tip information will be located in your cruise documents. Some cruises even give you the option of adding tips to the price of your cruise allowing you to prepay. These tips include dining room staff and room attendants. Keep in mind that bartenders will still need a tip, as well as the waitstaff, in areas other than the main dining room. Due to the service-oriented nature of cruises, you may find that some of your staff has gone above and beyond. Even if you have prepaid, additional tips are always welcome.

Room Service

Room service should be treated as though you are at a restaurant. The tip is 15 percent of your total bill minus tax. Many hotels include this in the price of room service so double check your receipt. As always, additional gratuity is appreciated. If you contact room service to bring you items you may have left at home such as a hair dryer, a standard tip is one dollar per item. If they are providing you with something that should have been available to you, there is no tip expected.


Many people forget to tip their housekeepers. You may be spending only one or two nights in a hotel and think it’s not important. Housekeepers rely on the gratuities they receive, so consider giving them two to four dollars per day. It is up to your discretion, but consider the condition of your room. Did you spill something on the carpet or head off in the morning with clothes strewn everywhere? The bigger the mess, the more you should tip.


Restroom attendant

Most restrooms do not have attendants, so if you see one you may not be aware of the need to tip. Restroom attendants are not the service providers you see cleaning the restrooms. They will be sitting or standing around waiting to hand you a towel or show you the bin of toiletries meant to make your visit more pleasant. They will often have a basket out for you in which to place your one to two dollar tip. If there is no basket, then no need to tip.

Pool Staff

If you are ordering food and drinks that you are putting on a tab, the pool staff should be provided the customary waitstaff tip of fifteen to twenty percent. If you are ordering individual drinks, tip them one dollar per drink. If the staff is assisting you by bringing towels or arranging chairs, tip them one dollar per item. Lastly, if they are saving your seats, tip them at least five dollars per chair to show your gratitude for not allowing your space to be invaded.


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Don’t Forget to Tip: Etiquette for Traveling

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