How Much Should I Tip When I Travel? Tip Etiquette

Traveling to new destinations brings excitement, adventure, and sometimes, a bit of uncertainty when it comes to tipping etiquette. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities or relaxing in exotic locales, knowing who to tip, when, and how much can help you focus on enjoying travel and not stressing about whether you tipped enough or the right people! 

PRO TIP: Tipping can greatly vary depending on the country or culture you are in. For example, in Japan, it would be considered rude to tip a Maitre d’, while in the USA it would be welcomed. This article is guidance for travel in the USA:

Who to Tip:

  1. Hotel Staff: Tip bellhops $1 to $2 per bag, and leave a daily tip of $2 to $5 for housekeeping, depending on the hotel’s level and the quality of service. From bellhops who assist with luggage to housekeeping staff who ensure your room is tidy and comfortable, hotel employees play a crucial role in making your stay enjoyable. 
  1. Concierge: While tipping isn’t mandatory, a gratuity of $5 to $10 for exceptional service or assistance with difficult requests is appreciated. The concierge is your go-to resource for recommendations, reservations, and insider tips. Often they can get you the best seats, reservations and contacts.
  1. Taxi and Ride-Share Drivers: Whether you’re catching a cab or using a ride-share service, it’s customary to tip drivers around 15% to 20% of the fare. For exceptional service or assistance with luggage, consider adding a few extra dollars to your tip.
  1. Tour Guides: Show appreciation for your tour guide’s knowledge and expertise with a tip of 10% to 20% of the tour cost. Guided tours are an excellent way to explore new destinations and learn about their culture and history. 
  1. Restaurant Servers: The standard tip ranges from 15% to 20% of the total bill before tax, depending on the level of service received. Just like at home, tipping restaurant servers is customary when dining out during travel. 
  1. Skycap (porter at the airport who helps with luggage): If you’re flying and utilize the services of a skycap to assist with your luggage, tip around $2 for the first bag and $1 per additional bag. This gesture shows appreciation for their help in making your airport experience smoother.

When to Tip:

  1. Upon Service Completion: In most cases, tipping occurs after the service has been provided. Whether it’s a meal at a restaurant, a guided tour, or assistance from hotel staff, wait until the service is complete before offering a tip.
  2. Hotel Staff Daily: If you’re staying at a hotel for multiple nights, consider leaving a daily tip for housekeeping. This ensures that the staff who clean your room each day are acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts. Another PRO Tip: Click here to learn three common travel mistakes to avoid according to hotel staff.

How Much to Tip:

  1. Consider Service Quality: While there are standard tipping percentages, it’s essential to consider the quality of service received. If someone goes above and beyond to make your experience memorable, don’t hesitate to tip more generously.
  2. Local Customs: In some countries, tipping customs may differ from those in your home country. Take the time to research tipping practices specific to your destination to ensure you’re adhering to local customs and expectations.

Tipping during travel is a way to show gratitude for the service provided and show appreciation for the hospitality extended to you. By following these guidelines and being mindful of cultural norms, you can navigate tipping etiquette with confidence. Safe travels and happy tipping!

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