When it comes to your vacation, it's the littlest details, such as
tipping etiquette, that can become the most confusing. Whom should you
tip? How much? Do you need to tip at all? Never fear! This simple
guide to tipping will take the guesswork out of tipping
etiquette and help you focus on more important things - like enjoying
TIPPING AT AIRPORTS AND TRAIN STATIONS
Upon arriving at or leaving from the airport or train station, tip the
standard porter rate of $1 per bag; more if your luggage is very heavy.
Typically, a $1 tip for hailing a taxi is appropriate for doormen.
However, you may want to tip more for special services, such as carrying
HOTEL TIPPING ETIQUETTE
When you arrive at your hotel after a long flight, first things first:
Tip the taxi or limo driver. Ten to 15 percent of your total fare is
usually expected. If you drive your own car, give the valet parking
attendant $1 to $2. If you take a shuttle van or bus, tip the driver $2
The bellman, who will be more than happy to assist you with your bags
and the door, should receive $1 to $2 per bag. Tip when he shows you to
your room and again if he assists you upon checkout. Tip more if he
provides any additional service. The concierge, who can get you anything
from dinner reservations to hard-to-come-by theatre tickets, deserves
$5 to $10 for such feats. You may tip at the time of service or at the
end of the trip. To ensure good service throughout your stay, add a $20
tip to the bill.
Add 15 percent of the bill to a room service charge, unless a
gratuity is already added, then add no additional tip or simply $1. If
you requested something delivered to your room such as a hairdryer or
iron, tip $1 per item received. Typically, the maid deserves a $2 tip
each day, as well.
TOUR TIPPING ETIQUETTE
If you're taking a tour and a tip is not automatically included, tip a
local guide $1 per person for a half-day tour, $2 for full-day tour. Tip
a private guide more.
If you are on a multi-day tour with a tour manager - someone who
travels with the group for several days and is essentially in charge -
tour operators suggest anywhere from $3-8 per person per day. Don't
forget the bus driver either - $2 per person per day.
CRUISE TIPPING ETIQUETTE
When on a cruise, tip according to your comfort level and only on the
last evening of your cruise. As a general rule, dining room waiters
receive $3.50 per person/per day whereas the dining room assistant
waiter should receive $2.00 per person/per day, the dining room maitre'd
$3.50 per person/per day and the dining room manager $1.50 per
The room steward, for all his efforts, receives $3.50 per person/per
day. Other personnel, such as bar waiters, bellboys and deck stewards
may be tipped as service is rendered.
RESTAURANT TIPPING ETIQUETTE
Although excellent service calls for 20 percent of the total bill, most
U.S. restaurants accept 15 percent as the standard tip. In restaurants
where you sit at the bar or the waiter is a small part of the meal
(cafes or pubs), 10 percent is also acceptable. The bar tenders,
themselves, generally receive between 15 and 20% when you sit at the
bar. If the food or service is unsatisfactory, speak to the manager -
don't walk out without tipping. And pay attention to lunch and dinner
bills in Europe and Asia, as some restaurants tack on an additional 15
percent (usually listed on the menu or check as a "service charge") and
do not expect tips.
At fancy restaurants, tip the maitre d' between $5 and $10 if he gets
you a table - more when the restaurant is full and you have no
reservations. Tip $1 when you check your coat, and another $.50 to $1
for restroom attendants. For personal service from the wine steward, opt
for 10 percent of the wine bill.
This tipping etiquette will hopefully give you a general idea of the
standard tipping rate for different stops along your journey. You are
always welcome to tip more when the service is excellent, and when you
do, you are sure to see the red carpet treatment all the way. Enjoy your
vacation, and don't forget to tip!