I’m a mom of young children. I don’t have a traveling job. Although my husband occasionally travels for work , I’m sorry to say I’m not savvy to all the proper and appropriate tipping procedures. When I do travel, I’m always trying to remember who and how to tip. I decided to do my research before my next vacation. There are a number of websites and an even greater number of opinions on the subject, but I think there are enough similarities across the board that I feel pretty comfortable with what I have found.
When tipping is concerned, there are a few variables you need to consider.
Does the hotel you are visiting have a valet service? Does it employ bellman? Does it employ a concierge? If you book at a hotel staffed with these employees you should be prepared to accept their service and compensate them according to their duties.
Compare it to the restaurant service industry. Just like many restaurant service workers, many hotel employees work for tips. Don’t want to pay a waitress or waiter? Go to a self service type of restaurant. It is the same in the hotel industry. If you prefer to park your own car, carry your own bags and just want a place to rest your head? Book somewhere without all the bells and whistles. Then there won’t be a half dozen people you wonder if you should or shouldn’t tip. If you book at a higher end hotel, you need to be sure to include tips into your budget, and be prepared with some extra cash on hand. So, lets say you opt for the bells and whistles. What do you pay the valet, the bellman and other employees? Here are some numbers that were common across the board.
Valet: $1-2 for each drop and pickup.
Bellman: $1 per bag or $2 minimum if you only have one bag.
Concierge: Nothing for general information and directions. $5-10 if he or she makes a reservation for you. (More if the reservations are hard to get. Sometimes a concierge will have some pull that you don’t)
Room Service: 15% of the total bill
Spa Service: 15% (More if exceptional service)
Housekeeping: $2 – 5 / day