Whether you’re traveling for your first business trip or taking a crazy cool wellness vacation with the girls, chances are you’re going to have to hail a cab, get some help with your luggage or maybe (okay, hopefully) hit up a spa treatment or two. But after you’ve shelled out the cash for your pampering or hotel room and tip time comes around, it can be tricky to know when to tip and what’s fair. Luckily, we have a few tips on navigating these murky waters from Cheryl Rosner, CEO of Stayful, a travel company designed for modern, mobile travel.
1. Tip at the time of service. You can’t always guarantee you’ll interact with the same professionals throughout your trip. Cheryl agrees, saying, “It’s best to tip at every moment of service, because typically, you can expect different staff members to help you during the trip, like a bellman, valet staff and waiters.”
2. Don’t be afraid to split it up. “It’s perfectly normal to split the tip amount when you’re traveling with others; just make sure you are still giving the appropriate amount. For example, if you split the check with friends for dinner, make sure you each tip 18-20 percent on your own bill so that it adds up to a total of 18-20 percent. Or, if you are tipping on something like valet parking or concierge services, you can each chip in a few dollars to get to the same amount,” Cheryl advises. She also notes that it’s not necessary to leave an additional tip, unless the person had to do extra work to help manage additional people.
3. It’s *never* okay to not tip. Cheryl notes that many hotel and restaurant workers depend on tips as a primary source of income, not an hourly wage or salary, so tipping isn’t actually *extra* money. “With that in mind, it’s never really appropriate to not tip on your services. If you are upset with your service, reach out to a manager and express your complaints. Oftentimes, they will make things up to you with something of equal value, like a free dessert for bad service at dinner.”
4. Don’t forget about room service. Just because you’re not hanging out at the bar or sitting down at a white tablecloth, doesn’t mean you can skip the tip on your room service. Cheryl advises, “First, double check the menu or bill to see if gratuity is automatically included. Some hotels include a service charge, so you’ll also want to check if that service charge is meant to include tipping or not when you order your food. If neither of these exists, plan to leave about 15 percent of your bill.” She also notes that if you’re grabbing takeout to enjoy back in the room, it’s still recommended to leave around $3-7 dollars as a tip, depending on the size of your order.
Need more help? Stayful pulled together this helpful guide to help us avoid a potential tipping faux pas.
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(Feature photo via Getty)