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Tipping Troubles? Here’s some savvy advice

Wads of Cash Stacked

It is important to remember to build tips into your travel budget. Whether visiting a small motel chain or the largest luxury five-star resort, travelers can reap the rewards of tipping for good service, according to experts at Hospitality Staffing Solutions (HSS), the leading hospitality staffing company.

But what should you tip and when? Especially in these challenging economic times, it can be tough to navigate the world of tipping. HSS’s experts offer this advice:

  • When in doubt, tip! Since many in the service industry rely on tips for a large portion of their income, it’s better to reward those who provide good service than to not tip because you’re unsure.
  • Always tip those who provide a special service, especially when it’s above and beyond what their job requires.
  • Give cash. Although non-monetary tips (e.g. gift cards) may be thoughtful, it’s difficult to measure the individual usefulness. Cash is always appreciated.

On Arrival:

  • Doormen: When you arrive at your hotel, the doorman may assist you with your luggage for which you may tip $1-$2 for their assistance.
  • Front Desk: When checking in, it is not customary to offer a tip to the front desk.
  • Bellmen: If they assist in carrying luggage to your room, bellmen should receive $1-$2 per bag.
  • Hotel Valet: When someone hails you a cab, it’s customary to give them $1-$2 for their attention. Car services or taxicabs are usually given 10%-15% of the fare for their service.

During Your Stay:

  • Room attendants: Many guests enjoy the comfort of their room more than other amenities of a property, but often overlook room attendants when tipping. It’s customary to give $2-$5 per day (leave it on the bed or pillow) for their service unless you’re hosting or entertaining in your room, in which $10 a day may be more appropriate.
  • Pool and beach attendants: A $2-$5 tip for getting you a chair will ensure you have a great location each day.
  • Concierge: Tips are usually rendered at the time of service. For standard directions, sightseeing advice, or event locations, an appropriate tip is around $5. However, for a reservation at a popular restaurant with limited availability or hard-to-find tickets, tips can run higher – $10, $20 and up. It depends on the uniqueness and difficulty of the arrangement.

Hospitality Staffing Solutions, LLC (HSS) is the nation’s leading hospitality staffing company. Established in 1990, their team of hotel industry experts works with over 600 properties in 35 states and 70 markets across the country. www.hssstaffing.com



Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at realfoodtraveler.com.