(Note: This post is a continuation of Part 1)
First, I just want to make it clear that these are what *I* think is reasonable. Tipping is inherently a fuzzy thing – I’ve been working and travelling for business for about 2 years, and this is what I’ve picked up so far. At first I admit I was clueless on many things, and have stiffed at least 1 skycap and a few hotel maids. The first part of this post has some sites that offer tipping guidelines as well, and you’ll notice that they don’t all agree with each other either. Here are a couple more situations:
Maid: $1-$5 per night, depending on how nice your hotel is (Probably more if you stay at the Ritz, but I haven’t). Make sure you tip every morning, as the maids do change daily. I used to just leave a cumulative tip at the end of the stay. I suppose in the long run it’ll work out, but after actually talking to a couple maids they told me they prefer the daily tip.
(Casino Hotels: If you ask the maids at a casino to leave you extra coupon books from other rooms that they clean, you can get a lot of good extra coupons for gambling if you are savvy about that type of thing. I always ask and then leave a generous tip afterwards (not directly, as that can be a bit shady). They’re going to throw them out anyways! I got this tip from the Frugal Gambler, a great book for those that want to maximize their next Las Vegas trip. This book helped my sister win $300 from FREE contests. She didn’t have to even risk anything.)
Room Service – Usually a gratuity is already included, so it depends (Ask!). If it’s already 18%, that’s enough for me. If it’s 10%, I’ll add enough to make it 15-20%.
Bellhop: $1 per bag unless they’re really heavy (again, maybe different for nicer hotels).
Concierge: Varies widely depending on what they do and how good they are.
Skycaps: $1 per bag, unless really heavy then $2.
Beep-Beep cart driver that always seems to want to run me over: Never ridden it, although I’ve wanted to. Couple bucks? It’d be well worth it in certain airports.
If the event isn’t too crowded, you can usually try to go down to the lower seats. If there is a usher involved, you can try saying you “forgot your binoculars” and grease the person $5-10. I’ve never done this, besides just sneaking down into nicer seats. Just act like you belong there, I’ve never been asked for tickets yet.
Haircut: I get free haircuts now, so I don’t have to worry about this. Before, the person got 15%.
Massage: I’ve only had one, and I tipped them 15%.
Well that’s it for me. I’ll just add that in many countries that I’ve been to in Europe and Asia, tips are included in meals, etc. I personally like this is some ways, as I see the food AND service as part of the restaurant experience. If either sucks, I probably won’t be back. Also, the waitpeople there often actually make careers out of it, not like many young people here pulling double shifts to get through school.
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 3/19/05, 9:40am