There is definitely a learning curve to a lot of aspects of business travel: packing enough but not too much; getting through airport security with a minimum of fuss; maintaining patience with delayed flights and canceled itineraries, just to name a few. Tipping certainly falls under this list. Who do you tip? How much? What about internationally? It can be just one more detail in an overwhelming list of new skills to learn.
I worked as a waitress for two years in college, and pride myself on being a good restaurant tipper. But figuring else where else to tip can be baffling. Here are the generally accepted tipping guidelines for the US:
- Waiters—15-20% of the bill;
- Room Service—$5 minimum, unless gratuity is included on the bill;
- Valet—$2-$3 when your car is retrieved, although some sites suggest a small tip when your car is parked as well.
- Hotel housekeeping—$1-2 per day
- Hotel shuttle drivers—$1-2
- Concierge—$0-$20, depending on how big the favor
- Bellhop—Don’t worry about the random person who takes your bag from your car. Tip the person who takes your bag to your room $1-$2 per bag, $5 minimum.
Internationally, things can get trickier. In Europe people tend to tip minimally, and in parts of Asia tipping is seen as rude. The app GlobeTipping was recommended repeatedly, so I will certainly download it for my next trip abroad.
While I fully support recognizing those who give good service, it is so hard for me to remember to bring cash on trips. I never have it in day to day life, and I often forget I need it until I am heading to the airport. I have vowed to do better in 2014! Luckily, technology is coming to the rescue of chronic no-cash people like me: the Starbucks app now allows for digital tipping. Hopefully other companies will follow!
Readers, are you regular tippers? Do you agree with this list?