Tips on Proper Travel Tipping

Bellhop with luggage in hotel

Bellhop with luggage in hotel

A helpful guide to ensure you don’t over or under tip when you travel.

By Diane Gottsman

Skycap at the airport: $1–$2 per bag, additional for curbside check-in.

Flight attendant: Do not tip, even when ordering an alcoholic beverage in flight.

Taxi driver: 15–20% of total bill.

Limo driver: 15–20% of total bill, unless gratuity is already factored into fare.

Hotel doorman: It’s not necessary to tip a doorman for holding open a door, however if they perform a special service such as helping with shopping bags from the taxi to the front desk, or offering an umbrella from the front door to the car, $2–$5.

Hotel valet: $2 – $5 when you pick up your car. For special requests, such as parking your car at the curb while you run up to your room to change clothes and drop off packages, $2–$5.

Bellman: $1–$2 per bag (more for heavy or cumbersome bags).

Front desk: If the front desk acts as the concierge, or goes above and beyond, tip as you would the concierge. Otherwise, a friendly smile and “Thank you” is all that is necessary.

Concierge: For directions, or simple questions about local sights or nearby restaurants, no tip is required. Arranging a dinner reservation, $5–$10. For hard to get tickets or reservations, $20 upwards.

Hotel housekeepers: $3–$5 daily, or $1 per person, per day, if there are more than 5 guests per room.

Room service: 15–20% of bill, unless gratuity has been added to bill.

Hotel spa providers (masseuse, esthetician, manicurist): 15–20%, unless gratuity has been added to bill.

Pool attendant: $1 per service.

Hotel restaurant wait staff: 15–20%, unless gratuity has been added to bill.

Buffet – serve yourself: $2–$5 to the server attending your table throughout the night. For multiple diners, $1 per person.

Private/independent tour guide: 15–20% of service for a narrated tour.

Public tour guide: $1–$2 per person for an hourly to a half day tour. $2–$3 per person for daytrip.
Caution: do not tip government or national parks employees.

Two rules to remember; it’s never appropriate to skip a tip (speak to the management and leave a minimum of 10%), and tipping guidelines may vary slightly. The amount you decide to tip should be fair and fall within the range of appropriate tipping guidelines.

Diane Gottsman is a national modern manners and etiquette expert, sought out industry leader, accomplished speaker, author and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas.

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