Who gets a tip? The senior guide to tipping while traveling

Feb 28, 2012, 8:28 a.m.

Plane fare, car rental, travel guides, taxis and hotel expenses can add up when traveling, and of course there's always the tip. But who should get a tip? And how much?

It's normally considered appropriate to tip about 15% to a taxi driver, and a little extra if the driver loads heavy bags or manages to get around a difficult traffic situation.

Once at the airport, more people will need a tip for their services. Porters, doormen, and shuttle drivers should get $1-$2 for hailing a taxi, carrying luggage or driving across the airport. It's common to tip $1 per bag for luggage, or a little extra when the bag is heavy or awkward to carry.

When arriving, a hotel tip to the bellman who brings luggage to the hotel room should be $1-$2 per bag. Valet's should also receive $1-$2 for parking. Many people will tip at hotel check-in, adding 20% to their bill to assure good service during their stay.

Room service and restaurant orders are other services that require tips, and usually this is 15-20%, however, check the policy, because sometimes a gratuity is added onto your bill automatically.

Housekeeping and concierge services are other hotel services that are deserving of a tip. For housekeeping, tips should be left in an obvious place with a note. Depending on the mess you leave, a few dollars for a standard hotel is normally good. Concierge staff normally don't require tips for advice, but if they pull strings to get a reservation or tickets, a $5-$20 tip is appreciated.

When out and about, tour guides and drivers also appreciate a small tip. About $2-$5 for the day will usually suffice for the guide with an extra $1-$2 to the driver.

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