Much as I appreciate the non-tipping cultures of countries like Australia and luxury travel providers like Uniworld River Cruises, more often than not I’m faced with the perplexing decisions of gratuities when traveling. Who to tip and how much to tip is a personal choice, but it’s helpful to know protocol. So I was happy to find this handy U.S. tipping guide from etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach. For more info, go to http://www.etiquetteexpert.com/.
- Taxi drivers: 10 to 15 percent of the bill.
- Car service: 20 percent of the bill. In some cases, the tip is included. If you’re not sure, ask.
- Shuttle drivers: $1 per bag.
- Skycaps: $1 to $2 per bag.
- Doorman: $1 to $2 per bag for moving your bags from the car to the bell cart. Tip $1 to $2 dollars for hailing a taxi for you.
- Bellman: $1 to $2 per bag and $1 to $2 for every delivery to your room.
- Concierge: $10 or more for special services such as securing you a hard-to-get reservation to a popular restaurant.
- Housekeeper: Tip $2 to $3 per night, add an additional $1 to $2 for special requests. If you have the same housekeeper throughout your stay, place the money in an envelope labeled “Housekeeping” at the end of your trip and leave it in a location where it can be easily seen, such as on a pillow. If there are multiple housekeepers, tip each day.
- Room service: 15 to 18 percent of the bill before taxes. Tipping is optional if a service charge is included in the bill.
- Valet: $2 to $5 each time an attendant retrieves your car.
- Spa service: 15 to 20 percent of the bill.
- Coatroom attendant: $1 to $2 per item.
- Maitre d‘: $10 to $100 depending on the restaurant, occasion and level of service you expect. Present the tip before you sit down at your table.
- Wine sommelier: Gratuity is optional but recommended for extremely attentive or helpful sommeliers. A tip of 5 to 10 percent of the wine charge is appropriate.
- Restroom attendant: 50 cents to $1 for handing you a towel or if you use any products displayed on the sink