If you’re like most Americans, you’ve stiffed a hardworking professional—perhaps without even realizing it.
While most know they’re expected to tip restaurant staff (87% of people say they typically feel obligated to leave a gratuity); hairstylists (69%); bartenders (62%); taxi, car or limo drivers (60%); valets (54%); and bellhops (52%), according to a survey released this year by coupon site CouponCabin.com, they aren’t quite as sure about many other working people. “In almost every class or program we offer, questions about tipping are always asked,” says Pamela Eyring, the president of etiquette school The Protocol School of Washington. “People ask when to tip, who to tip and how much to tip.”
Also see: How much to tip everyone
When it comes to tipping, they often guess wrongly: Just 38% of Americans say they typically feel obligated to tip a delivery person who brings them something like furniture or appliances and 35% say this about a spa treatment provider, the survey revealed. But you should tip both: $5 to $10 per person to someone delivering furniture or large items to your home (and $20 per person if the delivery is huge or there are lots of stairs), and 10% to 15% of the pretax bill for someone who gives you a spa treatment, says Constance Hoffman, the owner of St. Louis Missouri-based etiquette firm Social and Business Graces.
Here are a 10 workers you might not think to tip, but probably should.
1. Hair stylist’s assistant
It’s standard to tip your stylist between 10% and 20%, says Eyring—and most people know to do this. But many people forget to tip their stylist’s assistant—the person who washes or blow dries their hair or assists the stylist with other tasks.
Tip amount: Advice columnist April Masini recommends $5. Hoffman says that if multiple people work on you—one shampoos and one blow dries, for example, you should give them each a few dollars.
2. Hotel concierge
While you don’t have to tip the hotel concierge if you just make a simple request, like ask for information on the nearest restaurant, you should tip her if you make a more complicated request like ask her to secure restaurant reservations or tickets to the theater, says Hoffman.
Tip amount: Jodi R. R. Smith, the owner of Marblehead Mass.-based Mannersmith Etiquette Coaching, says that you should tip between about $5 and $10 and sometimes more, depending on how complicated your request is.
3. Pool attendants and other hotel staff
While you likely know to tip the valet and bellman—and now the hotel concierge—there are a few other hotel staffers who regularly get stiffed. One is the pool attendant. Hoffman says that if the attendant just gives you a towel, no tip is needed, but if he does anything extra like set up your umbrella or blow up inflatable toys, you should give him a tip. You should also tip staffers who bring items up to your room, she adds.
Tip amount: In both cases, $1 to $3 is appropriate, says Hoffman.
4. DJ or band
Whether you’re dying to hear “Umbrella” or can’t deal with anything by Rihanna, if you make a special request of a DJ or band at a club or event—especially if it’s for more than one song—you should probably tip, says Eyring.
Tip amount: Eyring recommends tipping $5 to a DJ for one song and $10 for a short list of song requests, or $10 to a band for one song and $20 for a short list of songs.
5. Courtesy shuttle drivers
Even though it’s a “courtesy” shuttle—transportation that’s provided to you free of charge to get you from the airport to the hotel, for example—you still should tip if the driver helps you take your bags on or off the shuttle, says Hoffman.
Tip amount: The standard tip is $1 to $2 per bag, Masini says.
6. Gym staff
While you likely don’t need to tip your personal trainer (a holiday gift is fine), you may want to consider tipping helpful gym staff, says Eyring. So if someone repeatedly goes out of his or her way to bring you water, get you towels or show you how to use the machines, a tip might be in order, she says. “After working out for a while there—a week or even a month—you might write a thank-you note and enclose some money,” she says.
Tip amount: She says the amount depends on how helpful the person was, but after a month $10 to $25 is likely sufficient.
7. Non-medical staff in an assisted living facility
While you don’t tip the doctors, nurses and physical therapists who take care of your ailing loved ones, you should tip other service people working at assisted living facilities, says Mannersmith Etiquette Coaching’s Smith. That means everyone from the man who drives the van that takes Nana to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments to the woman who washes her hair or does her nails.
Tip amount: Typically $5 per trip of service, says Smith.
8. Airport transportation staff
Whether you’re hurt or disabled or simply in a hurry, if you get transported through the airport by someone—be it via one of the little electric vehicles or by someone pushing your wheelchair—you should tip them, says Hoffman.
Tip amount: $1 to $3, says Hoffman.
9. Hotel housekeeping
While most people do know to tip hotel housekeeping, they often do it wrong—thus depriving the cleaning people of much-needed cash. You should be tipping hotel housekeeping daily, not just upon your departure, because the staff who first cleaned your room might not be there on your last day and thus won’t get that money, says Smith.
Tip amount: $1 to $2 per day per person staying in your room, says Smith. So if you and your husband were staying in the hotel for three nights, you would tip around $10.
10. Tour guide
Even though you’ve likely prepaid for your tour, it’s still customary to tip the tour guide herself and the bus driver, says Smith.
Tip amount: The tour guide gets $5 per person per day (so if you and your husband went on a 5-day tour, you’d tip him $50) and the bus driver should get a couple dollars or so for each day he drove, says Smith.
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