Every travel budget has a line for transportation, food and activities, but what about tips? It’s an additional cost that most people don’t think about until they have to. Whether you’re staying at a resort or taking a guided tour, there are a host of people you might neglect to compensate for their time and attention. The rules are a little hazy, so here’s a list of people you should tip while traveling in the US.
Some airlines offer curbside check-in for an additional $2 – but that money goes to the airline, not the guy or gal handling your bags. Giving the baggage handler an additional dollar or two PER bag is a nice way to say thank you for their assistance, especially in the cold winter months and around the holidays.
If you’re taking a shuttle from the airport to your hotel, you shouldn’t consider this a free ride. It’s acceptable to give the driver $1 to $2 dollars per person transported, especially if they help you with your bags.
You don’t have to tip everyone who handles your bag at a hotel. The only person you really need to tip is the bellman who delivers the luggage to your room. It’s customary to give them $1 to $5 depending on the weight of your bags and how many you have.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association suggests tipping hotel maids $1 to $5 per night depending on the level of service and cost of the hotel. Be sure to leave a tip every day so that the person who actually cleaned your room receives it. (If you’re concerned your gratuity won’t get to the right employee, you can leave a thank you note so they know the tip is intended for them.)
OK, we know what you’re thinking: “I paid for the tour…do I really have to tip, too? You don’t have to do anything, but if your guide was knowledgeable and answered all your questions with a smile, they deserve a little something extra. You can give them $3 to $4 dollars for a short tour or up to $10 for a full-day excursion.
The easiest way to deal with tipping on a cruise ship is to do it ahead of time. Today, a lot of cruise companies allow you to prepay your gratuity, which they divvy out to crew members. The average gratuity comes to about $12 to $15 per day, per traveler.
Brittany is a writer at Yahoo Finance.