Tipping When You Travel

Long ago, tipping was just a customary way of showing your gratitude for a service that was above and beyond the call.  However, tipping has become more of a science of local custom than one of just gratitude.  Here are a few guidelines that will help the domestic and international traveler with all their basic tipping information.  Remember that the guidelines suggested here are in U.S. dollars, however if you are traveling aboard you should tip in the local currency.

How to Tip at Hotels

When staying in a hotel, there are a few people you should tip as they can make your stay much nicer.  The doorman who hails you a cab should get or .  The maid who daily cleans your room should be tipped about each day.  The bellhop should get about a bag when bringing yours to your room.  The concierge who gets you a great table at a restaurant, give them.

How to Tip on a Cruise  

Years ago, tipping on a cruise line meant that you would have to go to the purser’s desk and get cash to hand out to the various crewmembers.  Now, most of the major cruise lines have made it easier.  They add the suggested daily gratuity to your account and the crewmembers share it.  You usually have the opportunity to change the amount up or down depending on the service you received.  However, if you felt the service was above and beyond, feel free to tip your crewmember separately.  Beware that a few cruise lines include gratuity in their cruise fares and that they discourage passengers from tipping.  Check with the cruise lines before going to find out their policies on tipping.

How to Tip on a Tour

Tour directors are a lot like babysitters for tourists.  They make sure that everyone has their bags and are accounted for on a daily basis.  Tour directors are also experts in the local scene and often point tourists to great destinations.  They problem solve and just plain work hard to give you the vacation you paid for.  The average tip for a tour director is usually about to a day per person.  The motor coach driver should get about half that amount.  As with all tipping, if the service is above and beyond, give generously.

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