Who do you tip and how much is a perennial question. Tipping is a custom that's been
around for at least 100 years. Meaning "to insure promptness," it started as a way to get
better, faster service.
Whether the service you receive merits a tip remains a personal issue and choice. Tipping is
voluntary, but often expected, regardless of the quality of service. As a gesture of protest, some people
will not leave a tip when they receive poor service. This handy chart can serve as a tip guideline.
In many countries, certain service providers (waiters,
doormen, bellhops, and room service
staff) assume they'll be receiving tips. Tips to them are as
serious as your paycheck is to you.
In some countries, a service charge is automatically added to
hotel and restaurant bills.
Check your bill carefully. Ask if you are not sure. The key is
fairness, both to you and the
person serving you.
Lastly, tip women the same way you would men -- with
cash. Flowers or perfume are no
Most Customers Tip:
Restaurants and coffee shop servers 15
Baggage handlers at airport curbside check-ins $1 per
Taxi drivers ten to 15 percent
Parking valets from $1 to $2. Where hotel valet
parking is the rule, leave a single tip in an
envelope at the end of each day for all to share. Include your
business card and room
number. Figure on a few dollars a day.
Hotel doormen $1 to $2 per visit and porters $1 per
bag. Tip the doorman if your luggage is
brought to the reception desk.
Room Service -- check your bill to see if a service
fee is included. Some hotels are generous
with your money and automatically add as much as 17 percent. If
no service fee is on the
bill, tip 10 to 15 percent of the bill.
Sommelier 10 to 15 percent of the bottle
Restaurant Captains five percent of the total
Maitre d' -- tip on special occasions when you want a
special service like a table when you
have no reservation and the restaurant is crowded. $5 or $10 for
a table for two. For
extraordinary help, like a table for six at an expensive
restaurant, consider $50 or more.
Most Cruise Passengers
Cabin stewards and waiters $3 to $4 per day, depending
on cruise line suggestions
Bus boys or assistant waiters $2 per day, depending on
cruise line suggestions.
Most Travelers Tip:
Private-car drivers $5 to $6 per day
Tour guides $1 to $2 per day
Tour bus drivers $1 to $2 per day
Some Travelers Tip:
Hotel housekeepers $1 to $2 per day
Airport limos and van drivers $1 per trip
In Europe, most hotels and restaurants automatically
add a "service" charge to the bill.
Even so, many Americans still leave a ten to 15 percent tip.
Europeans generally tip less, leaving the small change
from their bill or no more than five
Throughout Western Europe, tips are expected in
theaters, opera houses, first-run cinemas
in some countries, when an usher escorts you to your seat. The
equivalent of a dollar is in
order. Often a small black purse opened in front of you makes
that quite clear.
In European washrooms, leave the equivalent of 50
cents to $1 for the attendant.
Though many taxicabs in Europe are operated by
owner-drivers, add 10 percent to the