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Ten tips

Tips on tipping when you're traveling

By LAURA T. COFFEY
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 24, 2002


It can be so confusing: How much are you supposed to tip the airport skycap? The taxi driver? The hotel bellman? These are just a few of the service workers you're likely to encounter when you travel. The following tips will help you know what's appropriate. (Remember to travel with lots of small bills in your pocket.)

1. Taxi and airport shuttle drivers. A tip of $2 or $3 usually is adequate. Give more if the driver helps you with your bags or goes out of his or her way to get you to your destination on time.

2. Airport skycaps and train porters. The standard tip is $1 per bag, although you should give a bigger tip if your luggage is exceptionally heavy.

3. Hotel bellman. Once again, the $1-per-bag rule applies. It's also good to give a tip when the bellman shows you to your room, helps you as you check out or performs any additional service.

4. Hotel doorman. A tip of $1 for hailing a taxi is appropriate. You might want to give more if the doorman carries your bags for you or holds an umbrella to prevent you from getting soaked with rain.

5. Concierge. Tip between $2 and $10 when the concierge makes restaurant or theater reservations, coordinates sightseeing tours or performs other special services for you. You can tip for each individual service or give one lump sum when you leave.

6. Hotel maid. Housekeepers often get overlooked because they do their work when you're not there. A tip of $1 to $2 a night is appropriate for stays of more than one night. Leave the tip in the hotel room in a clearly marked envelope.

7. Parking attendants. Give $1 or $2 each time the valet parker delivers your car.

8. Waiters. Whether you're traveling or frequenting a restaurant near your home, a tip of 15 to 20 percent of your bill is standard. The same standard applies for room-service waiters.

9. Cloakroom attendants. You don't have to tip if you must pay for the service, but if use of the cloakroom is free or the attendant takes extra care with your coat or bags, give a tip of $1 or $2.

10. Tour guides and charter bus drivers. If a tip is not automatically included, give $1 or $2 for a half-day tour, $2 to $5 for a full-day tour and $10 to $20 for a weeklong tour. Give a private guide a bigger tip.

-- Sources: American Society of Travel Agents and AAA Auto Club South.

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