Ask Your Agents

Dear Tammy and Cheri,

We are going to go to New York City this summer and it’s been a while since we’ve traveled. I’m just concerned how much cash we need to budget for, including tipping. Do you have any suggestions or guidelines to follow for tipping etiquette while traveling?

Sincerely,

NYC Tippy, Sun Lakes, AZ

Dear NYC Tippy:

When it comes to your vacation, it’s the littlest details, such as tipping etiquette that can become the most confusing. Whom should you tip? How much? Do you need to tip at all? With this simple guide to tipping, it will help you take the guesswork out of tipping etiquette and help you focus on enjoying your vacation!

Airports and Train Stations

The standard porter rate of $1 per bag or more if your luggage is very heavy is fitting. A $1 tip for hailing a taxi is appropriate for doormen. However, you may want to tip more for special services, such as carrying your bags.

Hotel

The bellman should receive $1 to $2 per bag. Tip more if he provides any additional service. The concierge, who can get you anything from dinner reservations to theatre tickets, deserves $5 to $10 for such feats. You may tip at the time of service or at the end of the trip. To ensure good service throughout your stay, add a $20 tip to the bill.

Add 15 percent to a room service charge, unless already included. If you request something delivered to your room, $1 per item is suggested; $2 each day for the maid is appropriate.

Restaurant

Although excellent service calls for 20 percent of the total bill, most U.S. restaurants accept 15 percent as the standard. In restaurants where you sit at the bar or the waiter is a small part of the meal, 10 percent is acceptable. Bartenders generally receive between 15 and 20 percent. If the food or service is unsatisfactory, speak to the manager, don’t walk out without tipping.

At fancy restaurants, tip the maitre d’ between $5 and $10 if he gets you a table; more when the restaurant is full and you have no reservations. Tip $1 when you check your coat and another $.50 to $1 for restroom attendants. For personal service from the wine steward, opt for 10 percent of the wine bill.

These guidelines will provide a general idea of the standard tipping rate for different stops along your journey. You are always welcome to tip more when the service is excellent, and when you do, you are sure to see the red carpet treatment all the way. Enjoy your vacation and don’t forget to tip!

If you have a travel question or problem you would like to submit, please contact Tammy Sikorski or Cheri Sigurdson at El Sol Travel located at 10325 E. Riggs Road, Suite 105, Sun Lakes, AZ 85242; or call directly at 480-895-9362; e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected] View our website at  www.elsolvacations.net.