Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping?

Filed Under: Advice

The topic of tipping hotel housekeeping is a controversial one. This is something that has been discussed to great lengths over the years, and people seem pretty evenly split as to what the right thing to do is.

So, is it appropriate to tip hotel housekeeping in a country where housekeepers aren’t paid what many would consider to be a livable wage?

Recommended hotel tipping guide

The AHLA, which is the association representing all segments of the lodging industry, recommends the following tips for hotel employees:

  • Hotel courtesy shuttle drivers — $1-2 per person, or $4-5 per party
  • Parking attendant — $1-5 when your car is delivered
  • Bellstaff– $1-5 per bag when you are escorted to your room, or when you are helped with bags while checking out
  • Doorstaff — $1-2 for getting a taxi, and if they help with baggage, tip in proportion to size and weight
  • Concierge — $5-10 depending on how involved the service, or a lump sum upon departure
  • Housekeeping — $1-5 per night, and it should be left daily and in an envelope, so that it’s obvious it’s a tip
  • Delivery of special items — $2 for one item, and $1 for each additional item
  • Room service, bartenders, and waiters — 15-20% of the total bill

What hotels have done over the years

There’s no denying that hotels in the US are largely to blame for the need to tip people performing basic functions. They largely don’t pay their employees a living wage, so that leaves it up to guests to subsidize their income.

In my opinion it shouldn’t be that way, and anyone working full time in the US should be able to make ends meet, at a minimum. But that’s not how it is.

It is interesting how hotel groups have handled tipping over the years. For example, in 2014 Marriott rolled out tipping envelopes for housekeepers that they left in the room, but this was quickly repealed after there was quite a bit of backlash.

Other than that, we haven’t really seen the major hotel groups take a strong stance one way or another. In the US the hotel industry has had huge industry action over pay, though that has only tangentially been related to tipping (in the sense that it’s about hotel employees being paid livable wages).

Recent media coverage of tipping hotel housekeeping

I’ve written about the topic of tipping hotel housekeeping before, though there has been some interesting recent media coverage of it lately, which makes this topic worth bringing up again. Data suggests the average hotel housekeeper in the US makes $10.80 per hour.

A Chicago Tribune story covers a back-and-forth Twitter exchange that went on this week, which I think pretty succinctly sums up the perspectives in this debate:

“There’s a special place in hell for people who don’t tip,” one Twitter user commented.

To which someone going by Anna replied, “There’s a special place in hell for a system that doesn’t raise minimum wage, making consumers responsible for the staff’s basic living needs. Nobody tips in Europe (unless the service is exceptional) because nobody needs to.”

“Well Anna,” the first commenter replied, “we are not in Europe, and unless the American capitalist government is overthrown, it is up to each of us to help those who make less than the rest of us.”

“Anna’s point is a fair point though, surely?” a third person chimed in.

“No, it really isn’t,” answered a fourth. “Because she’s justifying not tipping by punishing the most vulnerable. She’s not punishing the exploiters, but the exploiters.”

My take on tipping hotel housekeeping

This being brought up again was a good reminder for me. I really try to tip hotel housekeeping, though all too often I don’t have cash on me, and that makes things complicated. I need to get better about always having cash on me, and not just sometimes.

My perspective is as follows:

  • I don’t love the tipping culture in the US at all
  • At the same time, what I hate more than the tipping culture is how many people aren’t being paid livable wages
  • Rather than protesting the system and not tipping (which ultimately punishes the hardworking people who are on the receiving end of our system), I want to do my small part to make things better
  • Not tipping housekeeping is inconsistent with the rest of our tipping culture, and I think that comes down to the fact that we don’t interact with housekeepers face-to-face, so there’s less guilt; however, they perform among the most important functions at a hotel

Bottom line

I’m not at all a fan of the US tipping culture, but I’m even more not a fan of people not being paid livable wages. In my opinion housekeepers are among the hardest working people at hotels, yet aside from front desk staff (where you have a lot of room for advancement), they’re among the only employees not being tipped.

In principle I’m in favor of tipping these people, and I do it whenever I can. The problem is that I sometimes don’t have cash, and that’s something I need to get better about.

Where do you stand on tipping hotel housekeeping?

Comments
  1. Seriously – $5 per bag??? Assuming the average family has 5 bags, we’re supposed to pay $25 in tip for the bellhop to spend less than a minute on taking up our luggage?

    If the bellboy helps 25 people a day, he’s making nearly $200k? Tipping has gotten so absurd.

  2. I don’t tip housekeeping. It should be included in the cost of the room. I also make hardly any mess at all when I stay in a room.

  3. Aren’t there big differences between jurisdictions in the U.S. on what housekeepers are paid depending on minimum wage and unions? My understanding was that Las Vegas hotelworkers (including housekeeping) were actually fairly well paid because of strong unionization (and the relative low cost of living in Vegas)… and in many other jurisdictions the minimum wage is higher than the market wage for low-skill labor. If the crux of your decision to tip is that you want workers to earn a livable wage, then you’d have to take these things into consideration and they differ considerably from state to state and city to city.

  4. Lucky – I’d like to share some information related to tipping and the recent MIA tipping controversy. How can I send you a private message?

  5. “The AHLA, which is the association representing all segments of the lodging industry, recommends the following tips for hotel employees:” …. Of course it recommends tipping, It means that hotels etc can get away with not paying their staff a living wage.

    I know its not a popular opinion, but I feel that hotels should pay their staff a living wage and not expect guests to supplement workers wages. The onus is on the company not the guests

    My experience has been that most if not all hotel chains are making reasonable profits, some pay their shareholders dividends, pay their CEO’s huge salaries, pension contributions etc etc, yet refuse to pay their staff a living wage

  6. I agree that tipping housekeeping is something that we should be doing. Although when I travel abroad I am always a bit lost with respect to whether or not it’s necessary. I usually do in developing countries because I figure those couple of dollars mean a lot more to those workers than they do to me.

    All of those other things though – like people opening a door for me or whatever seem a bit ridiculous. I am perfectly willing and able to open my own door. Likewise I am more than happy to wheel my own bag onto the elevator and to my room. Paying some one else to do it seems strange to me. But since I can’t service the room myself it makes sense to me to tip there. I’ve also never tipped a van driver. Honestly I just wish hotels would pay their employees instead of expecting their guests to figure out who to give how much money to.

  7. According to these “guidelines” a family of 3 or 4 would end up paying anywhere between 25 to 50 per day just in tips. That is way too much considering that not everyone who is staying at those hotels are rich enough to afford tipping. Some of us use several months of savings to take a holiday per year or so. Those people should not be discriminated for not tipping “well”. We have noticed where we don’t get the same service the next day because we did not tip “well” the previous day. This whole tipping culture started in US is ugly and discriminatory. I wish they just paid all workers a living wage so tipping becomes unnecessary.

  8. If you add “in the United States” to the end of the headline then you can rewrite the whole article with just one word:

    Yes.

  9. Not every job is intended to, or was ever intended to, provide a full, living wage. Some may think this sad or unfair, but it’s true.

  10. i can’t believe how willing people are to not just accept, but also defend this custom. all it is is a price increase on your hotel room, meal, drink, uber ride etc. the employers don’t have to pay their employees because you do. and it’s so stupidly selective as well.

  11. The more you tip the less hotels will pay in wages, precisely because housekeepers will make it up from guests. There’s a certain amount someone needs to make to take the job, and whether that’s coming from the employer or guest doesn’t change the calculation.

    Any given tip helps the recipient, which the overall practice of increased tipping will not.

    It makes sense for an indiviidual guest to tip on any given stay, even though it benefits hotels more than employees overall to do so.

  12. I don’t use cash for taxis, ubers, meals, coffee, cough drops.

    Often I will go on a 3-day trip and not touch currency since I handle my own bags and hail my own cabs. This is very workable since it makes expenses easy to process.

    I’d be happy to tip more if it could be made cashless, as virtually everything else at the hotel already is.

    I don’t mean to be heartless here, just realistic.

  13. “Well Anna,” the first commenter replied, “we are not in Europe, and unless the American capitalist government is overthrown, it is up to each of us to help those who make less than the rest of us.”

    That’s so ironic, as the commenter is thinking along lines which are basically socialist.

    In a capitalist system, I contract for goods and services and pay for the contracted price. Of course, I may elect to pay more, but there’s little incentive to do so with housekeepers I’m never gonna see again in my life.

    And in a capitalist system, housekeepers are able to choose whether to contract for a certain (admittedly, low) wage or not. If they don’t like their wage or their tips, they’re free to do something else.

  14. Of course housekeeping should be tipped! Daily! They have to pick up your ick…what you’ve left in the toilet, what you’ve left on the bed. the curly hairs in your shower. Ew. That’s worth a whole lot more than minimum wage and if you don’t think so, consider having to clean a stranger’s toilet after they’ve made a mess, or their shower or bed after they’ve….well, you know.

    As for not having money…words to live by…;-)
    https://yourmileagemayvary.net/2018/09/09/one-important-thing-to-bring-when-traveling-in-the-u-s/

  15. So, the reason to tip Housekeeping at hotels is really not for good service (all housekeepers are trained to a specific standard) but to support the hotels in their stance for under paying employees. We are validating the hotel position that they can get away with paying poor wages and people will not care and support this position. Would it be better to use the might of Social Media to “persuade” hotels to end the practice?

  16. As a European living in the US, tipping still does not come naturally to me especially in hotels. Some people here say that cleaning should be priced in the room rate, but I would say that EVERYTHING should be priced in the room rate when it comes to service. Like it is in many parts of the world. I mean if we add everything up between the different persons that need to be tipped, it’s just like an absurd added daily cost.
    And the whole carrying cash problem is so true. Most of the time landing in a foreign country, all I’m thinking of is getting to my room and sleep. Not going to the ATM so I can tip everyone and their mother.
    At the end of the day I tip, because I have to, but it’s always such an inconvenience. And I agree that hotels in the US and everywhere in the world should pay their staff so they don’t have to rely on tips.

  17. … or these massive hotel chains can stop being so cheap and pay their workers livable wages? I get that in a more boutique setting it could make sense as the hotels bottom line will be on a much thinner margins, but this whole tipping culture that exists in America is insane.

  18. This is why I take vacation in Japan every year. Yes, the cost in Japan is not exactly cheap, but you can expect the highest standard of service without tipping. Each one of them takes pride in what they do.

  19. I do tip hotel cleaning staff. I hit the bank and get $200 in 5’s and keep it in my backpack. When the money is almost gone I replenish my stack of 5’s. I’m often rewarded with sincere thank you notes and extra room amenities (bottles of water and extra shampoo, etc). I’m happy to do it.

  20. Long time reader and I would like to offer my 2-cents. Currently I work as housekeeping manager in NYC and I had the opportunity to attend some union meetings regarding wages. In NYC unionized housekeepers make a decent living wage (between $22-$25 per hour on a 40 hour week). Even with the high cost of living in NY is ok – better than some retail jobs, Starbucks or fast food restaurants. That being said the hotel operators and the union never factor tips to negotiate raises simply because tipping in housekeeping is very inconsistent and impossible to track. Tipping is optional. Tipping is to thank them for the hard work. Even if you are not a messy guest is a nice gesture. When I travel overseas I try to tip because I know a couple of dollars can make a difference and can put a smile on someone’s face.

  21. Let’s say you travel for work… Tipping in a context where it will be reflected on a receipt that can be expensed (like restaurant, ride share, etc) makes perfect sense. But arbitrary cash tips just can’t be expensed – there’s no category for “housekeeping cash tip” anywhere when I go to submit an expense report. So does this mean I should have to pay out of pocket for cash tips to hotel staff during work travels? That doesn’t seem very reasonable. In cases where tipping is expected, there will be a way to apply it to an itemized receipt, if there isn’t, then there’s really no expectation for a tip.

  22. I tip $2-5 a day for housekeeping and don’t tip anyone else at hotels, since I normally don’t use anyone else’s services. I am certain that housekeeping staff will put that money to better use (feed their children) than me (buy another drink).

    The whole system in the US is rotten. Minimum wage should be a living wage.

    @Jasper – what you describe as capitalism, is what civilized countries went through in the 19th century. It is high time the US caught up.

  23. As someone who stays 75+ nights in a year , sorry , do not tip housekeeping UNLESS I did something in the room that caused them to do something above and beyond.

    Tipping causes uneven pay for workers doing a similar job at the hotel, as someone may have me in the room – zero, and someone may have someone who listens to the union that represents these workers and tips $30/day

    How about making hotels pay their workers a living wage, maybe take it out the resort fee instead of saying my resort fee goes towards my use of the business center or $10 credit to the spa

  24. The tipping culture in the US is absolutely out of control. I refuse to tip anyone except at sit down restaurants or a bartender.

  25. I always tip but the amount I tip depends on the room I have. Sometimes I get upgraded to very luxurious suites which can be over two thousand square feet. I tip more when that happens because I’m getting a great deal and it takes a lot of effort to clean such a large suite. Other times, I just leave like a $5 in the bed and request housekeeping to leave extra lotion and/or bottle water when they clean. I often get several bottle water from them which is a lot cheaper than buying from minibars.

  26. This is but a subset of the real issue.

    Lucky states, “Not tipping housekeeping is inconsistent with the rest of our tipping culture.” I would not use that logic as an admirable benchmark for behavior.

    I’m seeing an excess of tip jars, credit card prompters, and even people asking if I want to tip. What idiot thinks I’m going to tip for a take out order! The waiter won’t be serving me and I doubt the cook gets any part of it. Starbucks wants me to tip on a $5 coffee. I don’t patronize Starbucks but if one feels $5 coffee is a necessary need I suppose they can afford to tip… but pricetag rarely has a correlation to the service even when it is warranted. It’s no more service bringing me steak and lobster than it is for my chicken sandwich.

    I’m not boycotting all tipping but I understand the Millenials that have said to hell with it all.

  27. NO!

    No tips for a normal regular service that is expected and already included in the rate.

    If I make a huge mess, or something that requires doing extra work, I tip.

    Tipping is for going above and beyond.

  28. Probably not a good excuse but cash is my biggest issue. If there were an option when checking out of the hotel or in the app to tip housekeeping I would. However, I almost never keep any cash on me and when I do it’s large bills – I almost never have 5’s or 10’s.

  29. Lucky, do you have anything to back up the claim:

    “There’s no denying that hotels in the US are largely to blame for the need to tip people performing basic functions. They largely don’t pay their employees a living wage, so that leaves it up to guests to subsidize their income.”

    What is a “living wage” in your view? Is minimum wage not good enough? If minimum wage not good enough, then why don’t we just go ahead and hand out money to *everyone* getting paid minimum wage, not only those in service industry. Then tell me if your definition of the so called “living wage” has changed. Also don’t think that raising the “minimum wage” will reduce the wealth gap. Everyone getting paid the same isn’t going to help anyone. Might as well go live in North Korea.

    It’s easy to blame “big corporations” to morally feel good about yourself, in keeping with the liberal simpletons. The tipping advocates pretty much self invented the solutions to problems that never existed.

  30. Because I do a lot of work out my hotel room, I really don’t want to be disturbed or bothered to dodge them with trying to time my sleep or work to their cleaning schedule. So I ask them at check in to just bring by fresh towels and empty the trash each day and I tip them each day to basically not interrupt work or sleep and not do any real cleaning. I tip everyone, even the bartender in the Admiral’s Club who gives me my free cocktail. And since I travel to the same places, using the same airlines, hubs, lounges, hotels, restaurants etc people remember me and seem glad to see me again. Makes the trips easier and more pleasant.

  31. Upon reading the words “livable wage”, I knew this post was not going to be based in economic reality.

    It’d be comical to read the blogs once the hoteliers bump prices, cut staff, install automation, and dissolve loyalty programs to pay the few remaining employees “a livable wage.”

  32. @Jack is right.

    Stop enabling the system! If no one tips, then people not getting a living wage will leave these jobs and go elsewhere. That will force the hotels to pay appropriately. I do not need a guilt trip just to enable a for-profit business to maximize their dividends to their shareholders.

    That said, if I somehow make a bigger mess, then I will tip as I do agree there are limits to what we should expect staff to clean up. I usually keep my room very tidy.

  33. I’m from the UK and $10.80 is about the minimum wage here (it’s less if you are under 25), and it’s what workers like cleaners will often earn. It’s not a good wage but many have to try to live on it. I certainly don’t agree with the idea that ” you should tip in the US but not elsewhere” ideology.

    I personally do tip a housekeeper, and waiting staff at a restaurant, in all countries. Having said that, I do find the tip culture in the US frustrating. On the flip side, customer service tends to be better for it.

  34. I usually accumulate coins in change over my stay so I leave it in the hotel room. Win win. Housekeeping gets tipped and I don’t take home coins that are useless to me back home.

  35. @Fernando

    So right. In Japan they are insulted as they expect that they will, of course, provide the highest level of service. I just came back from a 2.5 week trip and loved it. Not cheap, but 100% worth it.

    And also, I rarely carry cash anyway and will not do so simply for this inane purpose.

  36. This is the problem mostly created by the Americans because of the tipping culture. Same issue as tipping waiters at restaurants. Why should we pay the salary for the employers? They need to pay enough to their staff even if that means they need to increase the room rate or food price on the menu.

  37. I am not going to change anyone’s mind, but wanted to chime in and say that I agree with Lucky 100%. Whether I tip or not effects the housekeeper, not the hotel. I wish they made a living wage. I can vote for candidates that support increasing the minimum wage. However, as of now, in the US they don’t. Therefore I always tip.

  38. 15% to 20% for Room service? That is after the device charge of another 15% – 20% and a delivery fee? I usually give room service $5 extra after the mandatory tip, but lately just use Uber eats for whatever city I’m in.

  39. Paying tips to workers that do not receive “livable wage” is the biggest hypocrisy I can ever imagine. Every single cent paid this way is preventing the abused workers from a justice treatment: earning what they are supposed to earn from the employers. If employers do not pay enough, then there should be industry actions against it to fix the situation, instead of letting the consumers make such moral judgments. Paying tips simply makes you feel better while leaving the guilty remained at large.

  40. If we need to tip for every aspecting of being in a hotel, then what is the room rate for? ESP since hotels are now charging you a resort or destination fee?

    When I’m paying for a hotel, I expect the service and amenity to be included in the rate. Hotels can say parking requires a fee. It is basically now saying that there’s a fee to use the pool, shuttle, etc as part of the resort fee. But if I’m paying for the shuttle service, why should I pay more in the form of a tip?

  41. Lucky,
    to your quote: “There’s no denying that hotels in the US are largely to blame for the need to tip people performing basic functions. They largely don’t pay their employees a living wage” –

    have you ever heard of supply and demand?
    why do you think the hotels can get away with paying so little? if nobody took these low paying jobs, then perhaps the hotels would raise pay to entice some takers or else they might lose some business. but apparently right now there are a lot of takers for this pay.
    if you decide to disregard supply and demand and just mandate hotels to pay more to their housekeepers – well, your room rate would go up to make up for that. so one way or another you would pay, except with tips at least you pay (or don’t pay) voluntarily
    that being said, I myself am not a fan of tips. I don’t think people should be tipped just for doing their job, and also find the need to carry various bills in different denominations annoying and inconvenient.

  42. I tip at hotels now that I travel with my family. We are flat out tough on hotels, especially our youngest. So many bags of toddler stuff the bellhop needs two carts, towels everywhere and diapers in the bathroom trash can for housekeeping, grapes under the table for the breakfast waiter, makeshift physics experiments abandoned in the lazy river for the maintenance staff, puke smell in the rental car for the valets, and God forbid the resort has a golf cart because certain members of my crew are gonna jump on that thing and want a ride (destination unimportant). I don’t see that level of high maintenance as included in the room rate, and I appreciate hotel employees going above and beyond for us. So I tip. Not always perfect execution, but I tip at hotels.

  43. As someone who has been in hospitality for over 30 years and worked in housekeeping in my early career, I always Tip. And I agree with @Tania on everything she says. I work for a major chain in San Francisco and we are Union and pay a fair wage. Starting wage is in the mid $20 per hour, plus housekeepers can pick up additional rooms, above their standard of 13 rooms per day, for extra money. The work of a housekeeper is the hardest physical job in a hotel. And they do work hard. I have to disagree with anyone who says if a housekeeper is getting tips allows the hotel to pay less. This just isn’t the case. Even in a non-Union house. The amount is just too inconsistent. Should you feel obligated? Absolutely not. But I have gotten extras and treated better when I do tip.

  44. I typically don’t want housekeeping, especially on a short stay (1-3 nights), so there’s no “whether to tip or not” dilemma for me. I usually parked at the hotel as my airport parking since it’s much cheaper, and I tipped the shuttle driver.

    I do want to say that tipping has become an entitlement in the US, no matter it’s at restaurants or hotels. So I do not have a “must tip” attitude. If I receive bad services, why do I want to tip, or award bad services? If I receive a wonderful service, above and beyond, I’d tip higher than normal.

  45. I know people work as housekeeping lady, at many hotels often tips don’t go to the cleaning lady but the person who checks the room. When front desk advise them a guess is leaving to check the room to ensure nothing is damage and when that person sees a tip guess what……not everyone but it has happened.

  46. The janitors at your office building work just hard or harder as hotel housekeepers and probably get paid less. Why aren’t we tipping them?

  47. What a heated topic.

    I tip a few dollars a day. I think those few dollars are probably pretty helpful, and always appreciated by the housekeeper. You can argue that they should be better paid, but so should everyone else you tip without thinking about it.

    I’m happy to help someone out that’s hardworking and a little less fortunate than me.

  48. I’m an American, but haven’t lived in the US since 2012. Whenever I come back it seems more and more tips are being psychologically co-oerced out of people… housekeeping, the Uber driver, coffee shops where you order and pick up at the counter, fast food restaurants… Yes it’s baked in you’re on the hook to tip waiters, food delivery, haircut, car wash (and vallet… but I avoid that extortion like the plague) in the US but I’d hold the line on those and not let this balloon any further. Does that make me a cheap person? Perhaps… but I’m not tipping the dentist, doctor, pharmacist, cable guy, guy at the AT&T store, supermarket check out, person I pay inside the gas station to put $20 on 2 so at this point it’s arbitrary. I’ll avoid a business completely if I feel like I’m being strong armed.

  49. @PH: I travel all the time for work, and routinely get reimbursed for cash tips to housekeeping. It’s a standard business expense – think you need to have a conversation with your accounting department.

    In general – I am happy to tip 2 bucks a night to housekeeping in the U.S. They are at least performing a service I can’t do for myself.

    I won’t tip bellhops, doormen, etc – I can carry my own bag, and get my own uber/taxi, thank you. Bellhops aren’t a service – they are an annoyance.

  50. First of all, tipping is ridiculous. Second, in US, the law is specifically stated, if tipping ( to certain level ) is expected, an employer can pay the worker less than minimum wage. In other words, if we start to form a custom to tip a service in a regular consistent way, the employer can start to pay less! Is this what you expected?

    I say NOT tip at all except special situations that require more work than usual. Do not give employer excuse to pay less. Obvious that is for works currently not considered as a tip receiving work( at least not consistent as the law stated) ; for something like waiting tables in restaurant, the custom is already there and we have to follow.

  51. @Lu “an employer can pay the worker less than minimum wage” Absolutely not true. DoL requires that you be able to show verifiable tips to add up to the minimum wage. As this is nearly impossible we need to pay the minimum as a base wage. Also, I have 82 employees, 26 are delivery people who get tips, we start tipped employees at minimum wage and increase from there because in this market you can not hire anyone for less. Our min wage is 7.25, drivers get that plus tips plus mileage, adding up to $15 plus per hour. Non tipped start at $10, average of $12, the market is tight, no one is getting minimum wage unless they are a high school student (even then rarely). Full time range from mid 30’s up to mid 70’s, and some of those started at minimum and showed up, did their jobs and got got consistently promoted.

  52. Dear Lucky,

    When I have been in a country outside my Euro currency zone (where I more commonly use cards but for convenience still always like to have some cash), the coins are usually surplus to requirments after my stay, so I always leave some on the hotel desk before checkout, usually next to the notepad.

    Give some other coins to the taxi driver taking you to the airport, even if you pay via app they tend to appreciate some immediate cash.

  53. “Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping?”
    No, you certainly should not.

    Since I don’t use the pool, gym, local phone in the room, read the newspaper or use the hotel Internet, the hotel is welcome to use the destination/resort fee to tip my specific housekeeping staff member if they so choose.

  54. The whole tipping culture is unfair. What about office cleaners, hosipital and assisted living house keepers and city bus drivers? Do they get tips? I am sure many of them are not well compensated or at a living wage. They have to clean hospital beds and deal with nasty passengers (occasionally deadly). Why we only tip workers in the certain industries? I think the tipping culture is unfair.

  55. I find myself to be in a similar situation as yourself, Ben.

    I try to usually tip in the range of $1-5, but often find that I don’t carry enough cash.

    I think it’s frustrating that the industry has driven this to become somewhat of a hidden cost.
    I would much rather the hotels paid their employees enough, and include the cost upfront in reservations (and yes, I would also love to see this for resort fees, etc.).

  56. At most hotels worldwide I typically leave some small tip (~$2 per day) to housekeepers, unless it is not customary and offensive (like in Japan).
    I don’t support the whole tipping dis-culture because I find it degratory to people. Any worker should be doing the job it took for the wage agreed upon with employer, and not seeking extra compensation for work already paid for (this is proper capitalism, and not the tipping; tipping is a grey market).
    Recently stayed at so-called “cashless” resort in Mexico, but was literally asked for tips several times by valets and bell service – although paid daily for valet parking, so I refused. It’s mostly Americans who impose tipping on other population who otherwise will ask for better wages, not relying on American dis-culture and sometimes total ignorance of local customs.
    If in USA tipping will be reduced to minimum, the salaries of certain professions will improve. Companies should implement more bonuses to the non-management employees based on overall performance, not to CEOs and share-holders who don’t do most of the hard work to keep businesses profitable. Wage inequality is at the core of this tipping debate.

  57. The majority of these comments start with “if the hotel paid their employee a liveable wage”. First off, define livable wage. You can’t, because it’s different for every city/country and every single person’s lifestyle. Second, why would someone making a liveable wage prevent them from expecting a tip? Do any of you know that captains at Michelin starred restaurants somtimes make 6 figures? But you still tip 20% right? The more I travel, the more I dislike tipping. But in the US, it’s the norm and it’s not going away for awhile or ever. Some foreign coutries have caught on to tipping because of US tourists. It’s a few bucks that could make a difference in whether someone makes their rent that month. Whether you think it’s the establishments responsibility or whatever to pay living wages, pony up a few bucks. It means a lot to the employee and is a generous thing to do.

  58. If you’re a business traveler staying at a hotel in the U.S. just leave a few bucks, you can afford it. Jesus.

  59. No general opinion, it’sd a personal thing and depends on the circumstances BUT:

    IF you are going to tip, PLEASE give tips at the beginning of your stay. You will thus reap the benefits of your generosity during your stay (chambermaids, extra soap, extra water etc… wasn’t there a long post about in room water some time ago) the following days.

    I do not know anything more ridiculous than tipping when one leaves, when of course there is nothing to gain for it. And for the beneficiaries, when you tip makes no difference at all.

  60. I am American. And I love my country, but we’re full of contradictions. Honestly, if you make less than x, you get a bunch of discounts/freebies. Especially in NYC, where someone can occupy a 2 bdrm apt for 500 bucks months in the same building as another 2 bdrm cost over a million dollars, and an additional 2k a month in coop/condo fees. Supplements in food. Healthcare discounts. Education discounts. Endless perks. Leaves almost no incentive to get out of the system!

    QUESTION: That said, I have an honest question. Is this post to say we should be tipping housekeeping in the US/other countries where tipping is customary, but not in countries where tipping is not-customary? I really am asking…

  61. What’s next? When you buy a car, you send an envelope with cash to the factory to tip the workers who assembled your car? When you buy fruit, do you send tip to the people who picked it on the field in California? (they probably make less than the people who clean your hotel room)

  62. I was solidly in the no tipping category when I was younger and broke. Covering the hotel cost was tough enough. As I got more established in my career I started staying at hotels where more and more tipping was expected (i.e. had bell & doormen, room service delivery and built in tips etc).
    I undertook an experiment over a number of stays where I did and did not tip the cleaning staff. Outside of a hotel stay in Cuba, I have never received a “benefit” of tipping. No extra towels, bottled water or a thank you. In Cuba it was over the top how appreciative the cleaners were.

    This makes me wonder if the tip is actually appreciated or expected by cleaners. I’m now solidly in the “depends” category now. If my family or I have gone above & beyond in messing up the room or something then I tip. If the housekeeping is poor quality (my favorite is when I have to call the front desk and request cleaning or towel refresh at supper time because no one showed up to clean my room) I don’t bother.

    Also, if people are tipping the doorman $1 a cab, those guys at the big casinos in Vegas must make a fortune in singles!

  63. I never tip housekeeping.

    As a side note americans have a bad habit of tipping everyone. In my country the only ones that receive tips are the bag handlers.

    NYC is the hell of tipping. Try to leave a taxi in JFK without a tip to the driver….I did and it was a mess.

  64. @Nikki…

    Follow your own rules then!!!!! You just contradicted yourself in your first sentence alone.

  65. In the US, I do try to leave a small tip for housekeeping. They are underpaid by employers who think it’s acceptable business practice to cheap out on their employees and leave it to the guests to make up the difference.

    I do draw the line with International properties who usually have a 10% plus “service charge” or room service where there is already a tip and delivery charge added. I only hope these monies actually go to the help!

  66. Why tip people for doing their job ? Only in the US as pay is so poor and service workers get paid c**p and rely on tips
    However , there is an expectation in the US that if a cab driver takes you to your destination, a waiter serves your meal and a bar tender your drink they deserve a tip. Why ?
    Housekeeping is there to do a job so why tip ?

    To many it’s offensive to expect a tip

    In London most companies add a weighting allowance due to the cost of living

  67. My first extended hotel stay in NYC I was saving quarters for the laundromat. I left them on the desk in my room ($2 worth) and came back one day to find them “stolen”. I think it took me 2 days to realise housekeeping thought I’d left a tip.

    IMO hotel tipping is one of the reasons Airbnb, VRBO, etc are now so popular and my preferred choice of accommodation. The price I pay is the price I pay. No resort fee, tipping, etc.

  68. Whilst I appreciate the US culture of tipping and usually tip bell boys, wait staff etc, it does appear to have become so widespread now that everyone expects a tip regardless of their job or their pay rate. Some everyday items in big cities and resorts are now so expensive that frankly I have stopped consuming and that’s before you add on the tip. The proliferation of resort fees in both cities and resorts plus city and state taxes is making the actual cost almost as much as the room charge in some instances which is out and out greed (or would that be rip off). And thats before some of us have to lose money on the exchange rate, making the whole experience exorbitant whether it be for business or leisure.

  69. I’m one of those housekeepers let me tell you about some of the people oh excuse me perfect slobs that take 3 hours to clean up after, that don’t tip. I do 6 rooms a day with full kitchens 3 bathrooms 3 bedrooms with 2 queen beds in each and one king. Plus dining room and living area. Cleaning tips are not included in cleaning up after pigs. If you vacation you should include the tip just like you go out to eat. I did it. That’s what vaction is to take care of you and your mess ! $10. an hour is what I get paid guess what I get after taxes. Guess what I get if you don’t tip me for cleaning up after you every day? About $8.an hour x7 a day. Now i have to pay for gas to get to work every day and clean your mess. Even if you don’t make a big mess ! You should still tip because it’s the same check out clean up no different. Strip beds wash down bathrooms clean kitchen and so forth. I hope i gave you a good picture of my work for the day. I do appreciate those tips they might pay for my car repair or may be my phone or food for the day. Thank you in advance.

  70. Hate this tipping culture developed in the USA. 1. Let hotels reduce rates and maybe there’d be some opening for foreigners tipping 2. I don’t get tipped for doing my job even though I think I’m worth more

  71. Tipping is the wrong thing to do.

    It allows employers to underpay employees.

    It does not reward very important workers, such as those who perform maintenance, take the trash out, and so on.

    It is plagued with sexism and racism (Google it — some very good studies show it).

    Bottom line: EVERYONE should be paid fairly; we know that those in “tipped professions” they often don’t even earn minimum wage.

  72. People should stop tipping for the sake of tipping. It creates an unfair environment where customer facing service staff serving a wealthy clientele earns a lot in tips despite not working any harder or providing better service than non customer facing service staff and those serving non wealthy clients.

  73. A big NO to tipping. Why should ANYBODY be paid extra for doing their job?? My boss sure did not pay me extra for doing my job. Their salary from their employer should not have anything to do with tipping!

  74. So if you don’t have cash to pay the tip, would you be in favor of a $20ish resort fee-like surcharge being added to your hotel bill daily specifically to cover all gratuities for the people you may or may not have interacted with at the hotel? Similar to what cruise ships might employ when you sail with them.

  75. In the US, outside of restaurant waiters (who are often paid far below minimum wage by employers in expectation of declaring tips as income) there is no reason to tip anyone offering a necessary service.

    Tipping as a concept is purely an Anglo-American concept designed to help those with $ feel good about themselves. Think about the high roller walking into a casino stuffing 100$ bills into the hands of everyone he meets. This absurdity grows exponentially in third world countries.

    I used to fall victim to the same self-promotion in India. After dinner one time with friends, I left the equivalent of a 20% tip on the table in rupees. The waitstaff were so freaked out they wouldn’t even touch the cash and called the manager.

    I much prefer the European system of including a service charge at restaurants. Indian 5 star hotels have the best system of leaving it up to the guest to submit an envelope at checkout with cash and the names of any excellent employees (whether they get it or not is another story!!). Employees during the stay are not allowed to accept any cash. Makes life way more enjoyable for all parties.

  76. Yes, you should leave a tip for housekeeping. There might be an exception if you have received poor housekeeping service. They don’t make much money, and regardless of whether the hotel pays them above minimum wage or not, any guest who spends $100 or $250 (or 40,000 points) a night for a room can spare $1 or $2 a day as a courtesy.

    “The problem is that I sometimes don’t have cash, and that’s something I need to get better about.” B.S. If you don’t have a few one-dollar bills in your wallet, it takes less than 5 minutes to go to the reception desk and ask them to break a $5 (or a $10). Easy, peasy.

  77. @LukeVader In my experience, it’s not always that easy peasy to get change at the front desk of a hotel. I have been rejected multiple times. In Florida a few months ago, while checking out early, I ended up having to ask the bellhop to split the bill I had with the valet as he thought appropriate because the front desk had ‘no cash’ and the gift shop was closed. (As noted above, we tip because my family is a handful in hotels.)

  78. I would not tip in countries or regions where it is not customary. Yet, when I do, it is for very good, exceptional service. Those places outside of the US appreciate it more so. The Americans just expect it from you and no appreciation whatsoever. Tipping is not mandatory. It is optional based on how good the service was. If it is great and you want to tip, go ahead. If it sucks, the wait staff should get nothing in terms of tips. I do not even say thank you in those situations, because no service provided except for a nasty attitude.

    It is so true now that there is this mentality now in your head where you feel compelled to tip at every stop simply out of guilt. Yes, I have heard stories from those wait staff who demand tips from you even if the service sucks or they deemed it to be insufficient.

    There are those waitstaff who make more than you and me. I have heard about those in the industry at high end steak restaurants making thousands of US dollars a night (just a few hours) and yeah not all of them report their earnings truthfully. Tip for excellent service and only tip if you really want to tip knowing that your money will be appreciated by the waitstaff. For those that provided good services, they would be the ones more likely to really say thank you.

    On a side note, I have left thank you notes on those feedback forms and believe me they are most appreciated. I have received emails back from management or the appropriate department letting me know that the feedback will be used to thank the housekeeping staff. That person will be recognized and possibly rewarded by management or boss.

  79. One note about Marriott no longer putting tipping envelopes in rooms as stated in the story… Uh, that’s not true. As someone who says 100+ nights a year with them, I can’t remember the last room I was in (regardless of brand) that didn’t have a tip envelope in it.

  80. I don’t get it. If you stay 4 days at a hotel, do you really need housekeeping to clean up your room each day? Do you change your towels and bed sheets at home everyday? I doubt it. So why the hotel towels and sheets need to be changed everyday? I just leave the do not disturb sign on the door and let the room be. I leave the trash bag tied up outside the door if needed. On the last day, I tidy up the room a bit before I leave so housekeeping can gather everything in one swoop instead of hunting around for every last towel and piece of trash. That’s good enough to help them.

  81. Wow; what a response to this topic. I will tip when housekeeping has done something special above and beyond and whenI can give the gratuity to the housekeeper in person. otherwise, as many have already stated it’s part of the basic room charge.

    What bothers me is that hotels are more than willing to add resort/amenity/whatever fees to your bill for basically nothing, but they won’t pay their housekeeping staff a reasonable wage and then suggest/expect the guests to subsidize the hotel. They ought to be ashamed.

  82. Ben,

    You are making way too much money from this blog. Stop you capitalist ways and give 80% of the money you make to those who aren’t making a living wage.

  83. The AHLA tipping wish-list is crap. Do they expect you to be digging into your pocket every three steps you take in their establishments? Pay your employees a decent wage already, you blood-suckers!!!
    Housekeeping is allocated a strict maximum time to do a room, and it is a super basic spruce-up, nothing more. Even generous tipping is not gonna produce an outstanding do-over, or any amenities over the standard. The more stars, the more this applies.

  84. No tipping here. If they’re not being paid enough off the room rates then the hotel needs to raise prices or thev housekeepers need to find a better job/acquire a more specialized skill.

    I own a business and it’s on me to staff it and pay my staff appropriately. The same goes for a hotel.

  85. “I want to do my small part to make things better”

    No, I don’t agree what you are doing makes things better for the long term, for either the service provider or the customer.

  86. Why not write clearly this is about US only?

    It is an absurd habit and I so not participate in it.

  87. YES! If you can’t afford s few bucks a day, maybe you should stay in a cheaper hotel.

  88. Obviously allot of you don’t realize just how hard it is to clean 30 plus rooms in one day the hotel expects check out to be only 30 min and stay overs 15 min and I don’t think you realize that allot of the quality hotels have very high standards to meet and when people leave big messes ie shaving and getting it all over the floor sink and counter it takes some time to get all of it removed, or when they don’t seem to know what a trash can is for, or they stain the bedding house keeepers are the back bone of the hotel and the lowest wage

  89. I leave $2-3 a day when in the US but at the end of my stay along with most of the loose change I have accumulated.

    Didn’t realise I was supposed to leave it every day!

    I don’t tip anyone else though in hotels as I can carry my own bags and hail a taxi myself etc

    One thing I did notice in New York earlier this year that the ‘suggested’ “l% on restaurant checks had come down so the minimum was 15% when it was 18 % before. Perhaps they realised tip inflation wasn’t working plus the new minimum wage had been implemented so prices had already gone up to cover that.

  90. It won’t be long before any occupation in USA demanded tipping. Tip a police officer if they caught a thief. Tip TSA after they scanned your carry-on. Tip FA after they served you food. Tip blogger after they wrote a story.

  91. @Pauls98~ I bet you do get lots of ‘sincere thanks’ as you pass out $5 bills where a $1 would do! You just don’t hear the ‘sucker!’ they are thinking…

  92. @ Maria Ignatia Guidice says: April 12, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    ” I’m one of those housekeepers let me tell you about some of the people oh excuse me perfect slobs that take 3 hours to clean up after, that don’t tip”. Cleaning tips are not included in cleaning up after pigs”

    Have you ever had a room took you just minutes to clean? I am sure you have so are you saying you should give back some of your salaries. Everything is two way street. No? This is what I called entitlement from you.

    ” $10. an hour is what I get paid guess what I get after taxes. Guess what I get if you don’t tip me for cleaning up after you every day? About $8.an hour x7 a day. Now i have to pay for gas to get to work every day and clean your mess. Even if you don’t make a big mess ! You should still tip because it’s the same check out clean up no different”

    Then you should find another job, if not, you are the only one to blame for staying at your job and continue to complain with entitlement.

  93. A tip is given when someone does something extra to deserve it.

    A wage is agreed upon between the employee and the employer,

    In truth, none if us makes enough, we all spent more than we make, buying more than we need.

  94. @Jo145
    You are kidding right? Airbnbs pretty much universally have cleaning fees/service fees as well.

  95. As the owner of a bed and breakfast, I can tell you that most of us don’t even pay ourselves. The short term rental business is making it terribly hard to compete, as we are taxed on lodging, food, liquor, cleaning and supplies, whereas they are only taxed on lodging. Their cleaning expenses are pulled out and not taxed. I pay my help as much as I can afford and we are both grateful for every dollar left for exceptional care. It is not a great job for anyone to have their hands in all of that mess. My entire adult life, I have shown gratitude to any worker who had to clean up after my personal space. I know that those few extra dollars each day makes her feel better about the job she does and also means that I have a better chance of retaining her. In the days she is sick, I scramble to clean rooms by myself and any tip left is saved for her. I never want her to think her work is worth any less than a guest she is cleaning up after. Just my two cents from the other side.

  96. Here’s a simple solution. Let’s all stop tipping period. The workers might then fight for their rights and I would support them 100% if they decide to walk out and strike. However, I understand that this is really not a simple solution. They really do not make enough to survive during a walk out.
    What bothers me most is when the ALHA suggest guidelines. Why don’t they suggest pay guidelines to the employers so we are not stuck with this mess?
    But for me it really gets down to why do I have to tip someone so that they will do their job? Japan is a great example of wonderful service in a non-tipping society. It should be that way everywhere!

  97. Anyone reading this blog is relatively well-off as poor people don’t have time to make a game out of credit card and frequent flier points. It’s amazing to me that so many people are so seemingly offended by the idea of tipping an amount of money that means literally nothing to you for someone that cleans your room and likely makes no money. And then wrapping it up in some sort of “if we all don’t tip, the system will change!” type of argument.

    Wow.

  98. I always tip housekeeping $5 a day. It rewards them for a job well done and ensures that I have fresh towels, toiletries, etc. it’s a win-win situation.

  99. I just stayed at a 3 star hotel for 2 weeks and on the very last day I left $20 tip in the room. I only got service every other day.
    I tip the parking attendant $5 once in a while.
    Just stayed at another hotel for a week and left $2.85. I dunno.
    I know I should tip.

  100. @D3KingAmerican. Your room tipping represents $1.50/day. You did that all wrong, as the same maid might not do your room every day; someone else may have pocketed your $20. Better to leave $1-2 each day.
    The $2.85 tip would have been best not left at all IMO.

    @Phil~ You are right about your barber, but unfortunately he would be tipped by nearly all his other customers, so hard to get away from. 10% would seem appropriate. I’m guessing it’s not a luxe salon with pretentions where a $150 haircut is common.

  101. @ PH @ Bob
    I travel for work 80% of the time, staying in hotels almost every week.
    My company explicitly states in travel policy, that housekeeping tips will NOT be reimbursed.
    Based on tipping rates, I would be paying $1,500 a year out of pocket, for housekeeping tips alone.
    Sorry, but I only tip when on vacation with the family. Otherwise, I try to keep things clean and organized in my room.

  102. I ALWAYS tip housekeeping, everywhere in the world, unless it’s considered an insult to do so (eg in Japan). They have the worst job in the whole hotel, IMO. I NEVER EVER tip porters, who have by far the easiest job in the hotel. I generally travel with carryons only but I still get a lot of porters who wanna grab your hand carry luggage from you and then get your name and bring it up to your room 30 minutes later. $5 per bag????! For 2 minutes of work? No f**king way. I’d give the money to the housekeeping staff instead any day!!!
    Also, porters are invariably male and housekeepers are disproportionately female. $5 for 2 minutes of work for the guys and $1 for 30 minutes of work for the gals. Wow, that sounds fair, doesn’t it???!?!

  103. And certain hotels earn a fortune in revenue and charge thousands for suites and employ mostly immigrants who can barely afford to live from month to month Why? Because the hotels can do as the US has some of the worst employment laws in the industrialised world
    Trump would know this and encourage it
    If you are in the service industry you should give good service and not only because you expect a tip
    If you are office based do you get tips from customers ?
    As some contributors have mentioned , go to Japan and see what service is

  104. Actually, continuing to tip just encourages hotels not to give their employees livable wages. It’s up to the them to stand up for themselves and demand better money.

    I myself, only tip when I get extraordinary service or staff goes out of their way.

  105. Honestly , do any of you tippers actually know how much each person at a hotel is paid? And do you know what a checkout person is paid in Walmart or Macy’s? And do those people make any more or less difference to your life experience?
    The whole issue of tipping is a gigantic scam perpetuated by big business in America, not by the government and not by the workers, because only a tiny percentage of low paid workers are tipped.
    If you really want to have a fair system, stop tipping. Stop using hotel chains that are know to pay their staff inadequately. And stop shopping where unfair conditions are known to be offered. And stop visiting California and Texas where so many illegal immigrants are paid , basically slave wages because they have no recourse.

  106. Sick of the US tipping culture as a foreigner living in the US for 7 years. I always hit the no tipping button on screen whenever I can and refuse to tip whenever I’m not getting or asking for anything above and beyond with the exception of a sit-down restaurant or bartenders who really makes me a drink. Nobody tips me for doing my job and I didn’t find tipping made the customer service I got better, so nope, I’m not sorry for not tipping.

  107. Tiping is supposed to be a rating of service, an appreciation of a service. It is not intended to make up someone’s wage. Also minimum and living wage do absolutely nothing. A living wage would only help in the lowest mean income cities of the US. The waves living wage would do nothing in a city like New York.

  108. @Bails From Oz – of course it is the fault of big business but not tipping isn’t going to actually do anything except make a poor person’s day already shittier.

  109. @Chase, yes the person that can receive tips may take home less money, because you don’t tip. But by perpetuating tipping, you are preventing all those other poorly paid people not in the public eye, from taking home a fair payment for their efforts.

    Tipping seems to be a way for some people to cleanse their conscience of having to deal with unfair payment practices in the US. It only helps a tiny minority, and the best way to help everyone is to lobby your congress person to fix an inherently unfair system.

  110. Lucky do you actually know why tipping came into being? You seem like you don’t.

    It came about in the American Depression, when businesses were almost going under because they couldn’t afford to pay staff their wages and so customers paid a tip to help everyone out. Now it has grown into an excuse to be paid for poor shabby service.

    Tipping is only a thing in the U.S. You are all offending people by tipping outside the U.S.

  111. The people who deserve a good tip are massage therapists who do a great job. I tip well, like $25 for a $65 hour massage. It actually makes sense to tip well here for repeat good service in the future.

  112. @ Susan Hampshire — Tipping in the West started long before that (at least as far back as European aristocracy in the middle ages). In fact, the anti-tipping sentiment in Europe came about after wealthy Americans imported the tradition in the 1850s, and the eventual backlash (basically all the arguments against tipping made in the comments here) spread back to Europe.

    Tipping wasn’t popular in the U.S., but ultimately persisted because of slavery. Northern industrialists (especially Pullman and other railroad operators) would “hire” black workers, but not actually commit to paying them, leaving them to rely on tips. After the Civil War, the practice spread throughout the South as well, particularly in menial positions as servants, porters, and restaurant workers, contributing to an environment where black Americans were effectively still working for $0 — just now with the chance of a tip.

    There was a little bit of pushback, with several states banning tipping (though, much like prostitution, the recipient of the tip was deemed to be the one committing an illegal action, not the underpaying employer or the contributing customer). Due to heavy lobbying, all of these laws were repealed or declared unconstitutional by 1926. The practice did indeed spread to white Americans after 1926, including during the Depression, but not out of any sense of collective goodwill — it was legal for businesses to underpay workers, so obviously they did.

    The minimum wage laws established in 1938 codified the practice of allowing tips to be considered part of a wage, and so here we are. Only seven states require that tipped workers be paid the full state minimum wage before tips, and tipped workers are disproportionately people of color (and particularly women). Studies have also shown that white restaurant workers receive higher tips, irrespective of perceived service performance or the race of the customer, so there’s a lot more to unpack there.

    tl;dr — Tipping in the U.S. is part of the charming legacy of slavery and institutionalized racism in this country, and has always been a way for employers to avoid paying their staff directly, and has been particularly harmful to marginalized populations with few alternative options.

    So your conclusion isn’t wrong, but it seemed like you might enjoy knowing about the actual history.

  113. They should consider allowing tips on the credit card bill, like restaurants. I’m a business traveler, and don’t get reimbursed if I tip with cash. However, if I can add the tip to the hotel bill, I will more likely do it. (like at restaurants).

    Tipping in cash so the recipients can avoid taxes seems wrong to me.

  114. If you tip you are the problem. Instead, take a stand dont do your current routine of hiding — only use hotels that pay properly. If you believe this is a problem you can do something about it that does is fairly easy.

  115. @ Chase

    But how does tipping at the beginning of your stay make you a less decent person than tipping at the end? You’ll have to explain that one to me…

  116. @Traveller

    How do you find out which hotels and chains do pay decent wages and ideally don’t force their staff to do daily unpaid ‘extras’ eg clean hallways etc? Hotels that treat their staff well would appeal to me.

  117. I haven’t had to confront this dilemma, as my only hotel stays in the US are for work (lucky enough to stay with friends when visiting US cities) – and I’ll usually opt for the option where you get extra points and forego housekeeping. (I’m barely in the room, so it also makes sense.) I also tote my own bags, hail my own cabs, etc.

    This is partly because I don’t feel a need to get help with everything, but also because I don’t carry cash and would rather not ‘stiff’ someone on tips. I will get room service especially if I arrive into a city late, but typically the nicer hotels now tack on a service charge automatically – which the lady or gentleman delivering my meal has almost always had the integrity to point out themselves. I will confirm with them that they in fact get the service charge (they do) and not the hotel, and that’s usually that. If not, or if they were particularly helpful, the great thing about room service is, it’s on the room/charged to a card – you can easily write in a tip, not have to carry cash.

    My leisure travel the last 10 years has entirely been to Western Europe, Australia, or New Zealand – non-tipping countries where a couple of extra dollars really isn’t going to make a difference.

    On a complete side note, I don’t understand the recent hatred of capitalism and love-in with socialism in this country. My family immigrated from a socialist country – it is not some wonderful cure all that social media would have you believe. Pretty much without exception, socialist systems cause economic regression if implemented over any protracted period of time. When your GDP contracts, unless your population is falling much faster, life gets worse. That’s a certainty.

    Capitalist (or rather, free-market) systems (and we don’t entirely live in either in the US right now), consistently generate economic growth. When your GDP grows at a healthy clip, unless population growth outpaces it, life should get better. It hasn’t here recently, because of too much concentration in the top sectors of economic growth. (Tech, with the FAANGs buying up startups.). Fewer employers means less wage competition, which leads to companies keeping more of that economic growth vs. it being spread to workers for their increased productivity. With the wave of mergers/ consolidations, this behavior is true in other sectors as well.

    The answer here is a bit of anti-trust legislation and enforcement to increase wage competition and increase wages. Not to go socialist. Socialist systems have incredibly low rates of start-up formation, little in the way of small business, and no opportunity for social mobility/ improvement, etc. They are slow, stagnant, decline spirals. This may sound nice if “no one is rich/elite”, but there are still elites in socialist countries – the politicians who are good at talking fast and confusing people with words. (And good at nothing else.). It’s a nice easy ride for them. At least a tech elite, as out of touch as they are, had to learn a programming language and develop some software or build a device, or create a service or do SOMETHING to get their riches.

  118. I always tip housekeeping if in USA or in low wages country.

    A couple a years ago I left a 1 dollars tip on the end of the bed In Chicago area, after returning to room later on, housekeeping left a hand written appreciations note – they forced me to double down on the tip with that note :).

    Some days ago I left 1 € on the end of the bed in Bratislava, upon return my kids stuffed animal where arranged in two lines between the pillowcases, so every time we left the room they insisted on leaving a tip 🙂

  119. I am genuinely confused, as I really had never heard of tipping housekeepers before this post and it’s not something I have ever done when travelling in the US (or anywhere).

    Is this a recent trend, in which case it fits with the general spread of tipping in the US to every conceivable service position?

    I agree it’s inconsistent to tip doormen and waiters but not housekeepers, yet it’s not something I have ever come across before, and I personally have a big problem being asked to tip staff with whom I may never have an interaction. Where does this end? Shall we be given envelopes to tip the cooks in the kitchen? How about the gardeners/landscapers? Tipping is inconsistent and unfair in all forms (witness restaurants where waiters/waitresses reap the benefits while line cooks and busboys often get nothing).

    I generally consider myself a good tipper (try to tip at airport lounges for example even when drinks are free) but this is a step too far. I think hotels clearly need to pay better wages. Unfortunately, it’s simply not practical to expect guests to leave cash tips on a daily basis (I almost never use cash when travelling anyway) and a hotel that encouraged me to do so would be one I never visit again, safely assuming the refuse to pay their staff decent wages.

  120. I generally tip depending on whether I have left a mess. If I’m just traveling by myself, and all I did was use the restroom and lay on the bed, I feel sort of silly leaving a tip. Like, what am I tipping for? I didn’t need any extra service. It almost feels like when you drive to a restaurant to pick up a carry out order, and there is a spot for a tip. At that point, it just feels like a donation.

    Also, for those who advocate using the government to set the price of labor for hotel staff above their market value, know that while your conscience may feel better, it will lead to myriad unintended consequences, including layoffs and service reductions.

  121. I also despise this tipping culture. Sorry, for me it almost feel like a light form of prostitution, in which people are forced to serve fake smiles in order to get a few bucks. Also, if tipping is to be compulsory, it should be included in the price. I understand that people in the losing end of this equation can do little to avoid this, and that’s why I do tip reasonably. Nevertheless, I still prefer the Japanese approach, where good service is a starting point and not something you must pay extra to enjoy.

  122. Nope, regardless of the argument, tipping is NOT, and will NEVER be my thing. Hence, I always decline housekeeping, especially when I am staying for 1 or 2 nights. If I am “forced” to tip, I will tip only what’s minimum, in addition to a bitter look on my face (oh, don’t worry; this bitter look will be free-of-charge, by the way)

  123. I only tip when I have to. Let staff and management work out what’s a fair wage. I’m not an economist

  124. Politiics? Economics? LOL! How about personal choice and being the person you want to be remembered as and not making others responsible for your choice? In short I don’t tip becaue “I should” or am obligated” or need to ensure that the service provider has a living wage– I have no control over that and my tip or non-tip will not change that.

    — I tip because:
    I appreciate good service (regardless of which country I am in)
    I can, I won’t go hungry, broke, or put my pending retirement at risk by doing so; it’s just a few bucks that are just as easily wasted at a Starbucks or some other establishment where I chose to consume something I don’t really ‘need’– and dont think twice about while doing so (so why put the same effort in leaving a few bucks for someone else?)
    I like the idea– true or not– that it might make that person’s day a little better- because afterall their sevice did that for me (if I have no value for their ‘alleged service’, then of course there is no point in tipping — again I do not do this out of “obligation”– no one “should”)
    I do this reguarly, not because I am not rich, but nor am I broke, just because I am gratefuI for the service that was given to me and have the ability to do so.

  125. Yes @Sean, I guess your travels in Western Europe have taken you to Sweden, and other Scandinavian “socialist’ hellholes! All those happy well-off inhabitants; makes you pine for the sharp divide of ‘us and them’ in the ol’ US of A, as long as you’re in the ‘us’ group of course…

  126. Please dont be one of those people who go into a country with absolutely no tipping culture and start importing US standards of tipping. I hate it when i go to a country and people we ho do not normally receive tips have their hand out just because i am American. I think tipping is a horrible thing and would rather us businesses increase their prices and pay higher wages than expecting me to pay their staff. Dont spread this tipping nonsense to the rest of the world it just enables employers to justify paying smaller salaries.

  127. One exception though when i am in a country with no tipping culture and i get assistance that i deem well beyond the normal guest request i will tip to show appreciation fir their assistance if they go above and beyond.

  128. @chase – Agree with you 100%. The system is wildly imperfect and should be changed but until then anyone reading this blog (who are, let’s face it, part of a pretty fortunate group) can afford to leave a few dollars.

  129. @Zach – yes Airbnb, et al do have cleaning costs – but it’s stated in the upfront price. I don’t arrive at an apartment to find I’m going to be charged an additional daily “resort fee” and am expected to leave a house cleaning tip, doorman tip etc. As I said, the price I pay is the price I pay.

  130. Housekeeping job is toughest job in hotel industry the truth s they spend 30 mints to clean the room and toilet unfortunately but he/she never get tips.all hard work done in room by housekeeping staff but only Bellboy who bring luggage he will grab all tips .

  131. Tipping the front desk, concierge, or room service is just stupid. I do think you should tip hotel housekeeping on the day of your checkout though, because there are different cleaning standards on a checkout room. It’s alot of work and unless you’re in vegas,san fran,or ny you’re most definitely getting paid minimum wage….

  132. I’ve literally never heard of anyone tipping housekeeping staff in hotels outside of party destinations like Vegas… A little absurd if you ask me.

  133. The point is: you see bellboy’s face when He is doing his job and you rarely see the housekeeping staff’s face. And sometimes the staff that works one Day is not the one that will clean up your rom tomorrow; so if you leave a tip on your room Who will take it?

  134. I hate tipping. About the only thing I can tolerate tipping is waitresses at sit down restaurants and hairdressers even though I think that too is ridiculous. Everything seems to require a tip nowadays. Not only that, but I don’t walk around with $50 in singles to be ready throw a tip at whoever happens to have been doing the job in my vicinity.

    All I know is I’ve done some really menial jobs in my life for shit pay and I’ve never once gotten a tip.

  135. If your luggage is taken from the taxi, through hotel reception and arrives in your room even before you do, all without any interaction from you, I feel like tipping for a much appreciated seamless service.
    On the other hand, if it takes 30 minutes, don’t feel like it quite so much.

  136. Honestly!
    Anyone who can tip should tip. If you have no cash on you, and your account is valid, go to the lobby and find an ATM. Tell the person to come back for the tip and tell them why. They would appreciate it more knowing that you will go this extra step. Regardless of what they make, they deserve it. I don’t work in this industry. In fact, I’m a regular customer who is always on the move. So no vested interest.

  137. I never tip housekeeping unless I’m on vacation. Not on business trips. Why? I admit I have no idea, it’s just the way I roll.

    Seperately, I’ve always had a sore spot about hotel doormen who set up the traffic circle so only they can hail a cab for you (as a tip scam). I don’t need their assistance – I have arms and hands and I know how to whistle. Fortunately Uber and Lyft have largely removed this problem.

    A final thought – when your Uber or Lyft pulls up to your hotel, ask him/her to wait until you’re behidn the car before they pop the truck. That was you don’t have to deal with a greedy doorman who grabs for your bag before you get out, then starts walkign inside so you have to tip him.

  138. If you want to tip your housekeeper, you need to tip them directly because speaking from experience and asking a housekeeper today what happens 99% of the time is that the housekeeping supervisor will enter the rooms prior to the general housekeeping staff and scoop the tip.
    I use to work as a housekeeper and I almost never received tips unless on the off chance I entered the room directly after a guest checked out. With all this housekeeping chitter chatter going on recently I asked a housekeeper and she said the same thing happens to her all the time. Never leave a tip in the room! If you feel it nessasary tip your housekeeper directly but don’t feel obligated housekeepers are NOT minimum wage workers.

  139. “And sometimes the staff that works one Day is not the one that will clean up your rom tomorrow; so if you leave a tip on your room Who will take it?”—–
    I would suggest leaving a tip on the day you checkout cuz the housekeeper who gets your room that day has to clean it much more thoroughly so a new guest can be checked into ot.

  140. Wtf o.O Please speak just for yourself my fellow Americans…

    The amount of tip these blogs are recommending are just ridiculous. Honestly I don’t see any reason why I should grant these employees a higher hourly wage than I have myself. They didn’t need to study for their job so why should it be paid well?

    I can’t pay like 50 $ or € per day just for tips (housekeeping, restaurant, luggage…).

    How much are you guys earning? I’m significantly above average in Germany and these numbers seem just ridiculous to me.
    To me this article feels like this question to billionaires to see if they are still related to normal people:
    “How much is a pack of milk?”
    “I don’t know, maybe 15€?”

  141. I think this article primarily applies to hotels that are in the US because personally speaking unless there was a very special incident or an incident that required extra attention or care I would not tip outside of the United States where tips are included. Furthermore, I think it also depends on the duration of my stay. If I am not a regular guest and it’s just a night or two then this is different.

  142. I don’t get tipped for literally risking my life at my job. You don’t get tipped for changing my sheets.

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