Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping? How Much?

Should You Tip Hotel Housekeeping? How Much?

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The topic of tipping hotel housekeeping can be surprisingly controversial. You have some people who believe housekeeping should be tipped, others who believe housekeeping shouldn’t be tipped, and plenty of people who just aren’t sure what’s expected.

In this post I wanted to lay out the arguments on both sides, share my take on tipping, and share general tips on how much you should tip (if you choose to do so).

The argument for tipping hotel housekeeping

Many people believe that it’s appropriate to tip hotel housekeeping. The logic is as follows:

  • Housekeepers are generally the hardest working and among the lowest paid people in hotels
  • Not only do they work the hardest, but they arguably have the most disgusting jobs, having to clean up some messy situations
  • Housekeepers provide customer service, just like hotel concierges, hotel bell staff, or hotel bar and restaurant workers; just because you don’t interact with them doesn’t mean they aren’t serving you
  • Tipping hotel housekeeping isn’t an endorsement of the practice of the cost of labor being passed off from hotel owners to guests, but rather is an acknowledgement of these people being underpaid and hard working
Hotel housekeepers work really hard

The argument against tipping hotel housekeeping

Many people believe that it’s not necessary to tip hotel housekeeping. The logic is as follows:

  • When you book a hotel you’re paying for a clean room, and that’s what housekeeping provides, so that should be a given
  • It’s not the job of hotel guests to subsidize the salaries of housekeepers, and hotels should just pay them better wages
  • The tipping culture in the United States is terrible, and enough is enough
  • Hotels have cut back housekeeping services, blaming it on the pandemic, and we shouldn’t reward this behavior
  • We’ve seen hotel company CEOs suggest that hotel guests should simply tip more to subsidize wages, so why would we support this practice?
  • For some people it’s a matter of “out of sight, out of mind,” as it’s not that they’re not trying to tip, but rather they don’t even think about it
Aren’t you paying for a clean room when you book a hotel?

My stance on tipping hotel housekeeping

Personally I very much believe in tipping hotel housekeeping, at least in the United States, which has a general culture of tipping for good customer service (I don’t find it as necessary in other countries, where housekeepers may earn fairer wages, but I play it by ear).

Now, just to be clear:

  • Do I like the tipping culture in the United States? Nope…
  • Do I wish hotel housekeeping were paid better wages so I wouldn’t feel compelled to tip? Absolutely…
  • Am I frustrated by the concept of “giving in” to greedy hotel owners who don’t want to pay for their staff? I sure am…
  • Do I think hotel housekeepers have the hardest and most thankless jobs in hotels? Yep…
  • Am I going to punish these hardworking employees who largely have a thankless job just because the system sucks? Nope…

I believe in the “live and let live” ideology, so if I have cash on me, I always try to leave a few dollars per day for some of the hardest working people in a hotel. I’m fortunate that a few dollars won’t make a material difference in my financial situation, while I know it can go a long way for many of the people working in hotels.

I also think that housekeepers get the short end of the straw of our tipping culture. Whether you like it or not, in the United States there’s an expectation that you tip a taxi driver just for doing their job without them providing any sort of extra service for you. If they should get a tip for not going out of their way, those who work as hard as housekeepers should as well, in my opinion.

Now, I have to admit, I’m not perfect about tipping. I tip hotel housekeeping whenever I can, but the issue is that I sometimes don’t have any cash on me, which can make it hard to tip.

I tip hotel housekeeping when I have cash

What percent of hotel guests tip housekeeping?

A 2017 New York Times story that interviewed hotel housekeepers indicated that about 30% of guests tipped. I’m not sure if that number has changed as a result of the pandemic, but that’s one of the few concrete numbers I’ve seen regarding tipping.

On the one hand, it’s my understanding that hotel guests have started to tip more during the pandemic. On the other hand, housekeeping services have been drastically cut back, decreasing the opportunities for housekeepers to be tipped.

One thing is for sure — tipping is the exception, rather than the norm. As one housekeeper described it, sometimes they’ll go days without receiving a tip, and even a $2-3 tip makes them happy, because it means someone appreciates what they’re doing and thought about them.

Over the years we’ve seen some hotels introduce initiatives to try to encourage tipping, either directly or indirectly. For example, several years back Marriott had envelopes with the housekeeper’s name, intended for leaving a tip. These ended up being discontinued, as guests apparently found them to be tacky.

Marriott had housekeeping tipping envelopes a few years back

Other hotels have subtly introduced other initiatives to at least let you know who cleaned your room. For example, some hotels have “thank you” notes that the housekeeper leaves with their name on them. Presumably it’s intended to remind you that there’s a real human cleaning your room.

A note at a Hyatt Place hotel

How much should you tip hotel housekeeping?

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (ALHA) recommends tipping hotel housekeeping $1-5 per night. If you’re going to tip, ideally:

  • Leave it nightly, since someone different could be cleaning your room every day
  • Make it obvious that it’s a tip and not just money lying around, since you don’t want a housekeeper to be accused of theft; personally I always leave a tip with a short thank you note

Personally I generally leave around $5 per night when I have it (I tip on the higher end of the scale because I often don’t have cash to tip, so hopefully that at least partly makes up for the times that I don’t tip). I’ll also tip a bit extra if the room is especially messy (though that doesn’t happen often).

A housekeeping tip of a few dollars can go a long way

Bottom line

Tipping hotel housekeeping can be a surprisingly controversial topic. I see both sides — ideally housekeepers would be paid good wages so that I wouldn’t feel like I needed to subsidize them. At the same time, they’re generally not paid particularly well, they work really hard, they deal with disgusting situations, and they draw the short end of the tipping stick because they’re “out of sight.”

Personally I think it’s appropriate to tip $3-5 per night for hotel housekeeping when you have cash on you. And if you tip, make sure you make it obvious that it’s a tip, and not that it’s just money lying around. That being said, tipping hotel housekeeping isn’t expected, in the sense that a majority of people don’t tip.

Where do you stand on tipping hotel housekeepers?

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  1. Doug

    I think people should never leave their house without a bag full of cash, so they can tip every person they meet who is not a billionaire. For example, last time I went out to dinner, I took a bag with about a million dollars in cash so.I can tip.all the staff: the waitress, the chef, the busboy, the dishwasher, etc. After I ate my overcooked stake,, I paid my bill and split my cash...

    I think people should never leave their house without a bag full of cash, so they can tip every person they meet who is not a billionaire. For example, last time I went out to dinner, I took a bag with about a million dollars in cash so.I can tip.all the staff: the waitress, the chef, the busboy, the dishwasher, etc. After I ate my overcooked stake,, I paid my bill and split my cash among all the staff at the restaurant. On the way out I just realized that I had no more cash left to tip the valet, so I told him to keep my lamborghini. I can always buy another one! I had to take an uber to get home. If everybody did what I did, there would be no more poverty in the world!

  2. Bagoly

    And for the benefit of Americans travelling in Europe (I don't know about Asia)
    US English: Housekeeper = British English: Chambermaid
    British English: Housekeeper = US English: Housekeeping Manager

    1. BF

      As a Brit I can say I don't think anyone in the UK calls them "chambermaids". Maybe back in the 19th century..

  3. Cosmoguy

    I always tip housekeeping. Period. These people have a tough job and very little pay. I always leave a note along with the tip...every day...thanking them. And I almost always receive a little extra coffee...extra lotion, etc. Last year, after a stay in Honolulu, the ladies left me a note thanking me for my "kindness and generosity" and personally signed it. $5.00 a day is very little to part with when you're spending $$$ on a vacation.

    1. Holly

      Exactly! People who don't tip deserve to have the worst happen to them and their families. I pray for this daily. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Bill

    I tip when in countries where tipping is customary. I will not tip in countries where they do not have tipping as I believe it sets a horrible precedent. I don't care if it is a western hotel chain. I hate when hotel staff looks at me expecting a tip just because I am from the US when people in their own and other countries would never tip in the same situation.

    I also...

    I tip when in countries where tipping is customary. I will not tip in countries where they do not have tipping as I believe it sets a horrible precedent. I don't care if it is a western hotel chain. I hate when hotel staff looks at me expecting a tip just because I am from the US when people in their own and other countries would never tip in the same situation.

    I also don't necessarily see the need to tip when somebody opts out of housekeeping services all together though. I think people should tip on the higher end if they are contacting housekeeping for extra towels or whatever or if they make the room a mess.

  5. ConnGator

    I generally tip $10/night. It is not that much to me, but probably a huge amount for the cleaning staff. It's just the right thing to do.

    1. Holly

      That's nice. But $25 is really the appropriate minimum. $10 is just insulting. An extra $15 is not gonna break you.

    2. CK

      True, I figure $100 a night is minimum, anything else is cheap

    3. Bob

      $500 a week is bare minimum.
      After all it's not that much to you, so you say on the internet.

    4. BF

      $500 a week is insulting Bob. $500 a night minimum.

  6. Bf

    Assuming tipping exists primarily(solely?) as a way to incentivize good customer service then I don't really see the argument for tipping housekeeping. Their job is fairly binary in that they clean a room. You don't really tip them to encourage better service. I don't agree that housekeeping is "customer service".

    Tipping people because they have a hard or poorly paid job is a nice gesture but it is not imo the reason tipping exists...

    Assuming tipping exists primarily(solely?) as a way to incentivize good customer service then I don't really see the argument for tipping housekeeping. Their job is fairly binary in that they clean a room. You don't really tip them to encourage better service. I don't agree that housekeeping is "customer service".

    Tipping people because they have a hard or poorly paid job is a nice gesture but it is not imo the reason tipping exists and it could arguably be hurting them more in the long run as it discourages their managers from paying them a proper wage.

    In short,, I think the arguments you are making for tipping housekeeping are extremely weak.

    It is of course a nice gesture to give money to people just because they need it more than you do but I think you could easily make the argument that that is charity, not tipping.

  7. Grey

    I feel like the people that are being tipped in tipping culture are so arbitrary. You don't tip cabin crew serving you a full meal and bringing you limitless drinks in turbulence, but you do tip a barkeep for pouring you a pint. You don't tip the pilot who takes you from London to Singapore, but you do tip the shuttle bus driver who took you 500 metres from the airport to the hotel. You...

    I feel like the people that are being tipped in tipping culture are so arbitrary. You don't tip cabin crew serving you a full meal and bringing you limitless drinks in turbulence, but you do tip a barkeep for pouring you a pint. You don't tip the pilot who takes you from London to Singapore, but you do tip the shuttle bus driver who took you 500 metres from the airport to the hotel. You don't tip your nurses who literally keep you alive in hospital, but you do tip the hairdresser who gave you your haircut. You don't tip the bus driver or the train operator or any of the many cleaners who keep these and other public spaces clean, but then you tip the starbucks employee for putting a muffin in a bag and handing it to you.

    If I felt the need to tip every underpaid person whose services I appreciate, I would be spending every minute of the day handing out money. I just feel like every argument that is used here for tipping hotel housekeeping could be applied to people I am sure you have never even considered tipping and so I question how much of this is actually about sticking to some alleged values and how much is just about stroking your ego and wanting to feel like you are a good person.

  8. Abuelinho

    Will be great If you and the community help creating a world guide "how to tip in..." !!!

    Always it's hard to know how to tip in restaurants, door man, bell boy, Maid, Chauffeurs, tour guides, concierge, pool concierge, butler, valet parking, etc, etc.

    1. Bob

      How to tip in ....

      USA: everyone regardless
      World: only for good service

  9. Justin

    I work at an s&p 500 sized company and they reimburse us $2 per night for housekeeping tips. I hope this is the norm. We just list it on our expense report.

  10. Holly

    To all the selfish people on the comment section that don't tip, I pray the worst happen to you and your family. How selfish you can be to not show kindness to the help? Most of them are uneducated immigrants, the least we can do is to spare some cash their way. When you are in the superior section of the society, you need to do your part. Otherwise please go back to where you...

    To all the selfish people on the comment section that don't tip, I pray the worst happen to you and your family. How selfish you can be to not show kindness to the help? Most of them are uneducated immigrants, the least we can do is to spare some cash their way. When you are in the superior section of the society, you need to do your part. Otherwise please go back to where you came from of a lower evolved culture with no tipping. Thankfully America's tipping culture is spreading to other parts of the world.

    1. stogieguy7

      Wow Holly, wishing death on those who don't tip. How very Christian of you.

    2. Bill

      Wow Holly you really are a despicable person.

    3. kimshep

      Er, Holly .. you need to learn a thing or two about life in other countries.

      "Otherwise please go back to where you came from of a lower evolved culture with no tipping."

      How fundamentally ignorant and judgemental you are. I happen to live in an evolved culture where tipping is NOT the norm - purely and simply because we pay our people a decent living wage. That country is Australia.

      What you ignore...

      Er, Holly .. you need to learn a thing or two about life in other countries.

      "Otherwise please go back to where you came from of a lower evolved culture with no tipping."

      How fundamentally ignorant and judgemental you are. I happen to live in an evolved culture where tipping is NOT the norm - purely and simply because we pay our people a decent living wage. That country is Australia.

      What you ignore is the fact that US chain hotels are multi-BILLION dollar enterprises that are simply passing off the cost of labour to the general public. This is no different to the US restaurant industry, where people are universally poorly paid for the same reason. It is the responsibility of the Marriotts, Hyatts and Hilton's of the world to pay their workers an appropriate living wage, not yours or mine.

      Tipping in the USA is clearly out of control. During the 70-80's, it was 10-12%, then rose to 15%, then to 18%, then to 20%, now it seems to be 25% or more. Ultimately, the greed of employers will end up causing the general public in the USA to stop using restaurant services. Further, such greed alienates international travellers who in many countries are not used to having their hands in their pockets all the time. So, what happens when all the servers and housekeepers lose their jobs, just because employers refuse to pay an adequate wage? The industry they are part of will fail - and adopt another model.

      The only way to counteract such employment practices in the USA is to legislate practical living wages for all - just as California and some other states are doing. I am sure you are a 'good' person and have people's best interests at heart - but don't try and 'guilt' everyone else into your particular mentality. Take the problem head on, do something about it that is meaningful. Whilst you might drop a few dollars to the maid or server, what about the bus-boy/girl who still gets nothing?

    4. Holly

      kimshep - don't tell me what I do or don't know. Don't comment on a US based blog about how your country is more evolved. USA is the greatest country on earth and you need to go back to where you came from. If no tipping or your so called fair wage is such a good system, how come the economy of your country is nothing compared to us? Good bye.

    5. Doug

      Holly, you are right, US is the greatest country on earth, but it would be an even better country without idiots like you!

    6. kimshep

      Holly,

      I love your imperious "don't tell me what" retort. Rational and reasoned discussion is obviously beyond what appears to be your self-bestowed 'sense of entitlement'.
      I now appreciate why you allege that you leave such unreasonably large 'tips':
      1) your sense of self-importance is so great that you are an absolute pain to deal with at every level
      2) you see money and control of people as being completely and universally...

      Holly,

      I love your imperious "don't tell me what" retort. Rational and reasoned discussion is obviously beyond what appears to be your self-bestowed 'sense of entitlement'.
      I now appreciate why you allege that you leave such unreasonably large 'tips':
      1) your sense of self-importance is so great that you are an absolute pain to deal with at every level
      2) you see money and control of people as being completely and universally interchangeable.
      Thank you for your gracious parting "good bye". My life will continue without interaction from you. My biggest take-away from your response is that you have poor comprehension skills and that rational thought is a *new* concept. It has been a pleasure,

    7. Holly

      Kinship - you sound exactly like a leftist. Keep your mask on and enjoy the loss of your freedom

    8. kimshep

      Leftist? That would be the category for people that care about other people and their rights, wouldn't it Holly?
      What happened to your 'leftist' attitude of displaying your magnanimous charitable attitude, aimed at helping all those poor 'uneducated immigrants' (your words) OR did you fall out of the "superior section of society" (also your words) and feel you no longer need to 'do your part'?
      Miss Scartlett you ain't ~ so do the...

      Leftist? That would be the category for people that care about other people and their rights, wouldn't it Holly?
      What happened to your 'leftist' attitude of displaying your magnanimous charitable attitude, aimed at helping all those poor 'uneducated immigrants' (your words) OR did you fall out of the "superior section of society" (also your words) and feel you no longer need to 'do your part'?
      Miss Scartlett you ain't ~ so do the readers here a favour and drop the offensive, trumpian superiority complex. Subtlety is something you fail to comprehend. which is evidenced by subsequent comments here by others taking the p*$$ out of you. Sadly, it has gone over your (over-inflated) head. I won't be replying further to you - there are more important things to do, so enjoy your opportunity to have the last word. I'm sure you'll love that.

    9. Holly

      Awe are you upset? You are the one who keeps spending energy to reply to me. Thanks I’ll enjoy my last word, liberal! And how dare you speak poorly my president!

    10. BF

      @Holly. Your argument is that people who are in the "superior section of society" should spread or share their wealth to those who need it more. I actually agree with the sentiment 100%. I just don't think tipping is the way to do this. I think higher taxes on people who can afford to pay more so that more services and benefits can be given to those who need it, like "uneducated immigrants".

      This seems...

      @Holly. Your argument is that people who are in the "superior section of society" should spread or share their wealth to those who need it more. I actually agree with the sentiment 100%. I just don't think tipping is the way to do this. I think higher taxes on people who can afford to pay more so that more services and benefits can be given to those who need it, like "uneducated immigrants".

      This seems a much fairer way to share one's wealth evenly. That way all people on low paying jobs where they can barely put food on the table benefit, not just those in the customer service industry.

      I assume based on how strongly you feel on this subject that you agree with higher taxes on the rich to help the poor? Like they do in Europe and elsewhere. Much better system than selective tipping.

  11. Ben

    I read some people here claiming to tip 10 dollars a night. Have you no shame? There are people working very hard in the jobs they agreed to take while being paid just the money they knew they would get for it before accepting the job and you think 10 dollars will do? I tip at least 50 dollars to everyone that I interact with, in and outside a hotel no matter if they are staff or just random people. Per word spoken. Manners guys! Manners.

    1. Holly

      Agree. Although I think $50-$100 is appropriate for higher end hotels, and a minimum $25 per night for select service hotels. If I'm staying in a large suites in a luxury property, I tip about $200 a night.

    2. Bob

      $1000 for housekeeping.
      Crisp $100 bill for the bag helper.

      Taxis I always round up to the nearest $100.

      Anything less and you're just cheap.

    3. BF

      Ben $50? have you no shame. $100 minimum.

  12. stogieguy7

    Yes, I usually tip housekeepers - generally $1-2 per day. However, I also try to help them by keeping my mess as organized as possible. Not leaving trash strewn about. Leaving the towels in a single pile. Basically, trying not to be a jerk.

    In other tipping news: I usually tip Uber or taxi drivers (unless they're nasty in some way). I will tip the shuttle bus driver if he is particularly helpful in...

    Yes, I usually tip housekeepers - generally $1-2 per day. However, I also try to help them by keeping my mess as organized as possible. Not leaving trash strewn about. Leaving the towels in a single pile. Basically, trying not to be a jerk.

    In other tipping news: I usually tip Uber or taxi drivers (unless they're nasty in some way). I will tip the shuttle bus driver if he is particularly helpful in some way. I will NOT leave a tip for take out food. For the most part, I agree that the tipping culture sucks and too many people expect you to tip for too many things. But I also try to help out those who work hardest and need it most.

  13. ann

    Of course you tip....

    Stupid ignorant Americans spreading the tipping disease around the world...

    1. Holly

      Then please go back to where you came from. Other parts of the world need to adapt to this superior culture of tipping. It's rewarding people of good services.

    2. Ann

      Dont worry I have no interest in visiting the covid infested land of the free anytime soon.

      Keep you superior culture that pays hotel workers below poverty wages.

    3. Holly

      Ann - enjoy lockdowns and no freedom, sheep! We don't want you on this blog.

  14. LAX

    No.

    Maybe if I made some sort of extraordinary mess, but otherwise just no.

    You’re paying for a hotel room that includes cleaning. It’s not some additional service you’ve requested.

  15. WW

    Nowadays when almost all transactions are done electronically, how do you guys manage to have change every day? Are there magical ATMs giving out $1 / $5 bills?

  16. Adrian

    I always tip... In the US/Canada, I always tip $5 per night and if I am upgraded to a suite, I tip $10 per night. In Hong Kong, I have been tipping HKD$100 per night because Covid really hits many of these low wage workers hard. That's the least I can do. In Europe, I still tip despite knowing their better benefits and wages. There have been occasions when the housekeepers did not keep the...

    I always tip... In the US/Canada, I always tip $5 per night and if I am upgraded to a suite, I tip $10 per night. In Hong Kong, I have been tipping HKD$100 per night because Covid really hits many of these low wage workers hard. That's the least I can do. In Europe, I still tip despite knowing their better benefits and wages. There have been occasions when the housekeepers did not keep the tip especially in Japan but I still leave the tip because it is the least we can do. In an ideal world, we don't need to tip but the world that we are living in now especially during Covid times is far from being equal and ideal. A little bit of kindness will go a long way.

    1. VML

      ummm in Japan, a 'tip' is literally an insult. It implies the individual cannot provide for themselves/family without charity and is an insult/loss of face. An attitude that desperately needs to spread to the US where, instead, the message is to ingratiate yourself for money.

    2. AW

      And how many of those insulted people don't take the money because the insult is too great to bear. My guess--0.0%.

    3. Holly

      Then that Japanese culture is toxic. People getting rewarded for good services should be the superior culture which is what we have. They need to evolve.

  17. Adam Simmons

    "United States, which has a general culture of tipping for good customer service." I have found that employees expect a tip however good, bad or indifferent the service is! It's a game I refuse to play and have have stand-up rows with waiting staff who have provided poor service (most memorably in a Thai restaurant in DC).

  18. Tom

    I tip also in Europe, if the service is fine for me (because also in Europe cleaning staff does not earn the best money). But I agree, the tipping culture in US is awful, you are forced to tip

  19. Endre

    Quote: Tipping hotel housekeeping isn’t an endorsement of the practice of the cost of labor being passed off from hotel owners to guests, but rather is an acknowledgement of these people being underpaid and hard working — you contradict yourself.

    1. Gerard

      Endorsement is not the same as acknowledgement.

  20. Blaz

    I will always remember how shocked I was when the air pilot that flew us from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon asked for tips as we departed. So, do I assume he was on minimum wage or what? Who do you tip and how much is fair? Just pay a decent wage and take the guilt from the public and place it where it belongs. Tipping should always be optional just as a "bonus" is.

  21. NSL

    I also believe in tipping housekeeping, though I would prefer the hotels would pay housekeepers far better than they pay at this time. I always tip despite always leaving my room in good order. I don't think that leaving the room in good order should diminish the tip as they are still vacuuming, emptying the trash, cleaning surfaces in the room and cleaning the bathroom. I leave a note in my room to please not...

    I also believe in tipping housekeeping, though I would prefer the hotels would pay housekeepers far better than they pay at this time. I always tip despite always leaving my room in good order. I don't think that leaving the room in good order should diminish the tip as they are still vacuuming, emptying the trash, cleaning surfaces in the room and cleaning the bathroom. I leave a note in my room to please not touch my toilet articles in the bathroom. If they ignore that, then I typically diminish, but not eliminate the tip, but I do leave another note about that the next day. If they do a lousy job, then I may eliminate the tip.

    Right now, however, I won't nightly tip because most hotels don't provide much housekeeping. I tip the following day of getting housekeeping, at this point, but that's it. I've also begun to avoid most hotels that aren't providing a minimum of daily housekeeping including trash removal and bathroom cleaning.

    1. Saint82

      I go regularly to a beach resort in Spain. I’ve been staying in the same beachfront hotel for years. I tip the housekeeping and restaurant staff well. What do I get back for my small token of good will, besides feeling good about it? A. I get my same favorite room year after year. B. They give me a direct discount rate considerably below that on the web. C. When I stay out to late...

      I go regularly to a beach resort in Spain. I’ve been staying in the same beachfront hotel for years. I tip the housekeeping and restaurant staff well. What do I get back for my small token of good will, besides feeling good about it? A. I get my same favorite room year after year. B. They give me a direct discount rate considerably below that on the web. C. When I stay out to late and get up past regular housekeeping hours, my room is always cleaned. D. When there’s a line outside of the sidewalk cafe particularly during Spanish lunch or dinner hours, I never have to wait. They squeeze me in. E. They never require a room deposit or cancellation fee from me.

      From the way I see it, I get wonderful value for my small good will. What goes around, comes around.

    2. Blaz

      Well then, of course you will tip them. You effectively get a discount that equates to your tip (or even better) ..you basically have an "understanding". However, imagine if the staff were just paid more fairly, then everyone could benefit from an improved service.

  22. schar

    one of the few times im happy im not an american....this insane tipping culture

    1. AW

      It's crazy and Covid has made it even worse.

  23. JetSetGo

    I always tip. Tipping amount depending on the room/suite size. If I get upgraded to a nice suite, I tip extra since it takes awhile to clean. I remember when I stayed at Wynn in Vegas few years ago, I stayed in a regular room and tipped $5 daily. I asked for extra bottle of water on a notepad and I got 5 extra bottles when I came back. A lot cheaper than buying it...

    I always tip. Tipping amount depending on the room/suite size. If I get upgraded to a nice suite, I tip extra since it takes awhile to clean. I remember when I stayed at Wynn in Vegas few years ago, I stayed in a regular room and tipped $5 daily. I asked for extra bottle of water on a notepad and I got 5 extra bottles when I came back. A lot cheaper than buying it somewhere else…. Or minimally I didn’t have to haul it back from CVS/ Walgreens. Water can get heavy after walking those loooong Vegas blocks.

  24. Steve

    Generally, I tip housekeeping when I need something extra - if I have left my room particularly messy, if I had late check-out, and may have screwed up their timing. Those would be the two best examples. There are definitely times that I will not tip....like if I have the "do not disturb" sign on my door and they decide to knock, anyway. That could result in a note and the mention that this is where their gratuity would have been left.

  25. Ray

    I always tip. If it is a one night stay, I only leave $2 because I leave the room exactly as I first arrived other than sheets, towels, and soap. (add trash can needs to be dumped) On multiple night stays, I leave $4 per night and leave it every morning when I leave the room. When I first started traveling I would leave at the end of my stay but then realized whoever was...

    I always tip. If it is a one night stay, I only leave $2 because I leave the room exactly as I first arrived other than sheets, towels, and soap. (add trash can needs to be dumped) On multiple night stays, I leave $4 per night and leave it every morning when I leave the room. When I first started traveling I would leave at the end of my stay but then realized whoever was cleaning the room that day got the full tip so I switched to every morning with a note thanking them. I almost always have a note for extra coffee and soap/gel and lotion as well.

    For those that don't tip, you lead a very miserable life based on comments here.

  26. Jesse

    I don't mind tipping for great service, but I absolutely HATE when someone proactively asks for a tip. Or worse, demands a tip. I've had countless encouters like this, a few of them quite recently. If they ask or demand, then I don't give. Recently, I was at an unnamed hotel in New York. When I arrived, the bellman didn't even ask if I needed help with my bag. He just took it out of...

    I don't mind tipping for great service, but I absolutely HATE when someone proactively asks for a tip. Or worse, demands a tip. I've had countless encouters like this, a few of them quite recently. If they ask or demand, then I don't give. Recently, I was at an unnamed hotel in New York. When I arrived, the bellman didn't even ask if I needed help with my bag. He just took it out of my hands and walked the few meters to the reception with it (It was only a small Tumi carry-on). Then he stood there expectantly. I just ignored him until he rudely demanded $20. It felt like more of an attempted robbery. Naturally, I refused. Another incident was in Vladivostok a few days ago. I ordered a taxi from Vladivostok to VVO airport through the Yandex app (which usually is quite a good service). At the end of the ride, you can rate the driver and leave a tip. As we pulled up, the taxi driver asked for a 2500-ruble tip (the ride cost 1257 rubles). I declined, and he called over his Uzbek buddies in other taxis to try to "persuade" me. He refused to open the trunk to access my bags. I literally had to flag down the police (to whom the taxi driver tried to say that I had damaged his car by slamming the door). My point is, tips often feel like extortion.

    1. Adam Simmons

      I couldn't agree more. The ridiculous culture in the USA extended to my ordering a shuttle service online to take me from Crystal City to Dulles. The website unbelievably asked me how much I wanted to tip, i.e. BEFORE the service had even been provided! Naturally, I said 'zero' but the service at the end of the trip certainly warranted a tip which I gave to the driver at the end of the trip.

  27. Rob

    You shouldn’t have to tip for standard service that’s included in the rate you’re already paying for the room. I only tip if someone goes out of their way to do something at my request (bring extra towels, water, sheets, rollaway, etc.) and when I do I’m generous with it. Having lived in Asia before I can’t express how much I hate the tipping culture (not just in the US because it’s horrendous in other...

    You shouldn’t have to tip for standard service that’s included in the rate you’re already paying for the room. I only tip if someone goes out of their way to do something at my request (bring extra towels, water, sheets, rollaway, etc.) and when I do I’m generous with it. Having lived in Asia before I can’t express how much I hate the tipping culture (not just in the US because it’s horrendous in other tipping countries too like parts of Europe and the Middle East). Tipping does not equal better service unfortunately because it’s become expected. I’ve traveled for work for the past 15 years as a management consultant and seen enough dirty rooms when checking in to know that housekeeping doesn’t always do their job (dirty or unchanged sheets and pillowcases, leftover trash, areas not vacuumed, hair in bathroom / showers / floor) so I only tip when warranted. And these are at 4-5 star major chain hotels! If you don’t believe me, flip open the duvet and check your bed sheets / pillows the next time you check into a hotel. You’ll be surprised to find the amount of hair or other stains that’s there. Or take a whiff of your sheets or pillow cases and see if you can smell either odor or the cologne/perfume of the person before you. It’s sucks, but it happens way more than it should.

  28. Jetjock64

    @Heinz. Food and hotel workers in Germany are paid better than here; nevertheless, it makes 2 people feel good when a tip is given, and that's good enough for me. Strive for this, and you'll feel better about yourself in the long run.

  29. KuBear

    I once had a stay at the Hyatt SFO Burlingame property and left a tip with a note for housekeeping. I later decided to extend my stay and chose the same room for convenience. I came back to the room and the tip was gone, but room was not cleaned. It turns out the housekeeping manager swept in and took the cash before the actual housekeeper had a chance to come into the room. I...

    I once had a stay at the Hyatt SFO Burlingame property and left a tip with a note for housekeeping. I later decided to extend my stay and chose the same room for convenience. I came back to the room and the tip was gone, but room was not cleaned. It turns out the housekeeping manager swept in and took the cash before the actual housekeeper had a chance to come into the room. I made a complaint to management, but not sure if anything was done about it.

    I tend to only tip at the end of my stay because I usually have the privacy sign up the entire stay, but it does bother me not knowing for sure if the tip I leave will be received by the actual housekeeper.

  30. Alex

    Always tip at least $10 a night when staying in the US.

  31. DCS

    I seldom tip in "first-world" countries. I almost invariably do in the rest of the world, usually emptying my pockets of all the local currency I might have left or simply leaving a few green backs...

  32. Arnold S

    Same subject brought up every few months, and the comments are the about the same every time.

  33. Azamaraal

    Amusing anecdote:

    Canada has loonies ($1) and toonies ($2) coins. Smallest bill is a $5.

    Although Europe and UK have had Euro and Pound coins for years theirs are well known and higher in value.

    I feel cheap giving a coin as a tip so my only resort is to stock up on US $1 bills so they get the feel of a bill which is so much better than a few coins (incidentally a $1 bill is less value than a toonie).

    Does anyone else feel cheap tipping with (valuable) coins?

    1. Ray

      You are thinking exactly like a casino would like you to think. They feel you put less value to chips than you would dollars (yes they also know it is easier moving through games with round chips than multiple dollars). You are conditioned to think coins are lower value than bills. I did at first as well but once I started using local currencies more I got used to their value and have no issue using coins now.

    2. Eskimo

      You should try going to a strip club.

  34. Tania P.

    As a former housekeeping manager (in NYC) it breaks my heart to see how many people don't tip. I can speak from experience and most of the staff are immigrant women with very little education. As a result the only job they can find to make sure they can also raise a family is in housekeeping because of the hours.

    I am a long time reader and I am assuming the demographics in this...

    As a former housekeeping manager (in NYC) it breaks my heart to see how many people don't tip. I can speak from experience and most of the staff are immigrant women with very little education. As a result the only job they can find to make sure they can also raise a family is in housekeeping because of the hours.

    I am a long time reader and I am assuming the demographics in this blog are most males with college degrees making at least 6 figures a year.

    There are a lot of other back breaking jobs and all these workers should be tipped. I can spend days debating about fair wages, big corporations and tipping culture, but tipping a housekeeper can make a difference. Maybe $30-$40 a day can help her to pay her light bill or to buy school supplies for her kids or to order a pizza for dinner after a long shift. Think about it....To put a smile on someones face sometimes it doesn't cost much.

    1. Eskimo

      As a former housekeeping manager (in NYC), you should have fought for your employees to have better wages.

      If you are victimizing immigrant women with very little education as the only job they can find, blame your boss or HR for exploiting these immigrant women with very little education.

    2. Tania P.

      I did fight very hard. I even setup the building on fire as a form of protest...But it didn't work. Next time I will follow your advice and I will try to talk to my boss or HR. Thanks for the tip :)

  35. Ryan

    I live in a country without tipping culture, tips are the most daunting part of going to the US (my wife was chased down the street for not leaving a tip at a cafe the first day she spent in the US). Thanks for giving us an insight into what is normal for housekeeping! Now just for a guide to everything else (do you tip the people at the check in desk or just the concierges… what about take away places… so confusing…)

  36. Holly

    I always tip $25 per night at lower end hotels, and $50-100 per night at higher end ones. You should always tip. Don't be cheap! You are not going to go broke for even a few hundred dollars.
    Now when I went to Japan, I dislike their non tipping culture. In restaurants, I literally had to put the cash in their hands and just run away because they wouldn't take it. Tipping is the superior culture of rewarding good service.

    1. Gerard

      Your desire to tip shouldn’t come at the expense of the feelings of the people you are trying to tip. In Japan, tipping is rude, because you are not paying the amount set by the provider. If you must provide something, a gift is more appropriate and will be more well-received.

    2. Holly

      I disagree. If people think it's rude to receive tips, then that culture is wrong and needs evolving. We need to do our part to expand the superior culture of tipping to other parts of the world, especially under developed countries where people need the extra cash.

    3. Bagoly

      Is she based in St Petersburg?

  37. Jonathan

    I always leave a tip and I always accompany the cash with a personal note signed by me. If I really like the brand of soap, I sometimes ask for "extra soap" and explain that "I really like the soap." But what is my particular trademark?? I surround the note (left on my sheets) with four(4) $2. bills!! This frequently results in a personal note back left on my bed or in a conspicuous place--usually...

    I always leave a tip and I always accompany the cash with a personal note signed by me. If I really like the brand of soap, I sometimes ask for "extra soap" and explain that "I really like the soap." But what is my particular trademark?? I surround the note (left on my sheets) with four(4) $2. bills!! This frequently results in a personal note back left on my bed or in a conspicuous place--usually "Muchos Gracias!!"-- or "Thank you so much" and more often than not, a very sincere scribble of a happy face! The $2 bill shtick is so different that I see it as an extra special "Thank you". I ask my bank for a few hundred of them when I run out but I keep them for this singular purpose.

    1. Ray

      I do the same using $2 bills. I go to the bank once a month to stock up on them. They always ask what or why I want them. When I tell them, they love the idea.

    2. ConnGator

      When I was a kid a friend of mine had a rich uncle, and every time he would see us he would pull out a gummed pad (like a note pad) made of $2 bills. He would pull bills and hand them to all the kids.

      Not sure where he bought the pads, but it was very cool and memorable.

  38. Bill

    You're spot on, Ben, on every aspect of this. We tip housekeeping every day, not at the end of the stay, because we want to make sure that whoever cleans the room receives the tip. We generally tip $5 a day when we have a regular room, $10 a day if we have a suite. It amazes me that some people will tip a bellman to carry one bag from the car to the check-in desk, but won't tip housekeeping.

  39. Gerard

    Thanks for this thoughtful and balanced post, Ben. I had one question: given that you think you should consistently tip housekeeping, but only do so when you have available cash, don't you think you should also ensure that you always have some cash for this purpose? I know that this is inconvenient, especially when traveling internationally. However, given you're primarily endorsing tipping in the USA where tipping is prevalent and wages low, wouldn't it be...

    Thanks for this thoughtful and balanced post, Ben. I had one question: given that you think you should consistently tip housekeeping, but only do so when you have available cash, don't you think you should also ensure that you always have some cash for this purpose? I know that this is inconvenient, especially when traveling internationally. However, given you're primarily endorsing tipping in the USA where tipping is prevalent and wages low, wouldn't it be feasible to always have some US dollars tucked into your carry-on for this purpose?

  40. Richard

    Ben - I agree completely with those that say you are a good person, and that this article is right on the mark. When working (I'm semi retired now), I used to travel 200+ nights per year. I always tip - usually $3 per night, and go out of my way to make sure I have cash for the tip. And I know it makes a difference to the house keepers.
    I also agree...

    Ben - I agree completely with those that say you are a good person, and that this article is right on the mark. When working (I'm semi retired now), I used to travel 200+ nights per year. I always tip - usually $3 per night, and go out of my way to make sure I have cash for the tip. And I know it makes a difference to the house keepers.
    I also agree with all of those that think the hotels should pay a living wage to their employees instead of relying on their customers to leave a tip.

  41. Alison

    I totally concur with your conclusions (I hate the need for tipping, but I do it). But, I admit, we always do it at the end of our stay. That way, we just put it in an envelope with a note thanking housekeeping. And we just never have enough small bills to do it every day, easier to use $20s (the curse of the ATM).

  42. Melissa

    John, you've never obviously been a housekeeper! The labor is back-breaking and the pay truly sucks. (And sometimes the "surprises" guests have in store for housekeepers make you want to run screaming. ) That's not to belittle other hardworking jobs, but believe me, I worked at most of them in my high school and college days, and this one is at the bottom of the totem pole. And it's often a job trap for low...

    John, you've never obviously been a housekeeper! The labor is back-breaking and the pay truly sucks. (And sometimes the "surprises" guests have in store for housekeepers make you want to run screaming. ) That's not to belittle other hardworking jobs, but believe me, I worked at most of them in my high school and college days, and this one is at the bottom of the totem pole. And it's often a job trap for low income, uneducated people.

    I ALWAYS tip. I also tell housekeeping not to bother cleaning my room or changing my sheets if I'm there for multiple days. Why should they? I don't do that at home! But I still tip, usually $5/night.

  43. AC

    I always tip housekeeping (usually between $3-$5 a day unless I'm in a multi-room suite then I leave around $10). With the reduction in housekeeping so that rooms are only cleaned between stays I simply leave what I would usually leave for 1 night at the end of my stay. Understand I try not to make a mess, pile all the towels in one spot in the bathroom, put back up the iron, ironing board...

    I always tip housekeeping (usually between $3-$5 a day unless I'm in a multi-room suite then I leave around $10). With the reduction in housekeeping so that rooms are only cleaned between stays I simply leave what I would usually leave for 1 night at the end of my stay. Understand I try not to make a mess, pile all the towels in one spot in the bathroom, put back up the iron, ironing board and luggage holder, etc so I make it as easy on them as possible.

    I realize I'm not tipping for service I will receive but, instead, see it as a "thank you" for my stay. If I do need something during my stay, like extra towels, I usually tip around $2 to the person that drops those off. Frankly, the small amount means nothing to me and certainly won't change their life but if it makes a housekeeper feel appreciated that is worth it IMHO.

  44. Ben Johnson

    You do NOT tip housekeepers.
    You do NOT tip front desk people.
    You do NOT tip Uber drivers.
    You do NOT tip fast-food workers.
    You do NOT tip on takeout.

    STOP THE TIPPING!

    If you want to tip go ahead... P.T. Barnum summed it up... a fool and his money are soon parted.

    1. AC

      Man Ben Johnson you are a cheap person! Yes I tip housekeepers but even if you don't tip them I can't understand not tipping Uber drivers (do you also not tip cab drivers?) and on take out. Sure I don't leave 20% on take out but someone had to prepare the food, package it and get it to me and that is worthy of a tip. I don't tip front desk workers or on fast...

      Man Ben Johnson you are a cheap person! Yes I tip housekeepers but even if you don't tip them I can't understand not tipping Uber drivers (do you also not tip cab drivers?) and on take out. Sure I don't leave 20% on take out but someone had to prepare the food, package it and get it to me and that is worthy of a tip. I don't tip front desk workers or on fast food that is readily available and only has to be put in a bag.

      It is cheap people like you that give the rest of us a bad name. Loose the purse strings a little buddy! If you can't afford to tip reasonably don't frequent locations that expect it.

    2. miamiorbust

      And we get to the root of tipping. "It is cheap people like you that give the rest of us a bad name." We don't want other people to think negatively of us. Very rationale reason to give. Really no need to wrap it up in social justice context. Or to believe you are improving welfare of others. You probably aren't. Raising minimum wage will likely boost welfare of those with low wage jobs (and price of your room). Don't tip; write your congressman. Or vote...

    3. Bill

      Well I was kinda with you until you started in on the whole don't frequent locations that expect tipping. If it is "expected" then they should include it in the price. Tipping while customary is never mandatory. I'm pretty sure those businesses would rather have a bunch of non-tipping customers than very few customers at all. Maybe the servers wouldn't be thrilled but if there are no customers then no jobs for anyone so telling...

      Well I was kinda with you until you started in on the whole don't frequent locations that expect tipping. If it is "expected" then they should include it in the price. Tipping while customary is never mandatory. I'm pretty sure those businesses would rather have a bunch of non-tipping customers than very few customers at all. Maybe the servers wouldn't be thrilled but if there are no customers then no jobs for anyone so telling people to not patronize businesses if they don't tip is really the wrong message. I tip uber drivers in countries where it is customary, but for takeout it depends on what they mean by that. I will tip people who make deliveries usually 15-20% depending on distance/weather/amount of food etc. I will certainly not tip if I am going to the restaurant and picking up the food myself.

    4. Josh G.

      Like it or not, those of us who tip housekeeping, concierges and Uber drivers are getting faster and/or better service.

      You may carp about unfairness, etc. and use Barnum's quote in an inappropriate context, but while you're waiting for an Uber in the rain during peak hours, my car showed up in minutes. Because tipping helps me maintain a 4.96 passenger score. Unfair? Sure. But I get value from those tips.

      When housekeepers get a...

      Like it or not, those of us who tip housekeeping, concierges and Uber drivers are getting faster and/or better service.

      You may carp about unfairness, etc. and use Barnum's quote in an inappropriate context, but while you're waiting for an Uber in the rain during peak hours, my car showed up in minutes. Because tipping helps me maintain a 4.96 passenger score. Unfair? Sure. But I get value from those tips.

      When housekeepers get a minimum living wage, tipping may be discouraged. As it is, they are working for low wages and a few dollars here or there ($3-$5 per night) makes a difference.

  45. JS

    $5 per night, left with a brief thank you note so it is obvious it is a tip, is my normal gratuity for housekeeping.

  46. West coast Flyer

    Should we tip the cleaners on aircraft and flight attendants too? Should we all just estimate an extra 20% for everything we buy everywhere and carry suitcases full of cash to tip everyone? It's not my fault the USA is a capitalist nightmare and I shouldn't feel compelled to try and correct it for those under its boot while I'm on vacation!

    1. Josh G.

      Have you considered vacation spots which are not capitalist nightmares?

      Are you a fan of nightmares?

      Surely you can find a less horrific place for your holidays?

      It would seem imprudent to return repeatedly to a place you so clearly detest.

      Thanks for your tourist dollars, though. We capitalists love to line our pockets with that cash.

  47. Sam

    I always tip for the reasons you mention. However, I usually find that housekeeping then does a bit extra as a “thank you” back, like leaving extra Nespresso pods or extra shampoos. One time Ritz Carlton housekeeping even left a gift (the housekeeper saw it was my wife’s birthday by some cards left opened on the desk) that I’m sure was comp’ed by the hotel, but she went out of her way to arrange it.

  48. Heinz

    In Germany you don't tip, you just pay your bills. So we don't have that problems like Americans.

    1. Nils

      I'm German and often stay in German hotels and I definitely tip.

  49. Matt

    “ which has a general culture of tipping for good customer service” - tipping in the US isn’t for good service, it’s because you’ve all been guilted into it by allowing businesses to have such awful wages.

  50. Regis

    120+ hotels nights this year. I have not had one single housekkeper come and clean my room during any of these nights. I don't tip for services I don't receive!

    1. Rj

      @Regis. So preparing your room before your arrival and cleaning your room free of x # of days for your stay grime isn’t a service? If it’s dirty upon arrival, ok I can see refraining from tipping, but in times of covid there is a lot of work they put in to cleaning your room before and after, even tho they don’t/can’t enter while you occupy the room

  51. VML

    The problem with tipping is not just the ones you list. Say, for argument sake, I wanted to tip someone. However, I never carry cash on me. I literally cannot think of the last time I used cash! If everything else can be done electronically there simply is not a reason this cannot. I'm sorry but I just don't have time to go to the bank or ATM to get random cash for tips which...

    The problem with tipping is not just the ones you list. Say, for argument sake, I wanted to tip someone. However, I never carry cash on me. I literally cannot think of the last time I used cash! If everything else can be done electronically there simply is not a reason this cannot. I'm sorry but I just don't have time to go to the bank or ATM to get random cash for tips which I am trying to make my flight or to my meetings. Electronic tipping is not new - food trucks, coffee houses, not to mention restaurants already have this! If hotels were serious about this, they would add that option for people who are so inclined to tipping. Not to mention that electronic tipping would help address tax transparency for people who deal mostly with cash.

  52. GS Guy

    What you don't know is that the housekeeping mgrs sweep all the rooms and collect the tips before the housekeepers even go in. This happens in about 90% of properties.

    If you want to tip, put the tip in the actual housekeeper's hand.

  53. Luis

    Why do you assume housekeepers are the hardest working people in the hotel industry? I'm not saying they don't work hard and it's definitely a job I wouldn't want to do, but just like any other profession in the world, there are housekeepers that work hard and housekeepers who just do the bare minimum. I can easily argue that a hotel employee that works outside in a hot climate like Palm Springs where it's often...

    Why do you assume housekeepers are the hardest working people in the hotel industry? I'm not saying they don't work hard and it's definitely a job I wouldn't want to do, but just like any other profession in the world, there are housekeepers that work hard and housekeepers who just do the bare minimum. I can easily argue that a hotel employee that works outside in a hot climate like Palm Springs where it's often well over 100 degrees has a harder job than a housekeeper who gets to stay inside in an air conditioned building all day. I've worked in the restaurant industry and being in a hot kitchen for 8-10 hours a day is no walk in the park either.

  54. D3kingg

    Tipping housekeeping is like paying it forward. I want the housekeeper to be motivated to clean. I don’t carry cash. So either I don’t tip or tip $5. Depends whether I have money or not. 3nt stay i tip $8. My longest hotel stay ever 2 weeks I tipped $45 CAD.

  55. Bruce

    I keep my room near and tidy, but I still tip $5 EVERY time (except in cultures where tipping isn’t a thing). If I give $1 tip to the Starbucks person who pours me a drip coffee, a person who has to clean sinks and toilets and god knows what else all day deserves at least $5. I also try to put my towels on the closed commode so the housekeeper doesn’t have to bend all the way over and haul them out of the bathtub.

  56. chicagomike

    I'm leaving for 14 days in Hawaii (which I suppose is a whole other topic) soon, and I have put on my to do before I leave home list, a note to go to the bank and get some $5 bills for tips. I can see most of the pro and con points to not tipping but I think my view is close to yours Lucky. Plus I feel if you are working with the...

    I'm leaving for 14 days in Hawaii (which I suppose is a whole other topic) soon, and I have put on my to do before I leave home list, a note to go to the bank and get some $5 bills for tips. I can see most of the pro and con points to not tipping but I think my view is close to yours Lucky. Plus I feel if you are working with the public during a pandemic I owe you a thank you. While I would think many may not agree with this, I have wished that hotels for multi night stays would add a push notice via their app allowing me to tip housekeeping after the room has been cleaned. That way I can tip after confirming any reasonalbe requests I made were taken care of. I could then just pay for it at check out (and get the points).

    1. D3kingg

      I stayed in a 2 floor 2 bedroom condo in Hawaii for 4 nights. I tipped $25

  57. iv

    I have never and will never tip housekeeping. I'm already paying the rate that includes housekeeping services.

  58. Arthur

    Ben, I'm curious if you also tip housekeepers, or even other staff, at hotels that include a 10-20% "service charge" (not the same as resort/destination fees) on top of the room rate and government taxes.

    I usually don't tip at all at those places, but I'm never sure if that money is actually going to the staff or not. If not, that's the pinnacle of greed in the industry...

  59. Kevin

    Given that you don't have a landlord to tip, this makes sense.
    https://twitter.com/bestofnextdoor/status/1339357250675085312?lang=en

  60. pan

    I agree with you 100%. Before I travel I try to approximate how many nights I will stay in a hotel and how many Uber trips I will take and go to the bank and get $5 bills with a few extra. What about the days (now, during the pandemic) that housekeeping doesn't clean the room? Do you leave tips for the number of days you were there, even though your room wasn't cleaned? I didn't but am interested in what other think.

  61. WB

    Also do $3-5 per night. I try to visit the ATM, pre-trips, just in case I need cash for various purposes. I ask the front-desk staff to break large bills to smaller ones for tipping. Leave on the pillow.

    1. Arthur

      Do you tip the front-desk staff for braking large bills so you can tip staff members? Serious question.

    2. Doug

      Why bother with small bills? In my experience the housekeepers appreciate the $100 bills more than the small bills. And when I don't have any cash, i just leave her one of my credit cards with a note asking the maid to buy herself a present up to $50,000. This way she is happy with the generous tip and I earn points so I can stay for free next time.

  62. RCB

    I tip $5 a night, each night (instead of at the end), because this person is in my intimate space, with my valuables, and I think $5 is a small price to pay to keep this person happy so my valuables remain in the room and my toothbrush isn't used to clean the toilet.

  63. Bill n DC

    My best response was in 2018 trip to Hawaii when we found out too late to change that the Westin staff was on strike. I immediately donated $100 to the Unite Here Local 5 strike fund! Workers of the world unite!

  64. Biz Traveler

    The answer was ‘no’ before they stopped doing housekeeping. Now it’s just laughable.

  65. Bill n DC

    We’re relatively well off and I now tip at least $5 a nite. This past weekend we had a 2 day stay. For the first day when we didn’t need maid service, I proactively found the maid working our floor and asked for more water and coffee and gave her $5. Then left $5 when we checked out. I agree that they should be made more but in the meantime I appreciate their efforts

  66. Towelie

    Ten years ago when I traveled to Jackson Hole I could consistently get a nice hotel room for roughly $100 in the off season. Same with many places in Colorado, sometimes even on holiday weekends. Now those places are $300+ for the same exact weekend that I always go. Someone's making more money, why do I have to spend even more to encourage this practice?

    Another interesting note, the hotels I visit in Europe...

    Ten years ago when I traveled to Jackson Hole I could consistently get a nice hotel room for roughly $100 in the off season. Same with many places in Colorado, sometimes even on holiday weekends. Now those places are $300+ for the same exact weekend that I always go. Someone's making more money, why do I have to spend even more to encourage this practice?

    Another interesting note, the hotels I visit in Europe have not tripled in price over the same time period. They aren't asking me to tip housekeeping either.

    1. Evan

      You're drawing a pretty tenuous connection. Ten years is a long time, and Jackson Hole (like all domestic vacations) is wildly popular right now because of international travel restrictions. I'm pretty sure you couldn't fly to Jackson Hole nonstop from LGA ten years ago. One of my favorite hotels in Napa has gone from $500 a night to $2000 a night in the last TWO YEARS, likely because of the surge of wealth in CA...

      You're drawing a pretty tenuous connection. Ten years is a long time, and Jackson Hole (like all domestic vacations) is wildly popular right now because of international travel restrictions. I'm pretty sure you couldn't fly to Jackson Hole nonstop from LGA ten years ago. One of my favorite hotels in Napa has gone from $500 a night to $2000 a night in the last TWO YEARS, likely because of the surge of wealth in CA that's not leaving the country. Do you think that's somehow attributable to tipping?

    2. Towelie

      So you don't think that Napa hotel can afford to pay their employees fair wages, considering their revenue more than quadrupled (Assuming occupancy rate and other revenue increases as well).

    3. Evan

      I can't do a darn thing about corporate greed. Maybe they pay their housekeepers a fair wage, maybe they don't. The fact is, I don't care. I have a comfortable enough income that allows me to recognize a hardworking hourly employee who is literally cleaning my toilet. It's a small act of kindness, and I do it at Motel 6 or the Four Seasons. You do you, though. I'm not saying here or anywhere that this should be required!

    4. Ex-Soviet

      Great for them (i.e. hotel owners who charge $2K per night). Perhaps it is THEY that have to pay wages to its staff, not av average guy making 75K a year taking family on vacation once a year.....

    5. Towelie196

      So you don't think that Napa hotel can afford to pay their employees fair wages when their revenues more than quadrupled?

    6. Bobo

      It is NOT the housekeeping staff that is pocketing more money! It is a member of the 1%. I try to help the other 99% and that is what tipping the person who does hard and dirty work is all about.

    7. Towelie196

      Of course not, but you are the one enabling them to do that. If they had to pay fair wages then they couldn't pocket all that extra money.

  67. echino

    No. Only tip if I make a mess.

    1. RJ

      Which is any time you step into a room, sleep in the bed with sheets, wash your hands, use the toilet, shower, put something in the trash bin, etc…. Duh!

  68. Bill S

    My thoughts on tipping housekeeping mirror Ben's. I try to always leave at least a few dollars every day. I will not miss a few dollars but it can be very helpful to those doing the service. I get the argument against, and I'm not a fan of tipping either. But this is a small gesture that can make someone smile and perhaps help them make ends meet.

  69. Clem

    I'm in the camp of not usually tipping, it honestly doesn't even occur to me (for context I am from Europe although I've been living in the US for a decade). This is completely out of control, and I still never know who to tip or not to tip.

    Also, in most countries without this insane tipping for everything culture, most hotels are doing just fine by paying all their employees living wages, so there's literally no reason this can't be achieved here.

  70. Evan

    Ben, you are a good person, and this post is right on. As travelers, we can't do anything about the low wages of the people we encounter along the way. But tipping a housekeeper, who are often among the working poor, is one way to show a stranger that they matter and their work is appreciated. It's not required, but it's a great opportunity to show a little charity. I typically leave a thank you...

    Ben, you are a good person, and this post is right on. As travelers, we can't do anything about the low wages of the people we encounter along the way. But tipping a housekeeper, who are often among the working poor, is one way to show a stranger that they matter and their work is appreciated. It's not required, but it's a great opportunity to show a little charity. I typically leave a thank you note and $10-20 per day because that amount means very little to me but can make a big impact.

    1. miamiorbust

      Or you could donate to a charity. Achieves the goal of helping working poor with little ambiguity on where money goes and doesn't enable abusive work practices. Dropping $5 on the nightstand when leaving would seem to be a very imprecise measure of a man's character. Being a good person is not a transactional activity.

    2. Evan

      Donating to charity is important, and I'm not sure how these two things are mutually exclusive. This is a very easy way to make a specific person - someone providing a personal service and literally cleaning up your mess - feel noticed and appreciated. It does nothing to "enable" low wages or abusive work practices, unless you have a study you can share.

    3. miamiorbust

      Agree, they are not mutually exclusive. On whether someone else subsidizing labor costs impacts wages offered, guess you don't hang around too many business people (lucky you). It does. Easiest dataset to understand is every non-fast food restaurant in US. Servers are typically paid a modest wage. They have their own (lower) minimum wage in some states. They get lower wages. We pay a portion of their income in tips. Tipping allows restaurant owners to...

      Agree, they are not mutually exclusive. On whether someone else subsidizing labor costs impacts wages offered, guess you don't hang around too many business people (lucky you). It does. Easiest dataset to understand is every non-fast food restaurant in US. Servers are typically paid a modest wage. They have their own (lower) minimum wage in some states. They get lower wages. We pay a portion of their income in tips. Tipping allows restaurant owners to keep labor while not paying payroll tax on tip portion of employee compensation (no medicare and SS match paid by employer on tips in most cases). So yeah, tipping can/may depress wages and will always undermine collection of payroll taxes from employers leaving less money for public sector investment. Still think tipping doesn't enable negative economic distortion? Tipping is corporate welfare and one of the great cons of all times. Nowhere is tipping more common then the US and few developed economies have larger permanent economic underclass. We tip more now than in prior generations and size of underclass doesn't seem to be shrinking. Hotel CEOs encourage tipping for a reason - they keep more of your hotel payment and distribute less to government while retaining workers.

  71. Chase

    Why didn't the hotel chains just ask Uncle Sam for money during the last couple rounds of hand-outs? I mean, that money was absolutely, 100% spent on payroll for the eventual, imminent travel rebound right? Nothing nefarious going on there at all, those poor hotels (and every other tertiary 'travel'-related business) should be eligible right?

    Dripping sarcasm aside, where does the public subsidization and tipping culture end? Stop promoting this bad behavior!

  72. Miamiorbust

    To all the enablers, just stop. Sending band-aids will not stop the abusive behavior and may well extend it. Just say no to tipping people you’ve never met for doing honest work. If you are bent on helping working poor, send a voluntary contribution to the federal or state government. Unless tipping is about you feeling morally superior….

    1. Evan

      Are you so cynical that you think all small acts of charity and appreciation boil down to moral superiority? I am "bent" on helping make a small difference in the lives of people I've never met, which is why I give to my local diaper and food banks and tip housekeepers. Life is good to me, and it's terrible for lots of others - including the working poor. If everyone paid attention to opportunities for...

      Are you so cynical that you think all small acts of charity and appreciation boil down to moral superiority? I am "bent" on helping make a small difference in the lives of people I've never met, which is why I give to my local diaper and food banks and tip housekeepers. Life is good to me, and it's terrible for lots of others - including the working poor. If everyone paid attention to opportunities for these small gestures, the world would be a better place. And I don't think paying extra taxes is a particularly effective way of showing someone your appreciation, nor an efficient way of helping the working poor.

    2. Ex-Soviet

      Evan - super thrilled to know that life is good to you. It may not be necessarily good to others. Based on my pension plan, I would have to work until I am 132....

      Miamiorbust - spot on.

    3. Evan

      Ex-Soviet - Sorry to hear about your "pension plan," whatever that means these days. I'm not here to impress anyone or puff up my chest, and I'm not suggesting anyone who can't afford to tip should be doing it. We're just talking about sparing a few bucks, for crying out loud, not expanding tipping culture to making housekeeper tips de rigueur. If you can do it, do it. It shouldn't be controversial (or require deep...

      Ex-Soviet - Sorry to hear about your "pension plan," whatever that means these days. I'm not here to impress anyone or puff up my chest, and I'm not suggesting anyone who can't afford to tip should be doing it. We're just talking about sparing a few bucks, for crying out loud, not expanding tipping culture to making housekeeper tips de rigueur. If you can do it, do it. It shouldn't be controversial (or require deep analysis of labor economics) to engage in small acts of kindness - not required and typically not even encouraged by hotel operators themselves.

    4. miamiorbust

      It's great to project your own values but to assume others do not change economic behavior in response is not a question of being cynical. It's a long running economic debate. See Milton Friedman. If change in cost of money is predictable (ie interest rate policy), impacts on improved economic welfare will be muted as assumption of change is reflected in price. If a manager expects people to engage in small acts of charity (tipping),...

      It's great to project your own values but to assume others do not change economic behavior in response is not a question of being cynical. It's a long running economic debate. See Milton Friedman. If change in cost of money is predictable (ie interest rate policy), impacts on improved economic welfare will be muted as assumption of change is reflected in price. If a manager expects people to engage in small acts of charity (tipping), the assumption is people will tip and behavior (wages offered) changes resulting in slower wage grow in real terms. Like him or hate him, he got a nobel prize in economics. Neither of us did. To all the Milton Friedman haters, bring it on.

  73. Alonzo

    If they put a QR code in my room and pooled the tips together for housekeeping, I would absolutely tip every single time.

  74. ktc

    I tip in general.

    Hotels, led by Bombvoy, are now colluding to ask for gov subsidy like airlines. To that craziness, narratives need to go out to ask hotels to assign a portion to housekeeping to bring awareness.

  75. dc_nomad

    @Ben

    Btw, those "tacky" envelopes have not quite disappeared, at least not at the JW Marriott in Cancun.

  76. Bagoly

    From a British viewpoint, I had never even heard of tipping housekeeping until I was past thirty.
    Now I tip, but only if I make a mess (and it wasn't the fault of the hotel design)
    In which case typically USD10-20.
    What I really object to is housekeeping not providing enough towels/shampoo etc, and then the person who makes up their mistake by bringing in response to a call expecting a tip.

    From a British viewpoint, I had never even heard of tipping housekeeping until I was past thirty.
    Now I tip, but only if I make a mess (and it wasn't the fault of the hotel design)
    In which case typically USD10-20.
    What I really object to is housekeeping not providing enough towels/shampoo etc, and then the person who makes up their mistake by bringing in response to a call expecting a tip.
    I also dislike the habit by some cleaners of rearranging all my toiletries, presumably sending a message of "please tip me".

  77. jeffyk99

    Although I despise the tipping culture in the United States in every way (e.g. expecting tips for taxi rides, non waiter service restaurants where we order and sit ourselves, along with pick up orders to go such as carry out pizza….expecting tips, what a joke) but for hotel housekeeping, I don’t mind leaving a tip at all and will always try to make sure I carry some cash with me B4 going to hotels. As...

    Although I despise the tipping culture in the United States in every way (e.g. expecting tips for taxi rides, non waiter service restaurants where we order and sit ourselves, along with pick up orders to go such as carry out pizza….expecting tips, what a joke) but for hotel housekeeping, I don’t mind leaving a tip at all and will always try to make sure I carry some cash with me B4 going to hotels. As lucky said, I feel they are the hardest working and they have a crappy job so I always leave tip and feel good about it when I do.

  78. John

    How do you come to the conclusion that housekeepers are the hardest working?

    Why not the gardener?

    Why not the front-desk manager (s/he does little physical work but that does not imply s/he doesn't work hard)?

    Why not the chef? (Kitchen staff tends to work very long hours and late at night. Instead, housekeeping is more of a 9 to 5 job.)

    1. Clem

      That is an incredibly physical job (with most of them ending with chronic pain all over their bodies and terrible health insurance to help with), you deal with other people's filth, you have to lift mattresses and heavy sheets/blankets, breathe chemicals all day in confined spaces (bathrooms), push heavy carts, and have ridiculous time limits on how long you are allowed to spend on cleaning a room.
      Everyone can work hard, but their job is by far the hardest.

    2. Ex-Soviet

      In my old country "physical labor" was always prioritized over "mental" (i.e. in the USSR). Guess what happened? The USSR collapsed.....

    3. John

      More vague claims... I doubt you'd be able to substantiate these.

  79. Colin

    I have the same philosophy, but at this point, tipping hotel staff is the only time I’m using cash. I’d be much more generous if they (and anyone who receives tips at hotels in cash, luggage staff, valet parking, etc) would put their Venmo/Cashapp handles on a piece of paper. I assume that this would be against policy, unfortunately.

    1. polarbear

      Just as long as hotel does not get to see or trace the tips. Don't want to do anything to re-enforce their belief that their pitch worked and guests accepted the responsibility to subsidize housekeeping

    2. RJ

      Resort fees are mostly revenue streams for hotels. Very little, if any, trickles down to housekeepers. Service Charge/Auto-Gratuity is F&B related, so again, not including housekeeping unless a rate situation of mini-bar incentives.

      As for comparing tipping front desk to make change, etc - those positions don’t clean your disgusting toilet, turnover your room with new covid-practices in place, sort all your garbage, clean up after your kids, try to make sure they don’t...

      Resort fees are mostly revenue streams for hotels. Very little, if any, trickles down to housekeepers. Service Charge/Auto-Gratuity is F&B related, so again, not including housekeeping unless a rate situation of mini-bar incentives.

      As for comparing tipping front desk to make change, etc - those positions don’t clean your disgusting toilet, turnover your room with new covid-practices in place, sort all your garbage, clean up after your kids, try to make sure they don’t throw away anything or take your swimsuit down to laundry by mistake, change your stained sheets, etc. You might be a “neat” guest but turning over rooms between arrivals and departures is a thankless job and very stressful during sold out environments.
      Some need to stop saying that companies need to pay housekeepers more in salary - that is a ridiculous observation and not how business works - also sometimes an excuse for being cheap or thoughtless (and you know it). A few dollars is a nice gesture and while no, it won’t make a person rich, it is very much appreciated. How many tip a taxi driver or instacarte or door dash for “just doing their job”? You need to think of the economics and the level of thankless work cleaning these rooms often carries - even if you DND your stay (which tends to present more grime and build up - it’s easier for them to maintain the room more frequently) The old adage (and certainly applies for the person taking care of your room) - tipping is not required, but it certainly is appreciated. Give a few dollars at least - it shouldn’t break you but it might help out the recipient more than you realize.

  80. Eskimo

    I thought everything is included in the resort fees, including the pool that was drained in the winter.

  81. mike

    Its tricky. I have been staying at Hyatt Places recently that have axed housekeeping alltogether (unless you request it a few days out) First, I request it every time I can as I assume that the hotels are doing this to save money instead of keeping us COVID safe. This gives the housekeepers a job or the demand for them. The front desk told me when I booked housekeeping, only a few rooms had booked...

    Its tricky. I have been staying at Hyatt Places recently that have axed housekeeping alltogether (unless you request it a few days out) First, I request it every time I can as I assume that the hotels are doing this to save money instead of keeping us COVID safe. This gives the housekeepers a job or the demand for them. The front desk told me when I booked housekeeping, only a few rooms had booked housekeeping so the full day for the 1 housekeeper was almost entirely free. Since the housekeeper was the same, I just left a generous tip on my pillow for my entire stay. Between making sure she had a job and then tipping her -- that's the best i can do.

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Tania P.

As a former housekeeping manager (in NYC) it breaks my heart to see how many people don't tip. I can speak from experience and most of the staff are immigrant women with very little education. As a result the only job they can find to make sure they can also raise a family is in housekeeping because of the hours. I am a long time reader and I am assuming the demographics in this blog are most males with college degrees making at least 6 figures a year. There are a lot of other back breaking jobs and all these workers should be tipped. I can spend days debating about fair wages, big corporations and tipping culture, but tipping a housekeeper can make a difference. Maybe $30-$40 a day can help her to pay her light bill or to buy school supplies for her kids or to order a pizza for dinner after a long shift. Think about it....To put a smile on someones face sometimes it doesn't cost much.

Evan

Ben, you are a good person, and this post is right on. As travelers, we can't do anything about the low wages of the people we encounter along the way. But tipping a housekeeper, who are often among the working poor, is one way to show a stranger that they matter and their work is appreciated. It's not required, but it's a great opportunity to show a little charity. I typically leave a thank you note and $10-20 per day because that amount means very little to me but can make a big impact.

Gerard

Your desire to tip shouldn’t come at the expense of the feelings of the people you are trying to tip. In Japan, tipping is rude, because you are not paying the amount set by the provider. If you must provide something, a gift is more appropriate and will be more well-received.

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