Out the door you and I go on our vacations. Passport in front shirt pocket; credit cards in back pants pocket in my wallet; airline tickets and hotel vouchers in carry on; iPad, iPod and Mac Air there too; and I can’t forget my travel insurance policy which I do have in my wallet which I purchased from Good Neighbor Insurance, www.gninsurance.com. Now I am all set for my overseas vacation. But wait what about extra money for tipping and did I add that to my trip cost? And are tipping percentages the same in the countries I am visiting like here in the U.S.?
Traveling brings a lot of great memories and those extra cost like tipping can bring some added memories. My first trip to Australia was a blast. I got into my hotel late that night from a 36 hour flight, 2 airports, and no more caffeine in my body from that triple shot at the Starbucks at the Singapore airport. So I was extremely delighted to have the hotel staff takes my dive bags to my room and to have the bell hop show me my room. I handed him a $10 U.S. for helping this tired bloke but what I heard from him was there is no need. No need? And there I was starting to learn that in Australia there is no tipping. Wow, great service and no need for tipping. Just two hours in Australia I was starting to think maybe I should move down to the land of the vegemite sandwich Men at Work sang about.
With the blessings of no tipping in Australia I found out the next morning that there were other distinct Australian cultural differences this Yank was learning. After 4 beautiful cups of hot java coffee down at the Sydney wharf I was informed that there are no such things as free refills and then I realized how homesick I was for America. Of course one could say that it was an even trade but one doesn’t know the amount of coffee this Yankee bloke drinks!
So for my wonderful dive friends in Australia and throughout the world here is how much we tip in the U.S. Please realize that tips in America and in other countries are part of their basic wages. Few travelers want to be a cheapskate so keep some extra bills in your pocket to help you in your tipping adventure.
Below is some idea on how much to tip in the U.S using U.S. dollars
Airport skycap – $1-2 per bag
Bartender: $1 minimum per mixed drink, or 15%-20% of the tab.
Bellhop: $2 first bag, $1 each additional bag.
Buffet staff: 10% if attentive.
Concierge: $5 minimum for making a reservation, $10-$20 (and up) for arranging something exceptional. No tip required for giving directions or answering questions.
Hotel maid service: $2, left daily in case the staff changes; $3-$5 daily in a deluxe hotel.
Pizza delivery: 15%, minimum $3 if service is good/drive is long.
General food delivery: $2 minimum.
Restaurant wait staff: 15% – 20% (pretax). The latter is now standard in urban areas, business situations and nice restaurants.
Salon care: 15% to 20% of the total bill.
Taxi driver: 15%, plus $1-$2 for helping with bags.
Valet: $2-$3 is standard.
Doug Gulleson loves to scuba dive overseas and makes sure he has his US health care and overseas health care, www.overseashealthinsurance.com/trip-protection.asp, information with him at all times when he travels Keep our blog close by you, www.gntravelinsurance.com, for continual updates on the changes with the US health care system.