How many times have you wondered if you were leaving an appropriate tip? You don’t want to be cheap and give too little, but you also don’t want to empty your wallet and over tip. Tipping in America can be confusing and make you feel uncomfortable if you are not sure what to do. While tipping is not mandatory in most places, it is customary to tip for many services. Follow these best practices for tipping in America to reduce your confusion!
Before I share my tipping guidelines with you, I want to note that tipping may vary by region and also by person. While there are some services where tipping is customary (such as tipping your waiter/waitress at a sit-down restaurant), there are other services where there is a difference in opinion if a tip is needed. I’ve outlined my best practices for tipping below, though you are welcome to adjust to fit your needs.
Travel Tipping Best Practices
Airport Wheelchair Attendant: $2 – $10 depending on how long they accompanied you.
Airport Shuttle Bus Driver: $1 – $2.
Skycap: $1 – $2 per bag.
Taxi Driver: 10%-15% of total fare.
Tour Guides: $3 – $20 depending on length of tour and if tour personalized or in a group format.
Uber/Lyft Driver: 10%-15% of total fare.
Hotel Tipping Best Practices
Bellhop: $1 – $2 per bag.
Doorman: No tip for just opening door. $1- $2 tip for calling a cab or providing another service.
Hotel Concierge: $5 – $25 for special services. No tip is needed for basic questions.
Hotel Housekeeper: $2 – $5 per night (Be sure to tip each day because the housekeeper may change daily.) Leave your tip with a note so the housekeeper understands it’s for them.
Hotel Shuttle Bus Driver: $5.
Parking Valet: $2 – $5 when your car is delivered to you.
Room Service: 15% – 20% of the total bill.
Restaurants and Food Tipping Best Practices
Barista: No tip is required, though a nice gesture to add to tip jar.
Bartender: $1 – $2 per drink.
Buffet Attendant: Varies by location between $1 – $2 per diner and 5%- 10% of total bill.
Hostess/Maître ‘D: No tip is required unless special services are provided. If special services are provided, suggested tip is $5 – $25.
Food Delivery: 10% – 15% of bill; $2 – $5 for pizza delivery.
Take-Out: No tip is required.
Sommelier: 15% of cost of bottle.
Waiters at Sit-Down Restaurants: Tip varies depending on level of service. Customary to give 15% if service is acceptable, 18% if service was good, 20% if service was great, >20% if service was outstanding. Tip should be based on total bill before tax. If you are eating with a large party (either 6+ or 8+ people, check your bill in advance of tipping to see if an automatic gratuity has been added.)
Self-Care Tipping Best Practices
Hairdressers/Barbers: 10% – 20% of total cost. $2 – $5 for shampooer if different from hairdresser.
Manicurist: 15% of total.
Shoe Shiner: $2 – $3.
Spa Services (Treatment/Massage): 15% – 20% of total.
Other Tipping Best Practices
Car Washers: $2 – $5 or 10% – $15 of the total price when car is detailed.
Casino Slot Machines: $10 – $20 for host for payouts over $1,000.
Casino Table Games: $1 – $5, then up to 5% of total bet amount.
Coatroom Attendant: $1 per coat.
Emergency Roadside Assistance: $5. (Note, this is highly debated.)
Furniture Delivery: $5 – 10 per person (unless huge delivery, then $20 per person). (Note, this is highly debated.)
Gas Station Attendant: No tip is required.
Grocery Baggers: No tip is required.
Movers: $10 – $25 per mover.
Restroom Attendant: $0.50 -$3.
Holiday Tipping Guidelines
Au-Pair/Nanny: One week’s pay.
Babysitter: One night’s pay.
Cleaning Lady/Maid: One week’s pay.
Garbage Collector: $15 – $30 if private garbage collection; no tip required for town or city provided services.
Hairdresser/Stylists: $15 – $50 (depends on cost of typical service and how frequent you receive service.)
Mail Carrier: Technically, they are not allowed to accept cash gifts. A gift of appreciation is a nice gesture; they can accept gifts valued under $20.
Personal Trainer: $25 – $100 (depends on cost of typical service and how frequent you receive service.)
UPS/FedEx/Delivery Driver: $10 – $30 for regular deliveries with same driver.
Other Tipping Guidelines
- Tip on total amount before sales tax.
- If there is more than one person assisting you, the tip will likely be shared amongst them. Keep that in mind when you tip.
- If you received a gift certificate or coupon for a service, tip on the regular price; not the discounted price.
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