November Newsletter from Lovejoy Travel Agency
Quick Tips for Tipping on Your Trip
When we go to an all-inclusive resort, we tend to get confused on what is included and what is not. While most all-inclusive resorts note that tips and gratuities are included, extra tips are generally appreciated provided that the service is well worth it and the resort does not have a no-tipping policy. So who would be tipped and how much is appropriate?
Airport Transportation

Most likely the first encounter with tipping you are going to have is with your driver. His job is to get you from the airport to the hotel safely and quickly. They will also be a great introduction to the destination as they are so excited about their culture and want to make sure that you have a wonderful time in their country. A $5-10/car depending on distance each way is a great way to show them that you appreciated their company.
Baggage Handlers

At the resort, baggage handlers will greet you upon arrival and take your bags from the driver to your room. This is incredibly convenient, as you are just about done lugging your bags around after running through the airport. I like to throw them $1/bag of mine that they handle.

If you are like me, you will find your way to a fruity cocktail or two. When tipping for drinks at the bar, $1-2 is a good amount for a drink/order. If you plan on staying awhile, pre-tipping, say, $10 for the afternoon will get you remembered and your service will be slightly enhanced. If you are at a resort with a no-tipping policy, please do not tip your bartender as they will have to turn you down.
Buffet Meals

Even through you are getting up to fill your own plate, there are behind-the-scenes staff that makes your dirty plates disappear while bringing you coffee and mimosas. Even when the buffet is slow, the staff is ready to greet you, tell you jokes, and make you smile. That could be worth $1-3/table. Again, please do not leave a tip if your resort has a no-tipping policy.
Sit-Down Dinner

As dinner time comes around, your server will place your napkin on your lap and make sure that your glass is full. They take your order and bring you every item on the menu. It is hard to determine how much you would tip them as there is no percentage to base it off of. As gratuities are already included, $5-10/couple is appreciated if the service was exceptional. Once again, you will not tip your wait staff if you are at a resort with a no tipping policy.

This one is tricky because your tour guides don’t work for the resort so you may have to get out of the all-inclusive mind set. On most excursions, you will come across some really fun staff that will make your adventure memorable. When determining the tip, consider the duration of your excursion, how much interaction you had with the staff and how many people were on the team serving you. For a quick ride, $3-5 each way is good but if your guide(s) have been with you all day $15-20/couple might be more appropriate.

My most favorite perk to traveling is that I don’t have to clean my room or make my bed. Priceless. Then when the housekeeping creates cute little animals out of towels or places flower petals on my bed and chocolates on my table, I fall in love. Tipping housekeeping daily is preferable as the staff may not be the same from day to day. That way the last person that cleans your room doesn’t get all of the funds. Depending on how messy (lazy) I am that day $2-5/day is about right. If you are at a resort with a no tipping policy, you will not tip your housekeeper.

Just about every spa at an all-inclusive is an "add on service" meaning that it is not included in your all-inclusive rate. That being said, please tip your spa providers IF you noticed that they have not already included a gratuity charge in your bill. Depending on what services you scheduled, 15-20% is standard.

Once you have a butler, it’s so hard not to have a butler. You become accustom to the service and attention that you receive. Depending on how much attention you get $10-20/day will make that butler cherish the time they put in.

To sum it up , before offering a tip, make sure that the resort that you are staying at does not have a no-tipping policy. The staff at these resorts can get into big trouble for taking extra tips. However, keep in mind what your all-inclusive rate includes and who you encounter that does not work at the resort, such as your driver and your tour guides. If you are looking to tip, daily tips instead of a lump sum is suggested to ensure that the appropriate person is rewarded. Also, only consider people that are offering you direct service like your bartenders, waiters and maid service. Lastly, don't feel that you have to tip everyone. Only tip if you feel that the service is well worth it.