Tipping Tips for Travelers

Molly McCluskey just wrote a new piece for the Motley Fool entitled Tipping Tips for Travelers.  I was interviewed in this piece about tips, etc. for all-inclusive locations and tours.

Gratuity may or may not be included when you book either an all-inclusive vacation or a tour.  It is best to just ask.  As I point out to Molly in the piece, we do include a small amount in our package so that our employees are going to receive something.  Many of our guests book through a tour operator and they assume that full-gratuity is included in each of our packages – it isn’t.  We only include a gratuity for the staff, excluding the guides, that is around 2.5% of the package price per person.  This gratuity, and all tips left by guests, go into a pool that is split between the kitchen staff, the wait staff, the cleaning staff, the boat captains and the gentlemen who move your bags around for you during your stay.  It is easiest for you to just give any additional gratuity either to the staff themselves if you so choose or to management upon your departure.  This way you can determine what kind of service you received and what you believe is a fair amount during your stay.  As to additional gratuity, we generally recommend, if you are happy with the service, about $5 per person in your party a day to be added to the pool.

For example, if you request that your laundry in your cabana be washed each day during your stay and the staff does a great job for you, then you might choose to leave a bit more of a tip than someone who didn’t have any laundry during a stay.  We do not charge for laundry service, but the staff is doing it for you.

We suggest you consider leaving $5 to $10 dollars per day for each person in your party for your guides.  Again, this may combined. If you have one guide one day and another guide another day, or even two guides in one day then you need not tip both of them.  You may either give this to the guide or guides directly or leave it with management for distribution to them.

Whenever you are traveling, when in doubt ask.


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