Travel Etiquette 101: Tipping Housekeepers
Tipping housekeepers is one of those topics that many travelers seem to be lacking in education. For those of you who do tip housekeepers on a regular basis, good for you. They deserve it. But perhaps you don’t know exactly what the rules are for tipping maids and are unfamiliar with what standard practices are in this area. After reading this, you will know.
Housekeepers do a lot of thankless work. Vacuuming, washing, cleaning bathrooms, tidying rooms, making beds, restocking supplies, and a whole lot more. What’s worse, TripAdvisor conducted an online survey a couple of years ago showing that barely over 30% of travelers worldwide leave tips for housekeepers at all, ever. Let it be known that hotel maids generally make less than $25,000 per year.
When it comes to tipping housekeepers, doing so hasn’t reached past the common courtesy threshold and into the expected/mandatory realm, like tipping waiters and waitresses. But in our opinion, it should. And we hope that you will view it that way as well. Showing your appreciation to these hardworking folks will not only show your gratitude but will likely prompt special care of your room. Here are some tips regarding leaving money for housekeepers that will give you an idea of how you should approach it as a hotel guest.
Tip every day
Instead of waiting until the day you check out to leave money on the dresser, leave it in portions each morning when you leave your room. This is much more exciting for the housekeepers as well as addressing the fact that the same person often does not clean your room on a daily basis so this way you reward each one of them. Also, it’s best not to leave loose change but rather stick with bills. Housekeepers who find change have to decide if that change is just the loose change that you left on the counter accidentally or if it is meant for them.
Make sure they know it’s a tip
It is best if you mark your tip clearly somehow so that the housekeepers know for sure that it is meant for them. As you know, they have to be careful not to remove anything from the room that belongs to the guest, including and perhaps most especially money. Put a note on top of the tip with “tip” written on it using the stationary provided by the hotel or place the money in an envelope marked “tip”. Some people simply wrap the cash in a folded piece of paper and write “tip” on it. Any of these methods are preferred over leaving the money bare. If you’re staying in a foreign country, know how to write the word “housekeeper” to give a personal touch.
Don’t make the tip hard to find
Be sure to leave your tip in an obvious place where the housekeepers won’t miss it, like on a cleared desk, bathroom counter, on a raised pillow, or on the TV. You don’t want the money that was meant for the maid to be found by the next guest who stays in that room
Let the quality of service dictate the amount
Rule of thumb in the industry is $2-3 a night for traditional hotels and $5+ a night for luxury hotels/resorts. It is also understood that if you have many people staying in one room (3 or more) you should tip a bit more per night. Plus, if you’ve asked your maid for many extra or additional items or services throughout the course of your stay, naturally you should tip them more. However, if the service was poor or the housekeepers were unpleasant, it is fine to tip (or not tip) accordingly.