IT’S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS WHEN YOU WANT TO SAY THANK-YOU
That pretty swan made from bath towels and delicious mints are always welcomed after returning from the beach or touring your destination hot-spot.
Personally the only thing I can craft from a towel is a ball before I throw it to the laundry bin. I find towel art to be soothing to the eyes as does a cold drink dressed with umbrellas or little snacks or not having to lift a finger doing everyday things such as cleaning.
Related: How to make towel art – Check this out!
What about the person who helps you with your luggage or the bartender who makes your special drink requests? All of these staff members are a team and keep a resort running and should be included in tipping when appropriate. Without high-traffic tourism many of these resorts would fall apart so keeping the customers happy is without a doubt the highest of priority.
Budget your holiday
If you use a budget spreadsheet like we do and like to go on vacation whether it be by airplane or land transportation including weekend road trips you almost always have a tipping category. Even if you don’t and you do tip the money has to come from somewhere so ensuring that you include such expenses in your holiday budget is essential.
Have you ever noticed how awkward it can be to tip anyone when you are on vacation especially when it’s frowned upon or you don’t know how much or what to give? I have experienced this in the past but have since come to understand that the only way to ease into the comfort zone of tipping on holiday is to learn about your destination and the economy surrounding it.
Going away on your dream vacation means packing all the luxuries of home in a suitcase along with ways to tip housekeeping staff while you are away. I know it may seem odd to pack gifts for the staff who look after you but this is not uncommon especially for International travel.
From housekeeping, concierge, gardeners, daycare, gym staff, food staff and parking services while on holidays you may consider leaving a tip for exceptional service but not knowing what to give can be challenging.
What you need to remember is staff is equal. This means that if you tip housekeeping perhaps consider the bartender and others employees who make your stay 100% outstanding. Leaving trinkets and little gifts for housekeeping is nice but everyone has family and needs to eat.
Vacation Budget inclusions
As a vacation nerd in my younger years and even today when I can get time away from work we like to go on holidays. Back in my 20’s budgeting money for my vacation included a line for tipping housekeeping staff and anyone who went above and beyond. The person who takes your luggage to the room is a great example of someone you can tip a few dollars for the extra help especially after a long flight and time change.
To ease my budget expenses I would always try to stay at self-serving hotels or facilities where I was the one taking care of myself instead of someone taking care of me. Sure, it does defeat the purpose of going on vacation where it should be relaxation and being waited on but not everyone likes that variation of inclusion on their holiday.
For example, not knowing when someone is going to come knocking on your door to have it cleaned or staff watching your every move waiting to jump in and help for a tip can be invasive which is why plenty of resorts say no to tipping housekeeping staff. Their job is to make you feel comfortable which includes friendly service that is thorough and meets the standards of the resort or facility you pay for.
This makes sense to me but everyone I know leaves a tip even if they have to sneak it to the staff without their boss or other employees knowing. Don’t kid yourself, if you hand housekeeping $10 he/she won’t turn it down and if they do you just smile and thank them again. If you’re worried about being rejected for a monetary tip by your housekeeping staff you can always go the gift route by bringing items of need in your suitcase to leave out.
You do not have to tip anyone, but it is a nice gesture to say thank-you and to add a smile to someone’s face. Digging deep into your wallet when you are on vacation at all-inclusive Caribbean resorts such as in Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Antigua, St. Lucia and even places like Spain, UK, France and Italy is not uncommon.
Although homeland currency would be beneficial most tipping is done in US or Canadian dollars. Even if you don’t have US or Canadian dollars money will get sorted and spent to some degree. Keep in mind that some countries may not accept your currency so again, do your research.
Friends of ours who visit the Dominican Republic once a year to their vacation village a 10% tip is customary form along with items from their home country. If you go on holiday and want to spread some Canadian Maple Syrup cheer bring a few bottles along for a suitcase ride and offer them to the staff at a resort where cash tipping is not permitted or frowned upon.
Who is your housekeeping team?
In all honesty I include everyone who works at the facility or resort to be part of the team who takes care of making sure day-to-day activities and jobs are carried out. Not everyone will share my view.
The housekeeping definition varies from country to country where it could mean a maid or room cleaning services who come daily to freshen up your vacation living quarters. The idea is to make your stay better than at home which includes not having to do anything on your part.
The luxuries of cleanliness, fresh bed sheets and towels really does add to the allure of going on vacation. Housekeeping also includes the cleaning staff at a school, hospital or even the mall. If you are cleaning you are most likely called a housekeeper of sorts even if the venue is not a house. However keeping the house under control takes a team which includes everyone.
To Tip or Not To Tip
Should you leave a tip for housekeeping?
This is entirely up to you because tipping housekeeping doesn’t necessarily mean you will get any better service than you would without a tip. Some resorts may not allow tipping of their housekeeping staff which also extends to the rest of the resort employees because it’s included in gratuities. This is why it’s important to do your homework before you leave for vacation so you understand how your resort operates.
If you want to avoid tipping all you have to do is keep that little sign on your door telling housekeeping that you don’t care for their services that day. Not all vacationers want their beds refreshed or made daily or need their floors swept and mopped so avoiding it means you avoid leaving that tip.
Too frugal? Not really if you truly don’t want the services or don’t feel the need to tip for them. Alternatively you don’t need to leave anything but still should get the same service as if you were leaving a tip because this is the job they are there to do. A tip is just an extra perk that may be added but never should be expected by staff at any resort, hotel or spa.
When should you leave a tip?
Some people who go on vacation and want to tip housekeeping might think to do so at the end of the week or their stay. The problem with this is that housekeeping at almost every resort, hotel or facility you stay at while travelling will have different housekeeping staff daily. If you want to tip housekeeping ideally you would want to do it daily. I also find that if you tip one housekeeping staff they spread the word of your kindness towards their hard work.
Tipping is not mandatory but when you are on vacation it’s nice to say thank-you to the staff who take care of you as would the employees at your local Starbucks or Tim Horton’s coffee shop. Try to remember that if you are tipping the bartenders, concierge and other helpers cash then you should do so the maids.
How would you feel if your fellow employee was offered tip money and just because you are a cleaner all you get is bottle of perfume and boxes of crayons. One says thanks for your outstanding service and the other says here’s a gift from the heart or my home country. If you think about it they are two entirely different concepts and gestures.
If leaving your housekeeping staff a monetary tip is customary consider doing both by leaving a little something for their kids or themselves such as jewellery, flashlight, measuring tape or other memorable inexpensive gift items that include male, female and the kiddos.
Like you I wasn’t sure what items we would bring along that may be needed or accepted so I did some fishing by asking my friends what they did. Below are the top ways you can tip housekeeping with or without cash or both!
I can assure you that money will always dominate this list of tips for housekeeping so keep in mind how far that dollar you spend at the Dollar store to buy toys might go instead of the products.
Adding $5 to an envelope along with a small gift seems to be the norm from my research before leaving the room in the morning.
- Cash Envelopes and personalized hand-written notes (use an online translator like Babelfish)
- Gift Bags filled with surprises!
- Canadian souvenirs
- Health and Beauty supplies including laundry
My wife has been to the Dominican Republic on vacation and although the resort life may look luxurious once you step foot outside of you really get a glimpse of their life. A trip tour led her outside of the resort which is where she really had some heart-stopping moments of sadness and happiness. If you know what I mean then you will agree that leaving a monetary tip would far outweigh leaving lotions and hair accessories for tipping purposes.
Sometimes the easiest way to understand the locals is to talk to them. While getting her hair braided by the lady on the beach Mrs. CBB started chatting about life in the Dominican and found out how desperate many of the families were.
They were poor she wanted her to send new or used clothing and shoes in the mail. Her family was desperate for clothing since she was the only person with a job in the family. Leaving cash seemed to be easier to which she was accepting and gracious about receiving.
You don’t have to believe anyone you just need to care and however someone chooses to spend gratuity or tips left by you while on vacation just know that it was done from the heart and not because you had to do it.
P.S- Remember that male and female employees fill each role so keep that in mind if you do plan to buy little gifts.
Discussion: What do you tip housekeeping when you are on vacation? Nothing, Cash, Cash and extras such as gifts.
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