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A tipping guide (and don't forget the hotel maid)

Here's a tip: Tip your hotel maid.

"Maybe once a month someone will tip, but what can I do? We can't force people to tip," says Sara Hana, a housekeeper at A Victory Inn in Roseville, Mich.

Of all the workers travelers encounter, hotel maids are most likely to be stiffed at tip time. Often unseen by guests, they are known only by the crisp pillows they plump or fluffy towels they hang.

"Sometimes they slip under the radar, but they are incredibly deserving," says Dan Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vt. "They deserve a tip of $1 to $3 a day." Some say more.

While guests expect hotel maids to be as discreet as the Secret Service and as honest as Mother Teresa, many travelers just don't know how to tip for a housekeeper's excellent service.

Because the maid who cleans your room might be different each day, Senning says it's best to leave a daily tip on the pillow or on a table with a note. "Be really clear. Don't leave loose change on the bedside table," he says. "And if you make a real mess, leave a little more."

HOW MUCH TO TIP Travelers should never tip certain people, like bed-and-breakfast hosts, airline pilots, flight attendants and cruise ship captains. But other service providers appreciate a tip.

Hotel maid $2-$5 per day, left daily.

Bellhop $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag.

Skycap $2 first bag; $1 per additional bag.

Doorman $1-$2 for carrying luggage or hailing a cab.

Concierge $5-$10 if they get you tickets or reservations.

Taxi driver 15 percent plus $1-$2 if they help with your bags.

Room service waiter 15 percent.

Private excursion or tour guides 10-15 percent.

Group tour guide or driver $2 daily

Airport or hotel shuttle drivers $1-$2.

 

Sources: emilypost.com; Fodor's

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