When going on vacation, you probably include a little extra in your budget for the unexpected costs that often arise.
But should you have to allot the whole of it to tipping every bell boy, tour guide, and taxi driver you encounter?
There are certain professions that survive on gratuity, but then there are others that have simply become accustomed to the perk.
So we’re here to tell you when you should tip—and when a simple “good day to you” is all that’s needed
Traveling during the holidays can be extra tricky on the gratuity front because many people get in the holiday spirit and often give more than they typically would.
Hey, being generous is not a bad thing – ‘tis better to give than receive! But…. you don’t want to start a trend that will be hard to claw your way out of either.
Christopher Elliott, writing for USA Today, explains the tipping dilemma, sharing:
“Tipping is a confusing ritual for consumers. Coffee shops, hair salons and fast-food restaurants now actively solicit tips from their customers. But automatic tipping takes it to the next level. When a business either strongly suggests a tip or just adds a gratuity to your bill hoping you won’t dispute it, that feels wrong.”
We’ve all been there – the awkward moment when you’ve been seated at a nice restaurant and the host lingers around a little too long, hoping to be rewarded for their superior seating skills.
Joshua Zweighaft, a New York-based travel consultant, faced an interesting tipping experience when he ordered a beer poolside at a high-end hotel in San Jose, California, according to USA Today.
The bill came with an automatic 18% gratuity added as a “convenience” charge.
So which is it? Convenience or gratuity?
“I paid it,” said Zweighaft, but he didn’t add an additional tip on top of the gratuity he was charged.
Furthermore, it was unclear if the bartender would be the recipient of the “convenience” charge.
When an automatic tip or convenience charge is added to a bill, there is no reason to leave additional gratuity unless you received some sort of red carpet service that deserves it.
Another trend promoting obligated tipping is the tipping percentage options (10%, 15%, or 20%) on payment apps like Square. There is no option to tip a customized amount – whether you want to give more or leave less.
As Wade Eyerly, CEO of an insurance company in Connecticut, told USA Today, “It’s like a mob threat.”
He adds, “Tip well, or who knows what happens, you know? But there’s no way for your tip to reflect the service.”
He is spot on! After ordering your food, the tipping percentages pop-up right in front of everyone when you pay. Do you press 10% (afterall, you’re getting your own drinks), or do you take a big gulp and press that 20% button while the employee stares you square in the face?
The answer is none of the above! A restaurant tip should be based on service, so tipping before your service is provided is a trend we should not be onboard with.
This mentality is promoting entitlement (more so than already exists) in the worst kind of way.
If you can’t stand to have the employee judging you because you didn’t tip on the payment app, just let them know you’ll be leaving cash on the table after you finish your meal.
Another area of gratuity that heeds caution is when taking a cruise. Most major cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian add an automatic tip of $23 per person, per day!
If you didn’t know this, you could be shelling out some real dough on gratuity alone – leaving no spending money for those famous Bahama braids you were going to get.
Getting the automatic fee waived so you can tip in person is an option with some cruise lines, but it has to be set up in advance.
And any professional such as a doctor or highly-skilled craftsman, like an electrician, should not be tipped at all, according to CNBC.
If they go above and beyond the call of duty, a gift may be appropriate in some situations, but not a cash tip.
Customer service positions – think valet, barista, your manicurist – expect a tip, but should not be working for one.
Entitled tips are a part of the problem in this genre of the workforce. Mandatory tips, suggested tips, and tips out of obligation have created a precedent that’s only getting worse.
You may have some dirty looks come your way, but give out high-fives instead of those Lincolns the next time a tip isn’t warranted.
Tip when you feel the service is exceptional or if the situation calls for it, but take the road less traveled for all other scenarios.
Please let us know in the comments section if you’ve had an uncomfortable tipping experience, and how you think obligated or automatic gratuity has affected the service industry.