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Tips on tipping

"Know what to do when you are travelling and not sure of tipping etiquettes"


It often happens that when we are travelling to a new country, especially on vacation, we are not aware of the tipping ettiquette of the country.

In fact, many a time we are utterly confused whether a waiter needs to be tipped when there is a service charge added to the bill or not. It is difficult setting a standard but for me it usually depends on the quality of service rendered, food apart.

Then there are times — at the airport or hotel or even the taxi — when you think “Do I need to tip this person?''

Well, we have tried to compile a list of tips for you so that when you travel, you don't bother about mundane things as tipping ettiquette and simply enjoy yourself.

At airports and train stations

At the airport or train station, tip the regular porter $1 (about Dh4) per bag; more if your luggage is very heavy.

Unless you are staying in a five- or six-star hotel, a $1 tip is appropriate for the doorman for hailing a taxi.

At the hotel

When you arrive at your hotel, firstly tip the taxi or limo driver. A 10 to 15 per cent of your fare is usually expected.

If you drive your own car, give the valet parking attendant a dollar or two (about Dh10).

The bellman, who will be more than happy to assist you with your bags and the door, deserves at least a dollar per bag.

Tip him when he brings the bags to your room and when he assists you upon checkout.

The concierge can be a very helpful person.

He is the one who can get you anything from dinner reservations to hard-to-come-by theatre tickets.

He deserves $5 to 10 (around Dh30) for such feats. Whether you tip at the time of service or at the end of your stay is your choice.

But to ensure good service it is advisable to do it immediately.

Don't forget the housekeeeping staff. It is they who clean up after you and definitely deserve a tip. Anything between $5 to 10 is good.

On a cruise

When on a cruise, judge the service rendered to you and tip accordingly, preferably on the last evening of the cruise. As a general rule, dining room waiters receive $3.50 (Dh13) per person/per day.

At restaurants

You would mostly base your tips on the quality of service rendered.

Usually, excellent service calls for around 20 per cent of the total bill, but many a time the service charge is quite substantial.

If you are unhappy with the service, let it be known to the manager rather than walking out without tipping.

In restaurants where a service charge has been added, the staff usually does not expect tips.