Recently staying in various hotels throughout Europe and the Far East, I have gotten out of the habit of leaving a daily tip for the hotel maid. It is not typical in the countries I have been in (UK, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore) to leave a tip to the housekeepers unless a special request is made. Many of the hotels I have been staying in also have not had porters, so there were no tips for taking care of my luggage either. Because of this, it was fairly easy to live without much cash since I use my credit cards for meals, taxis and most everything else.
Back in a U.S. hotel this past week, I realized too late that I had forgotten to leave the maid a tip since I haven’t been doing this for several months. I usually leave a few dollars on the pillow each morning (or at least I do if I remember!) in a domestic hotel. I felt bad that I had forgotten, though not bad enough to double up the tip upon check-out.
I could easily get used to a no-tipping mentality here in the U.S., beginning with hotels. One hotel in downtown Chicago (The Elysian) adopted a no-tipping policy a couple of years ago, though it is now a Waldorf Astoria so I’m sure the no-tipping policy is gone.
Stats reflect that somewhere between a third and one-half of hotel guests leave a tip for housekeeping. For hotels to have a no-tipping mentality because their rates reflect higher staff wages isn’t the answer to satisfy everyone either, especially those who decline housekeeping services.
How about an option to tip the maid and include the amount on my bill when checking out (similar to adding a gratuity to a room service or restaurant charge)? No need to carry lots of small bills and tips are only added if desired. For those on expense reports, this makes it easier to track the total hotel cost and is easier than remembering to add these small daily expenditures.
For hoteliers, this would necessitate a change to their billing software. For employees, this may mean more taxing of their wages – though if more guests were likely to leave tips if the process was easier, their net income could very well be higher.
There is no right-or-wrong, yes-or-no answer on tipping hotel maids in the U.S., so maybe I just get over my guilt of not leaving a tip and adopt the customs of the countries that go tip-less.
To receive a free copy of our ebook, 70 Secrets to Safe Travel — Because Your Life Can Change in a Heartbeat, and for more travel savvy info to help you travel smarter, safer and with more enjoyment, visit SmartWomenTravelers.com and PearlsofTravelWisdom.com.
This post was uploaded to Pearls of Travel Wisdom with the use of the NetZero 4G Mobile hotspot.