Do you tip the hotel maid?
A new survey indicates that half of Americans don't leave a little something for the housekeeping staff.
My, what a miserly bunch of travelers we can be. Nearly half (48%) of Americans don't leave a tip for the hotel housekeeper, according to a new survey.
And those who do are far from agreement on what the tip should be. "Among those who do tip, 44% leave at least $5, while a third (33%) tend to leave just a dollar or two," says the new Shoppers Trend Report from online coupon site RetailMeNot.
Whether we tip seems to be influenced by the part of the country we're from and our sex.
- 56% of Southerners said they don't tip the hotel cleaning staff, while only 25% of people from the Northeast admitted as much.
- 56% of men said they leave a tip, while only 49% of women respondents do.
Why should you tip the maid, we can hear some of you wondering.
Here's an answer from a post at HotelChatter: "… you know, if you're tipping the roomservice dude for pressing the elevator button and wheeling a cart of food to your room, shouldn't you be tipping the staffer who is on his or her hands and knees scrubbing your hotel room's toilet?"
A new study on hotel room cleanliness found that housekeepers normally clean 14 to 16 rooms a day, or about 30 hard minutes of work per room. (Post continues below.)
(Off-topic but essential side note: That study also found that the TV remote control is the most-germ-laden surface in hotel rooms, and that eyeballing a room for cleanliness isn't effective. Some hotels are addressing that. USA Today says Best Western housekeepers are being equipped with "black lights to detect biological matter otherwise unseen by the human eye, and ultraviolet light wands to zap it." Also, says Smarter Travel, "A Best Western representative told us that any bedspreads will be washed if bacteria is detected on them via the black lights. No longer will travelers need to fling off the stiff bedspread using the tip a foot or an oblivious spouse's toothbrush.")
So, what's an appropriate tip for the person whose task is to keep you safe from bacteria, germs, and other icky things, and earns an average of $10.10 an hour? For that we turned to a Good Housekeeping post by Peggy Post (Emily Post's great-granddaughter-in-law).
She recommends $2 a day in a moderately priced establishment, and $3 to $5 at swankier places. She also advises that you leave a tip each day so the person who actually cleans your room can pick it up. (A USA Today chart includes a range of recommendations on how much to tip the maid and other hotel staff.)
We suggest that you put out the "do not disturb" sign in the interest of conserving water and energy -- do you really need a clean towel every day? -- and leave the tip before you depart. Add a little extra if you've been really messy.
Put the bills in a folded sheet of paper or envelope, and write "housekeeping" on the outside so there's no doubt that it's a tip and not just money you left sitting out.
Some hotels may automatically include a tip in your bill. Ask when you check in.
Do you tip the hotel maid? If not, why don't you?
More on MSN Money:
At what point are we tipping for service or handing extra cash to someone for doing their job? If I tip the room service waiter - for the service of bringing food - do I not also tip the cook who prepared the meal? If I tip the maid, why not throw a buck at the guy who checked me in? Do I tip a pilot for getting me to my destination? What's the difference between someone who brings my mail or someone who prepares my taxes? If I tip for being served coffee at a table, do I locate - and tip - the vendor if I get a cup of joe from a vending machine? If I tip a cocktail waitress for my drink, shouldn't I tip the band for the ambiance? Or why not tip the construction crew for building the facility in the first place? We could all justify our jobs as "tippable".
You bet. Housekeepers work hard and it's a miserable job cleaning the room that a stranger has slept and bathed in. I leave the money each morning with a note saying "for the housekeeper", even if I'm staying several days.
I have not infrequently received notes of thanks from the housekeeper in return.
I run a small cleaning company, so I really appreciate a clean room and generally tip $3-5 dollars per night, more if we are especially messy or have a lot of people in a room. The few dollars out of my pocket can really put a smile on someone's face and boost their morale, which shows up in their work. It also helps them financially when it all adds up. I generally leave a note of thanks along with the cash, hoping to make them happy. I cleaned for many years before my business, and a happy employee is a good thing to have.
OMG we have become a nation of over tippers, not everyone needs a tip... I've worked the same job for over 10 years, haven't got one tip yet.. hell at this point a compliment would make my day lol.
Thanks anyway, but I decline the privilege of allowing this author, or anyone else determine when or how much I should give a tip.
I make that determination when/if the service of a person makes me feel that I enjoy the experience. As for hotel help .. If I never even meet that person, then I will almost certainly not give some type of tip. That is just plan silly. I give tips for personal service .. .not for a person just doing their job.
Rose in Massachusetts: do you also tip the stock crew at your local grocery store/Walmart/etc ? I've worked as a stocker (as well as janitor) and until you've had the joy of unloading a supply truck, wheeling a pallet onto a floor, and stocked shelves for a 12 hour shift, you've not known true joy (lol). Funny, I never got a tip for making sure all the items you need were in the convenient places for you so that you could go home and open Mr. Cuddles' can of cat food without undue effort on your part.
Are you saying that I'm not one of the "other working people" that is due such largess as you would give to hotel maids and waitresses? Please explain to us your reasoning behind who gets tips and who doesn't. Why? "Just because".
Sorry if I sound bitter, but I keep seeing how "working people" deserve tips. Unfortunately, I seem to have spent years in untip-worthy jobs that I put in long hours because it was "my job" to do so, but then see people claim deserving workers get tips. What junk.
Waitresses, YES. They get paid crap and survive on tips; I NEVER go below 18% unless they maroon me at my table and never return, and even then I weigh how busy, number of workers, etc.
Others who get a full pay scale, whatever you think, but don't try to make those of us who actully do the same jobs (or worse) without the benefit of qualifying for your tip feel bad for not doing so.
Question: how many of you that tip hotel maids tip the janitor at your place of work? Just wondering, because I've done custodial work in the past and I was NEVER offered a tip. Why is that, do you think? Hotel maids= tip worthy, janitors= not tip worthy.
Is this the same reason we tip people who bring us food at TGIFridays but not at McDonalds? Some people are inherently tip worthy, but others who do the same job "are getting paid to do their job"?
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