You might know how much to tip the hairdresser or waitress, but how about the the shampoo girl? Or the skycap at the airport, and the concierge at your hotel? You don't want to look cheap, but all those services add up!
We decided to go straight to the folks we're tipping to get their take -- then we compared their suggestions to a CNNMoney tipping guide. Check it out
Insider says: Cory K., who rants about working in the restaurant industry at Rootspeak.org, says to give a 20 percent tip for adequate service and a minimum of 25 percent for remarkable, which she says includes "a server who knows his or her restaurant." Even servers who supply less than stellar service should get tipped at least 15 percent.
"One thing I think most people should keep in mind is that servers are making pennies for an hourly wage," she said. "The people who bring you your food and refill your water are someone's daughter, grandson, best friend, or neighbor, so be kind. Everyone has bad days."
Guide says: At least 15 percent of the bill (excluding tax) for adequate service, 20 percent for very good service and no less than 10 percent for poor service. For a sommelier, tip 15 percent of the cost of the wine bottle and 15 to 20 percent for a bartender, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink and $1 per alcoholic beverage.
At the Salon
Insider says: Blogger CK Khan
says to tip 15 to 20 percent range before tax is added for hair stylists, massage therapists and nail technicians. Tip $5 to the person who shampoos your hair and $10 to someone blow dries your hair other than the stylist. You don't have to tip the receptionist or someone who brings you a drink.
Guide says: The guide agrees, except for the shampooer; they give her $2.
At the Valet Stand:
Insider says: There's no blanket tip rate for valet parking, according to Troy Nelson, who pens Valetvent.com. He says it depends on what type of restaurant, whether it's in a city or suburb and what the valet charges.
"For a low-end to medium-scale restaurant, $3 is about the average tip," he said. "For a nicer restaurant or steakhouse, $5 tends to be the average. I've averaged $1 a car on my worst night and $12 a car on my best."
If valet is complimentary and the restaurant is in a busy city, you should match the lowest parking ramp fee, which is $5 in Nelson's area. or "otherwise it appears that you are valeting to save money on parking," he said.
Guide says: Nelson overshoots -- a standard valet tip is only $2.
At the Airport: Shuttle Drivers and Skycaps
Insider says: James G. Lewis, of TipGuide.org, says porters or skycaps get $2 per bag or more if the bags are heavy and $2 extra for curbside check-in. If you arrive late and he hustles to help you catch your flight, tip extra (and if he lets your overweight bag go through without the extra charge, be super generous--remember, he's saving you the overweight fee, which can be around $50!). Courtesy shuttle drivers get $1 to $2 per bag, while taxi, limo, paid shuttle or van drivers get 15 percent of the total fare and up to 20 percent if they helped with bags. Be aware that limo rates often include gratuity.
Guide says: The guide agrees with Lewis, but suggests $1 per bag for skycaps and $2 per bag for carrying them to check-in counter.
At the Hotel: Porters, Room Service and Housekeeping
Insider says: Charlyn Keating Chisholm, the Hotels/Resorts/Inns guide for About.com, says porters and doormen get $1 to $2 per bag, $1 to $2 for bringing you to a cab in a cab line and a little extra if they hail the cab off the street. Bellhops get $1 to $2 per bag if they bring them to your room.
Room service gratuity of 12 to 15 percent is often already included in the price of your order, though you can tip extra for exceptional service. "Room service tips are generally 'pooled,' or shared between everyone," Chisholm says. "If you hand something extra to a person who provides you extraordinary service, he or she can keep it."
Tip housekeeping staff between $1 and $5 per night. If a hotel staff member delivers something special, such as extra blanket, tip $2 or $1 each if they brought more than one item. Maintenance or service people don't get tipped.
Guide says: Tip doormen only $1 for hailing a cab. The tipping guide agrees about the bellhop, though suggests tipping $2 if you have just one bag. Tip housekeepers $2 to $5 a night.