First thing’s first: yes, you should be tipping the hotel housekeeper. A quick pulse check at InsideHook headquarters this morning signaled to me that this maybe isn’t the common knowledge I assumed it to be. Though as fate would have it, as evidenced by new data, my colleagues who weren’t aware of best housekeeping tip practices are actually in good company. Per a study from The Vacationer, only 39% of hotel guests tip the housekeeping staff, which means 61% are not.
Like most other hospitality and service workers, housekeepers rely on tips. According to Salary.com, the average hourly wage for a hotel housekeeper in the United States typically falls between $12 and $14. In other words, as a new report from Thrillist notes, tipping is, in many cases, “the difference between a living wage and poverty wages.”
So now that we’ve gotten that much out of the way, the question of how much you should be tipping your housekeeper remains. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the answer is between $1 and $5 per day, but, as one travel expert told Thrillist, “$5 is the new $1.” So the closer to $5, the better, but typically no less than $2. Further, the “per day” stipulation is crucial because you may not have the same housekeeper every day for the entire duration of your stay.
Chicago Might Be the Next City to Change the Relationship Between Tipping and the Minimum WageIf passed, the measure would be part of a growing trend
“Remember, the tip is not just for cleaning your room while you are there, but for what the housekeeper did to prepare the room prior to your arrival and after you leave,” Steve Turk, founder of consulting firm Turk Hospitality, said. “My general rule is if the dollar is stronger in whatever country you’re in, for example, Latin America, Mexico or the Caribbean, tip in dollars. However, in European countries or places like the U.K., tip in local currency such as pounds or euros.”
Of course, tipping culture in the United States, in particular, is a pretty divisive topic these days. A few months back, Reddit user u/DrSweetPea27 posted to the subreddit r/antiwork, “Tipping culture is getting ridiculous!” which garnered upwards of 800 responses. You can find much of the same on X, formerly Twitter, on just about any given day of the week. And there is an element of truth to that. Thanks largely to the implementation of certain technologies and point-of-sale systems, people are being asked to tip in certain venues where gratuity was not previously expected. It’s worth noting that’s not the case here.
The reality is that the debate over whether or not not service workers, like housekeepers, deserve to be tipped is a tired one — the answer is unequivocally yes (though, you’d be forgiven for not knowing you were supposed to). As someone who spent the entirety of their young adult life in and out of the service industry, I can confirm for an absolute fact that you aren’t “sticking it to The Man” by snubbing your housekeeper. The Man gets his either way. I’m not saying it’s a perfect system, but it’s the one we’ve got. So, all of that said, always be sure to swing by the ATM prior to check-in — the year is 2023, and we are tipping our hotel housekeepers, people!
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