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20-40-60 Etiquette---Tips included?





By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace


QUESTION: We traveled to an-all inclusive resort over the holidays. Typically, most everything is included from meals to drinks. I felt it necessary to reward employees like servers and bartenders who went above and beyond to make our vacation enjoyable. Is there a guideline or percentage in how much money to tip?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: When it is all-inclusive, tips are greatly appreciated but not assumed. I would tip what you're comfortable with for the specific services.


LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: I am not sure it's expected, but from what I can determine etiquettewise, it is definitely appreciated. Everyone likes to receive a something extra - or even special praise - for exceptional work, and I would imagine that the wages for these services aren't high. Gratuity might be included on your bill, and you can ask your travel agent or a resort manager ahead of time what the policy is regarding tipping. But if you want to, you can leave a few dollars in your room for those cleaning it or on your table in the dining room. I might be wrong on this, and I'd love for someone who travels to all-inclusive resorts regularly to weigh in on this issue, but it's nice that you are thinking along these lines. And who knows? Your tipping might lead to some extra services that help you enjoy your trip even more.

HELEN'S ANSWER: Always check the receipt when traveling on cruise lines because sometimes the gratuity has already been added.

On some luxury liners, tips are neither required or expected, but anyone handing out exceptional service to you should be rewarded either daily or at the end of the trip. Remember that sometimes tips are put in a "pool" for all the workers and the person you are giving your money to does not receive it. Ask the questions to your travel agent or to cruise line managers. Also check online for information.


GUEST'S ANSWER: Kathy Walker, local civic leader and volunteer: If you travel to all-inclusive resorts, you can always consult your travel agent. If you have booked your own accommodations, you can always consult an online travel site such as Trip Advisor. What you tip is entirely up to you, however remember that honoring the staff who assists you during your stay with extra gratuities is kind and appropriate.

Some guests tip those who have been of extra help to them during their stay at the end of their vacation and others tip each day for different services. Remember that in addition to bartenders and servers, there are always housekeepers, drivers, porters, beach staff, tour guides, spa treatments and babysitters. Perhaps anything between $2 and $20 per day or service could be reasonable


One friend told me that she wrote a check to a special staff member and enclosed it in a lovely box of soap. Another said that another way of thanking an employee of the resort would be to write a letter to management or post online with a travel site the name of the staff member with an account of his or her outstanding service.



To ask an etiquette question, email helen

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›

Lillie-Beth Brinkman

Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman Read more ›

Callie Athey

Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a... Read more ›