If you're going to be traveling and taking that dream vacation over the next few months, no doubt a question will come up again and again:  Whom and how much should I tip?  

I was so glad to see this discussed as I think tipping has to be one of the most confusing and random things we have to deal with as we amp up vacation season.  It seems everyone has a number and opinion and often they don't match.

I've tried to figure out the right amount when taking a taxi from BOI to Meridian, and what would be appropriate for that valet driver at the Grove Hotel?  It gets increasingly confusing when you travel to airports like Portland or Seattle where you have shuttle drivers just to get to the rental car facilities.

So what are the right times and right people to tip?

Most of us know it's between 18-20% at most restaurants, and we all seem to have that right amount for our hairdressers, but when looking at vacations, here are a couple of the big ones.

  • Rental car shuttle drivers can go from nothing (if they don't help with bags and are just driving to you to the counter so you can conduct your business) to $1-$2 if they help with bags.  The real rule here seems to be if they help with your bags and how heavy they are.
  • Have you thought about tipping your hotel maids?  This is one I'm really bad about.  Experts say it can range from $2 per day to $5-$10 if especially messy.  Tips should be left daily in case your housekeeper changes day-to-day.  I have to wonder if you don't get a cleaner room the more you tip too?
  • Taxi and Uber drivers are a very individual decision.  Taxis always have "suggestions" and most experts say 15% is where you should land.  One of the designed "perks" of Uber is that there is no tip required, though many drivers admit you may get a higher passenger rating the better the tip.

There are more including cruise tipping in a story from Newschannel 7 that you can find HERE.

Hope your summer vacation is stress-free and that this helps take some of the mystery out of tipping.