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Don’t Forget to Tip the Maid!

maid note


It seems like I have had a trip a month beginning in June. Many of you travel as well, whether that is to teach or vend at shows or to take classes or just to see the sites. And, of course, tipping is required on these trips.


Tipping is an area that used to trip me up. I did not know how much to tip or when. After traveling a great deal, I feel comfortable with tipping. It is easy to remember to tip for your meal in a restaurant, or even the cab driver. It is not so easy to remember all the other people who help you out during your travels. Many of the people who are helping you out are also minimum wage workers. For many of us, a couple of dollars may not make a difference. For those minimum wage workers, it just might, so I like to err on the side of generosity. Spellcaster Maxim reviews.


As I note below, I like to leave a tip for the hotel maid on a daily basis since I do not know if it will be the same maid every day. When I traveled to Hartford, Conn., a few years back, I left a few dollars at the foot of the bed when I went off for the day. When I came back, the note you see on this page was on my bed. I do not know who felt better about this. It was positive feelings all around.


Here are some general guidelines for tipping.

  • Cabs: 15-20 percent of the fare, plus $1-2 per bag. For short trips, tip a minimum of $1.
  • Airport shuttle drivers:$2 for the first bag; $1 for additional bags.
  • Baggage handlers (Skycaps, hotel bellhops, curbside check-in): $2 for the first bag; $1 for additional bags.
  • Complimentary hotel shuttle: $1-$2 per person.
  • Maid service: $1-$5 a day depending on type of hotel. According to one of our ICAP members who used to manage a hotel housekeeping staff, just leave the cash at the foot of the bed each day.
  • Restaurant: 15%-20% of the bill pre-tax, depending on service.
  • Take-out: nothing is required. 10% is nice if the order is complicated or extra services are required (delivery)
  • Bartender: $1-2 per drink or 15%-20% of the tab.
  • Valet: $1-5, tipping on the higher end for extra services (loading bags in your car) or inclement weather. Tip only when the car is returned.
  • Tip jars: nothing is required, so it’s your call.


During your stay, you will encounter many instances where someone does something extra to help you out and that requires a tip. In your travels, be sure to keep track of all the tips you give, as they are tax deductible – and carry lots of dollar bills.


How do you handle tipping in your travels? Please share your thoughts below. I would love to hear them. You are also welcome to go to leave a comment on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.


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Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


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4 Responses to “Don’t Forget to Tip the Maid!”

  1. susan said:

    That’s sweet you got a note. I’ve never received a note or a thank you passing in the hall. On my last trip (Hilton in MN) I was short on small bills the first morning so I left a one dollar bill and $1.90 in change with a note apologizing for not having any small bills to leave. The note and the cash were gone. The next day I left a $5 to make up for it. Nothing. I’m beginning to think that maybe $3 a night isn’t appreciated and that housekeeping expects $5.

  2. Morna said:

    Susan, this is only time I ever got a note, and it made my day. I can also remember when I stayed in Houston for Market/Festival talking with the maid. She had been laid off some months earlier and was so happy the quilters were in town because she was hired back on temporarily.

  3. Carla said:

    Any suggestions on how much to tip the valet?

    I like your suggestion for tipping the maid daily. I suspect it improves the cleanliness of your room. I’ve stayed in some pretty dirty rooms lately.

    I was a hotel maid one summer when I was in college. I know how hard they work (the ones that actually DO clean the room. I’ve been pretty unimpressed during my last two trips!) and I almost never got tips back then. I did leave a note when someone left me a tip, but 95% of people didn’t leave anything.

    A lot of the hotel chains are hiring immigrants that speak little English, so no one should expect a note these days. I know from experience that they deal with some pretty gross stuff in those hotel rooms, and minimum wage is pretty low for some of the things they deal with! I don’t have a problem if no one leaves me a note, I’m just happy when the room is clean!

  4. Morna said:

    Carla, thanks for mentioning the valet. The average tip is between $1-$5. I usually go with $2. If it’s rainy or I have bags the valet loads, I’ll tip more. You also only tip when the car is returned, not on both ends. I’ll go back and edit the blog with this info for others.

    I’m not sure when you worked as a maid. I can remember traveling early on, and it never dawned on me to tip the maid. I think it’s because she was invisible if she did her job. Housekeeping is definitely a thanks-less job, so they need the thanks!

    The last time I stayed in a Marriott property, I found an envelope encouraging a tip for the maid. It was part of a program launched by Marriott Corporation and Maria Shriver and her organization, A Woman’s Nation.

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