After the wedding is over, once you've sent your dress to the cleaner and packed your bags, it's time for the honeymoon. The trip is special enough, but it becomes even more so when the people you interact with during your travels make a point to congratulate you and help you celebrate. And while tipping is tipping, no matter why you're traveling or who you're interacting with, it can feel like a special case when you're traveling as newlyweds. We asked an expert to give us some insight into tipping on your honeymoon.
"Tipping on your honeymoon (or any time) is discretional and personal, attached to each experience and person," says Harmony Walton, owner of The Bridal Bar and founder of Jet Fete. "That being said, when will you have a better opportunity to share the love and show your appreciation for memories that will last you a lifetime?"
Her first tipping tip is to be aware of what is included in your bill. "People don't always realize that the 'service charge' you're paying for something like a hotel room is designed to be distributed as gratuity to the staff who support you and provide you with service during your stay," she explains. So if there's a service charge on your bill, you've technically already contributed some level of tip to the staff. "However," Walton adds, "It's gracious and common practice to go above that and tip individually for fantastic service, as well."
Who you tip depends on who you are interacting with. "If you're dining out, tip your servers. If you're staying in a hotel, tip the housekeeping staff by leaving cash and a brief note in your room at the end of your stay. If you use a driver or a bellman, tip them too," says Walton. Spending an afternoon at the spa? You'll want to tip your aesthetician or therapist, as well. "You can even tip the man or woman who sets up your towels and lounge chairs by the pool or at the beach, though you may not have cash on you at that time, so it's a nice gesture but definitely not expected," Walton explains
As a good rule of thumb, if you receive exceptional service, offer a tip to say thanks, even if it is unexpected. "Hotels and resorts have varying policies on whether their staff can accept tips, but the gesture is a kind one regardless," adds Walton. On average, for a masseuse, waiter, bartender, or other folks you're likely to encounter during your stay, 20 percent is a good number to offer for good service. For bag delivery to your room, $1-$5 per bag is appreciated, depending on the property and your budget. What about those luxe properties that assign a butler to each set of guests? "It's appropriate to tip them, as well," she adds. But how much? Well, that depends on how often you called upon their services, how long your stay was, and whether the service was good or exceptional. "For great service over the course of a week, $50 or $100 would be completely appropriate, and much appreciated," Walton reveals.
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Before you head off on your vacation, check out the customs and etiquette around tipping in your destination. "In some countries, over-tipping is a sign that the service needs improvement, while in most it is a welcome endorsement of quality, so make sure you know what is appropriate," Walton says. Also note whether the property where you'll be staying includes gratuity on your meal bill automatically, whether it's for room service, poolside drinks, or fine dining. "If it's unclear, just ask — you'll want to avoid double-tipping if it's not something you intended to do!" she explains.
When it comes to having the money to tip with, Walton recommends always having a bit of cash on-hand when you travel. "It's not just for tipping — it's great to have for small purchases at local shops, but you'll be extra happy to have a few small bills in your pocket when you come across someone you want to thank!"