by Carol Margolis | November 01, 2014
The following checklist was compiled by Carol Margolis, founder of Business Travel Success and Smart Women Travelers. She also is the author of Business Travel Success: How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive & Travel with Confidence.


Before Your Trip
Ask your bank for $2 bills. This helps create memorable tipping for housekeepers, valets and others.

If you have young children, ask them to make decorative "maid tipping" envelopes for you to use while away at your meeting. The kids will enjoy a fun activity and know that they are part of your journey.

Before international travel, review tipping customs for your destination. This will help you determine if you need cash in small denominations or if you might not need much cash at all.


At the Airport
Even if your airline charges for checking a bag at curbside check-in with a skycap, a tip on top of any charges is recommended. Typically that is $1 per bag or $2 per bag if the skycap takes your luggage to the check-in counter. You should tip more if checking items such as heavy boxes and sports equipment.

If you hop a ride on an electric cart to get to your gate, a tip of $3 to $5 is a good rule of thumb. (Although I gladly tipped $20 one time for a driver to rush me to a flight that I might have missed had I walked.)


At the Hotel
For a bellhop who brings your bags to the front desk or picks them up in your room upon your departure, $1-$2 per piece of luggage is appropriate. Add a few dollars more if he brings your bags to your room, explains to you the room's features, fills your ice bucket, etc.

Be sure to tip maids daily, as the housekeepers servicing your room might be different each day. Giving $3-$5 per day in dollar bills rather than change is appreciated. Leave the tip on the desk or television stand along with a brief note or a simple "thank you" (or use the envelopes your children made).

If housekeepers write a note of thanks back to you, share this show of appreciation with the head of housekeeping or hotel manager. Recognition will mean even more to them than the gratuity.

If you don't have small bills, ask the front desk to make change for larger bills.  

No money for a tip? Tell the bellhop, concierge or valet car parker that you'll get them later. Ask for his or her name, and then either give the tip later or leave it in an envelope at the front desk. They'll be so appreciative that you remembered, as most people never follow up with a gratuity.


Above and Beyond
For times when you are especially appreciative of someone's help, or maybe when a hospitality person is having a difficult day, carry a few gift cards for random acts of kindness. I travel with some $10 Starbucks gift cards and randomly hand one out if someone special crosses my path and I want to give an extra token of thanks. Often seeing their look of surprise and gratitude makes my entire trip worthwhile.

Share these tips on tipping with your meeting attendees. Don't assume they know what to do as tipping can be very confusing, particularly when attendees have traveled internationally. They will appreciate any help you can give them to help make their travel easier and more confident.