Here’s How Much You Should Tip Hotel Housekeeping In The US

Here’s How Much You Should Tip Hotel Housekeeping In The US

For years I never tipped housekeeping in the US hotels I stayed at. I can’t remember when I first discovered that tipping housekeeping in America was a thing, but I remember being mortified that I hadn’t done it up to that point.

Since then, I’ve made it a point to tip at least a few dollars everywhere I stay but have honestly never really perfected what the “right” amount is. Until now.

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According to an etiquette expert that spoke with Travel + Leisure, the right amount to tip is “a few dollars a day.” The money should be left along with a note to the housekeeper, so they know the cash is for them and not something you just left out. So I’ve been sort of doing it right all along.

T&L actually spoke to a ton of different people about what the “right” amount is, but the general consensus was in the few dollar a day range. If you’re particularly messy, or housekeeping went above and beyond for you for some reason, then dial that up a bit.

For instance, when I travel alone I’m exceptionally clean. With the exception of swapping out the sheets and towels, I’d venture to say my rooms are always ready for the next guest to come in. However, I’ve travelled with friends where our room is a sea of empty drink containers and take out trays from restaurants and miscellaneous other garbage, or where someone accidentally had a chip catastrophe in the middle of the room – not exactly a quick cleanup job. For those situations, I typically leave a bit more.

Much like US restaurants, I also scale what I tip based on the cost of my hotel stay. While I might leave a few dollars a day in my $US75/night hotel room, if I’m staying in a $US350 /night establishment I might dial that up to $6/night.

Unlike restaurants, there’s no specific percentage that’s the “right” amount to tip. As long as you’re leaving something that you’re comfortable with and reflects the amount of work someone has to put into cleaning up your room, then you’re going it right.

Alternatively, don’t tip anything and blame it on foreigner ignorance – just don’t expect stellar service or a speedy remedy if something happens to go wrong.


  • The whole tipping thing in the US needs to go away, seriously. Tipping a worker in hospitality should not be necessary in order for them to make ends meet – the employer should be paying them enough to do that on their own. A tip should only be a bonus of sorts for the worker, if the customer is extremely happy with their service and decides they want to give them a little extra. It’s an additional little treat on top of their pay, not an essential part of their wage.

    • Its so ingrained in their mentality over there that if you work in hospitality, the IRS expects a certain amount of tips to be declared as income. If you aren’t near that benchmark, it increases your chances of being audited.

      Its a tradeoff over there. Most prices are noticeably cheaper than what you’d see here, but they don’t take into account taxes or tips, so if you factored those in they aren’t as cheap as they seem. Those can add up to over 25% more to the bill.

      I’m not sure theres an easy answer without some sort of federal action, and that’s something that’s also so ingrained in their mentality that it wouldn’t be easy. They are just paranoid about federal control and interference.

      To them, it works, so why change it? Every country has rules and practices that seem strange to everyone else, but natural to that country.

      We drive on the left side of the road for example, something that only a dozen or so other countries do. So for the vast majority of people, its bizarre, and we should change, but to us, its what we know and its working for us, so why change it?

  • Yeah, I’ve done that too. First trip to the US I was in Vegas for 5 weeks, staying in the same room. Combination of work and hobby’s combined for one glorious period. But I didn’t click to tip housekeeping at the end.

    Tipped everywhere else, just didn’t register to tip when I was leaving. I happened to be at the same hotel a few years later and was talking to a desk clerk about tipping, and they said it was pretty common that people didn’t tip the housekeeping.

    Mostly because, being Vegas, they had a lot of international tourists that didn’t understand their tipping culture. They were more annoyed when US tourists didn’t tip. I felt better about missing that first trip, but did tip a little more that time.

  • I stayed in a pretty crappy hotel on Long Island and went out for the day. When i came home the change on the bedside table was replaced with a little note “Thank You”.

    Not my intention but I thought yeah why not. Really it has to be one of the worst jobs. In lieu of tipping you can always just not be a pig and be tidy, probably appreciated even more than loose change.

  • Travelling in the US requires holding a pile of $1 and $5 bills. You get used to it.

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