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5 Times You Should Be Tipping When You're Probably Not, Etiquette Experts Say

Pack extra cash when you go on vacation.

Most of us want to be good tippers. We tack on an extra 20 percent at restaurants and bars and leave a handful of cash for our housekeepers on our way out of the hotel. Maybe we even add a dollar or two to our morning coffee order. However, it's easy to be an accidental bad tipper when you don't know the exact situations in which you're supposed to be tipping.

While you may have the basics down, there are some industries and services where a tip is expected but often forgotten. (And, hey, we get it; many of these services are ones you only use once in a blue moon!) To ensure you're never caught empty-handed when a tip is warranted, we asked experts for the unexpected times people should be tipping but aren't.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Places You Should Never Tip, According to Etiquette Experts.

When you participate in a guided tour.

senior couple traveling

Any time you go on a tour, such as a walking tour or even an adventure tour like trekking or hiking, you should give a tip.

"Tipping the local guides, porters, and support staff is a crucial aspect of recognizing their hard work and dedication," says Balaram Thapa, director of Nepal Hiking Team. "These individuals often put in an extensive effort to ensure the safety, well-being, and enjoyment of all participants, and it's important to show appreciation by offering a tip, especially in countries where incomes are low, and tips can make a difference for their families."

Offer around 15 to 20 percent of the entire tour cost for a big trip and around $5 to $10 for a short walking tour.

When you hire an artist.


Cash tips are also expected when you hire a creative freelancer, such as a tattoo artist or commissioned painter.

"Although common guidelines recommend 20 to 30 percent for tipping, this can become a bit excessive when some tattoos might cost into the thousands of dollars," says Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit. "So, tip what feels fair, and keep in mind that many artists are also amenable to physical goods as tips."

READ THIS NEXT: New Law Wants to Introduce Tipping at Walmart and Other Major Retailers.

When you make additional requests at your hotel.

Cropped image of a young hotel maid bringing clean towels and other supplies

Tipping the bell staff and housekeeper at your hotel is a no-brainer, but there are other times you should pay up on vacation, too.

"Guests should tip around $5 to $10 when extra towels or pillows are brought to the room," says Jodi Smith, an etiquette consultant and owner of Mannersmith. "Also, tip between $10 and $50 when staff helps to book restaurant reservations outside of the hotel or show tickets."

Review your room service receipts to ensure the tip was included; if it wasn't, add 15 to 20 percent.

When you hire movers.

Furniture delivery workers or movers taking a couch out of the back of a truck
iStock / AndreyPopov

You might only ever hire professional movers a few times in your life, so it can be difficult to remember to tip. And if you do remember, to know how much to offer.

"Movers carefully handle your personal possessions, ensuring they are not damaged during transit," says Joshua Haley, founder of Moving Astute. "Tipping acknowledges their effort, professionalism, and dedication to providing a smooth moving experience."

It's best practice to tip each mover individually. Opt for around $20 to $40 per person, Haley suggests, depending on the complexity and size of the move.

"If your move involves heavy items or multiple flights of stairs, consider increasing the tip accordingly," he says.

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When you hire a music teacher.

Music Teacher Work From Home Jobs

If you or your kids take music lessons, a tip is greatly appreciated.

"Many people don't realize that music teachers should be tipped for their services," says Alan Senejani, co-founder of LVL Music Academy. "The amount to tip depends on the quality of the lesson, but it is generally around 10 to 15 percent of the lesson fee." You can also give your teacher a small gift during the holiday season instead.

Senejani adds that another time you'll want to tip in the music industry is when you hire a professional to tune your instrument. "A good rule of thumb is to tip 10 to 15 percent of the total fee for these highly skilled professionals," he says.

Of course, if you're out on the town and enjoying music from a live musician, you should give them a bit of cash as well.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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