photo by karolina grabowska
When planning your honeymoon, one of the things that people think about is how much they'll need to spend. What will airfare cost? Are there any hidden fees you need to factor in? And of course, the cost of your honeymoon accommodations itself, where you get to be pampered and spoiled for a few days. But there's another fee that you might not think about: the tip. Here is a quick breakdown of how tipping should work when you have your honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort.
Do You Have a Tip?
photo by lukas
Before we dive into the specifics, allow me to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: Do I have to tip at an all-inclusive resort, or are the gratuities included at an all-inclusive resort? See my blog post about Honeymoon Resorts
The rate at an all-inclusive resort includes gratuities. So, the resort will divvy up a certain portion of your per-night rate amongst the team members. While resorts don’t tell you how much, many of the team members are there for 12 hours or more per day every day. It is a pretty grueling schedule where they could potentially work nine days in a row and then have two days off. What the resort gives them isn’t equivalent to the amount of work they put in.
With that said, I highly encourage tipping where you feel led. The resort you travel to and the level of service you have paid for (concierge or butler for example) will affect what you should prepare for regarding gratuities. Determining gratuity expectations is something I assist my clients with as they prepare to travel.
Let’s get down to some specifics regarding tipping for your all-inclusive honeymoon vacation.
The Airport Porter
An airport porter is someone who will assist you with your luggage once you are at your destination. While this could be a bit annoying, a porter at the airport may swoop in and can sometimes aggressively start helping you with your luggage.
You can certainly decline their assistance, but if you decide to let them help, please give them a tip. $3-$5 is reasonable depending on how much luggage you have.
Porters are generally independent and are not employed by the airport, so they work for tips.
My theory is to support those who are willing to show up and do something to make a living for their families.
Airport Shuttle Driver
The driver that takes you to and from your all-inclusive resort is not employed by the resort. Please be prepared to tip this person for the ride each way.
Something that most people don’t factor in is the time involved. Please consider the distance that the driver has to go to get you to your resort and then turn around and head back to the airport for their next assignment.
For short distances $5 is sufficient, for longer drives (1.5 hours or more), consider giving at least $20. If it takes them 1.5 hours to get you to your resort, that is a 3 hour round trip investment of their time.
Hooray! Welcome to the resort.
As you step out of the transportation vehicle, the first resort team member who will assist you is the bellhop. He or she will check your luggage and give you luggage tags while you head to the lobby to check into the resort.
Once you are checked in, your bellhop will escort you to your room and will likely share some details about the resort and where things are located, as well as share a few features with you regarding your room.
Depending on the time invested with you, a $5-$10 tip is recommended.
Concierge or Butler Service
If you’ve opted in for a higher level of service at your all-inclusive resort, come prepared to tip. If your concierge sets up your dinner reservations or helps you with an issue your room is having, don’t feel compelled to dish out cash.
However, if the concierge sets up a special dinner with some surprise touches or goes out of their way to get you something to make your stay special, be sure to tip according to their time invested.
Butler service is a bit more hands on generally, but some resorts will have butlers that are really more like concierge.
In the case that you have a hands-on butler that is available to you via a cellphone and he or she is in charge of everything your suite needs (managing and communicating with other staff members), setting up your dinner/spa/golf/ reservations, serving you any meal in-suite, saving you chairs at the pool or beach, then this personal level of service should be a per day tip.
I suggest a minimum of $20 per day depending on how much you utilize your butler. Again, keep in mind any situations where the butler has gone above and beyond to make your stay and experience special.
So overall, anticipate having $10 for small one-off experiences from a concierge, and a minimum $150 for a week of butler service.
Imagine you are sitting at the beach enjoying a book or good conversation, and a beach waiter asks what you’d like to drink.
You order your beverage of choice, receive it in a few minutes, and quickly realize you have $0 on you.
This is pretty typical as most of us head to the beach or pool with only the essentials, especially since we often leave our beach bags unattended from time to time.
First, don’t feel compelled to have cash on you when you are enjoying the resort. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, it is okay. Like I said at the beginning, the gratuities are technically included in your all-inclusive rate.
If possible, always have a few dollars on you for tips like this. A bartender, pool, or beach waiter will keep the drinks coming for $10 but will also happily accept $1 or $2 per drink.
At a restaurant where you are served buffet style, again, don’t stress if you don’t have cash. Since they likely assisted with beverages, you can leave $2-$3 if you want.
If you are being served at an a la carte restaurant, consider tipping more. Again, base this on the level of service and the quality of the dining experience. If it was a several-course meal and white-glove service, dish out a bit more. Maybe $20 in this situation. If it is a burger joint, maybe leave $5.
As we wrap this up, we can’t forget about housekeeping. Simply said, these resort team members work diligently every day and generally are paid the least.
It’s so nice to come back to a freshly cleaned room, isn’t it?
I suggest leaving $5-$10 per day for your housekeeper at an all-inclusive resort.
If you are planning an all-inclusive honeymoon to Sandals Resorts, gratuities are not accepted except for butler service. So, a Sandals honeymoon will not have the same gratuity guidelines at the resort as I’ve mentioned above, but you can still tip the porter and shuttle driver as they are not Sandals employees.
The bottom line is that tipping should be part of your overall honeymoon budget at an all-inclusive resort. It should be done based on the service you’ve received. You will most likely receive excellent service regardless, so there is no need to tip excessively. However, if you feel the service has been above and beyond exceptional, that's when it's time to show your gratitude by tipping a little more than normal. See my blog on Honeymoon Trends.
If you’re tired of googling every question you have regarding your honeymoon planning, I’d be delighted to chat with you - no strings attached!
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