On Tipping Room Service

We all that we need to tip many people in the service industries. We tip our waiters after dinner, we tip the valet, the bellhop, the taxi (or “rideshare” such as Uber or Lift) drivers. Often forgotten (or neglected) is tipping room service.

tipping room service

Location, location, location

Different places have different expectations on tipping. In Europe, tipping is less important (but still greatly appreciated). In the United States and Canada, tipping is more ingrained into the culture. Latin America and the Caribbean is somewhere in between. Even then, the tier level of the hotel should also be considered.


There are naysayers who are very loud about not tipping in Europe. They claim it is culturally insensitive. They are making a large exaggeration though. Agreed, the American norm of 15-20% at a restaurant is too high, but a little tip is still appreciated. Something small, like 5%. Or a Euro or two per person on top of the bill. For room service, a good practice is to leave a Euro or two per day at the end of your trip. Rick Steves breaks down European tipping well.

United States and Canada

Here, tipping is much more ingrained. To the point where most places (in the US) have minimum wages for servers below minimum wage. In restaurants, 15-20% of the bill is expected. But what about tipping room service? That depends on hotel type.

Resort or 5-star hotels

Hotels that offer the epitome of luxury, such as resorts or 5-star hotels, you should most definitely tip. Often, tips for room service is already a part of the bill. Double check with the front desk. If it is already a part of the bill, then $1-2 per person for in-hotel meals and a $1-2 per day for housekeeping is best practice. If tipping is not a part of your bill, then 15-20% of your meal should go to the server who brought it to your room, and $5-10 per night should go to housekeeping.

When should you tip housekeeping? Either daily, when they clean your room so that day’s keeper gets the tip, or on the last day as you check out. Here at Rasmussen Travels, we encourage social responsibility, so decrease the times your room needs to be clean. This decreases water waste especially. For us, that means we tip at the end of our trips.

$1-2 per bag is a decent tip for the bellhop. $1-2 for the door man when he hails your cab, or helps unload your bag. ~$5 to the valet, especially on pick up, but maybe also $1-2 on drop off as well. More on drop off if they help you unload your bags. $5 for the concierge, or more if your request is more difficult and demanding.

Other hotels

More often than not, the hotels here do not have all the full services found like the luxury hotels do. And they do often do not include tips for these services. Again, it is best to ask the front desk. While this will save on who to tip, the amount of your tip should not decrease. Tipping room service in the specific field should follow the same guidelines as resorts.

hotel bed


Tipping room service is simply the best practice you should do whenever you travel and need a hotel, regardless of destination and level of luxury. Tipping keeps everyone happy, and (hopefully) well waged. It follows our advice of being socially responsible. From only $1 up to $5 or more, and you can make a memorable vacation a great memory for all involved, and makes you more welcome if you ever come back and stay at the same hotel.

10 Foods You Must Try in the Yucatan

The Yucatan peninsula offers a cuisine as unique as its culture. It is very fruit heavy, especially citrus fruits such as the sour orange. Its main proteins include pork and fish. Below are 10 of the best foods to try while visiting the Yucatan peninsula.

Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil

1. Cochinita Pibil
Traditionally, this dish is made with a whole suckling pig (as conchinita translates to “baby pig”), but many other pork roasts have been used in its place. It is marinated with sour orange juices, habaneros, and spices overnight, and then cooked slowly for an afternoon wrapped in banana leaves, traditionally in an earth oven. It is then served with tortillas. It is not spicy, but it is earthy sweet. This is perhaps the best-known dish from the Yucatan.


2. Panucho
Served on tortillas that have been grilled and then deep fried. It is topped with pulled chicken, avocados, and limes.




3. Salbute
Similar to panucho, only the tortillas have not been grilled before deep frying. This allows for the tortilla to remain softer.


4. Kibis
Kibis are ground wheat folded around meats and cheeses, and then deep fried. They are served topped with pickled red onions, cabbage, and habaneros.


5. Pollo Ticul
Pollo means chicken, and this chicken dish is filled with the unique tastes of the Yucatan. It is marinated in achiote, sour orange juice, honey, and spices overnight. Then it is wrapped in banana leaves and baked.



6. Papadzules
Papadzules are similar to enchiladas, but they are much older. They are corn tortillas filled with hard-boiled eggs topped with the sweet and spicy sauce made with pumpkins and habaneros.



7. Tikin Xic
This is a fish dish, usually made with grouper. It is marinated, as with the dishes above, with sour oranges and spices, and then cooked while wrapped in banana leaves, traditionally in an earth oven.


8. Sope
Similar to tostada, the base is a tortilla that has been fried. However, the tortilla for sopes are only fried just short enough for the outside to be cooked. This makes them softer and thicker than tostadas. The sides of the sope are pinched to hold the toppings. They are topped with shredded meat, cheeses, and salsa.


9. Atropellado de coco
This is a traditional dessert made with sweet potatoes and coconut. It is served as a custard.


10. Xtabentun
First, a drink similar to mead is made and mixed with anise. After the honey has been fermented and the anise added, rum is then added. It is either served neat, on the rocks, or either with tequila and lime or with coffee.

Picture attributions:
Cochinita Pibil – By Popo le Chien, CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons
Panucho – By Canibalazzo, CC BY-SA 4.0, from Wikimedia Commons
Papadzules – By kevin from south boston, ma, usa (Papadzules), CC BY 2.0, from Wikimedia Commons

10 Foods You Must Try in the Yucatan

Canada Day

It is no secret that I have a soft spot in my heart for all things Canadian. This Saturday (July 1) will be Canada Day, or la Fête du Canada, for our friends in the Great White North. It was previously called Dominion Day until 1982. Canada Day celebrates the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867, which joined the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec (the latter two being split into two from the former colony of Canada) into the federation Dominion of Canada. Also, the new Dominion of Canada was given greater autonomy, with certain provisions, from parliament in London.

It is Canada’s national holiday. It is a day filled with outdoor celebrations, parades, and fireworks. Most communities and cities offer something in celebration, but the highlights happen in Ottawa, the federal capital. This year is special because it is the 150th anniversary. Events start on June 30, and will go until July 2.

Every year, the Opening Ceremony on July 1, the Prime Minister and Governor General officiate and give speeches, and occasionally they are joined by members of the Royal Family. This year, they will be joined by Prince Charles, and his wife Duchess Camilla. Around 11 PM, the fireworks will go off in a panoramic view, best seen from Major’s Hill Park.

Not only could you expect to find memorable celebrations around Canada, but there are even celebrations around the United States as well. Cities near the border, especially cities with cities directly across the border (such as Detroit-Windsor) will have joint celebrations that last about a week long, celebrating both Canadian and American national holidays. Also, Canadian expats in America (or Canadian friendlies, such as myself) host parties around the United States as well. The closest to me (Bloomington-Normal) will be in Millennium Park in Chicago.

Suggestion: find a Canada Day party near you, or even better if you can make it to Canada, especially Ottawa, get yourself a pint and poutine, and celebrate for our neighbours in the Great White North. It will be a great time for all.

Happy Canada Day!