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Tipping Guide for Business Travellers

Use these suggestions to help establish your own corporate policy and keep your expense account tippers in check.

To tip, or not to tip? The more confounding question for the occasional road warrior is more like: what should I tip, and can I expense it?

If your organization has a corporate travel management policy, it may already include tipping guidelines, which typically allow for expensing 10 per cent to 15 per cent on top of services (the pre-tax price) before a claim gets red-flagged. But that can still leave all those true gratuities on the table for the multitude of people who help us endure life on the road, from bellhops to concierges.

As general guidelines, we draw on the expertise of service-savvy travel agencies for these suggested tips of the trade:

Taxi/limo drivers: Fifteen percent or a $2 to $3 tip; more if you get assistance with your bags or call for an unusual route

Porters: At the airport, an acceptable rate is $1 per bag, or more if you have particularly heavy suitcases or have a long way to go.

Hotel bellhop: One dollar per bag is standard. Tip more if he provides any additional service. Note: A $5 tip upon arrival can usually guarantee you special attention should you require it.

Doorman: Typically, a $1 tip for hailing a taxi is appropriate. However, you may want to tip more for special service, such as carrying your bags.

Concierge: A $10 to $20 tip upon arrival can generally ensure you get attention for the duration of your stay, for standard services like making dinner reservations or providing directions. Alternatively, a la carte, tips typically run from about $2 to $10 for one-off requests; the amount should recognize the complexity of the service. This can be given immediately or when you depart.

Hotel maids: The staff is generally instructed not to touch any money in the room unless it is left in the hotel room in a marked envelope.

Parking attendants: Tip $1 to $2 when your car is delivered.

Waiters: The standard pre-tax tipping rate of around 15 per cent of your pre-tax check applies to room service waiters as well as those in restaurants. Before you lavish your gratitude, ensure that a gratuity hasn't already been added to your bill, or face expense-account wrath.

Coat check: No tip necessary if there's already a fee for this service. If not, a $1 to $2 tip is standard.

Source: American Society of Travel Agents

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