How Much Should You Tip Your Bellman?

By Melanie Lieberman |

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This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

Whether you're traveling around the United States or somewhere across the pond, you're likely to encounter a helpful bellman during your hotel stay. No matter what's in your wallet, here's what's expected when it comes to tipping. 

Tipping Abroad

Overseas, tipping is by and large not expected at every interaction. So if you don’t have the right change, you won’t break your bellman’s heart. That said, handing out a few American dollars is also acceptable; it’s a nice gesture of thanks and—in some parts of the world—U.S. dollars are as welcome as local currency. If you have no change and your bellman did a top-notch job, it’s worth seeking him or her out at the end of your stay to deliver a tip.

Tipping in the United States

In the United States, where porters often make less than minimum wage, tips are expected to supplement salaries. So don’t be shy about asking a bellman to break a larger bill. “These people are working for cash, so they have cash on hand,” says one bellman at a New York City hotel. Otherwise, get your porter’s name and leave a tip with the concierge before you check out. And as a general rule of thumb, the standard tip, per bag, is $1. If you're bellman goes above and beyond (or you want to ensure special attention throughout your stay) consider tipping $5. 

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