How Much do you Tip a Bellman?

By Kathy Adams

Your ultimate hotel tipping guide

How Much do you Tip a Bellman?

Your bellman can make the difference between a romantic and relaxing hotel arrival and a rushed, sweaty trek from car to room balancing gear. Knowing when and what to tip ensures he'll be there for you when you need him.

How much do you tip a bellman?

Expect to tip the bellman or porter $1 to $5 per bag transported to your room. Tip at the higher end of the scale for heavy or awkward bags, or if the porter sets your luggage where you would like it in your room. The more service, assistance or information the porter provides, the higher the tip, at your discretion. If your luggage takes up the entire bellman's cart, tip more, such as $20. If the bell staff transports your bags upon checkout, tip them the same general amount as on arrival.

Las Vegas, New York, London and other large cities

While the size of the city doesn't dictate the amount of your tip to the porter, the price or luxury level of the room may. Staffers may expect to receive larger tips if the room carries a larger price tag, but the amount of the tip is still up to the guest. A suggested $5 initial tip plus $1 or more per bag is customary.

When traveling abroad, check with the front desk or research your destination ahead of time to determine whether tips are expected. Some hotels include a service fee in your room charge, although bellmen may still accept tips. If tipping is the norm, expect to pay the nearest rounded equivalent in local currency of $1 to $2 per bag.

Tipping maid service

Tip housekeeping service $1 to $5 per day. Leave the tips on a daily basis in an envelope or with a note stating the tip is for the housekeeper. This way, whomever handles your room each day receives a tip, instead of one person collecting a large tip spanning your entire stay.

Tipping etiquette

Whenever possible, leave your tip directly with the person it's intended for, rather than leaving it at the front desk. This ensures that the responsible party receives the tip.

Plan on tipping every hotel staffer that assists you or makes your stay more comfortable, such as the concierge who books a meal for you in a popular restaurant, or the valet who retrieves your vehicle every day. It's also okay to ask the staff for change. Since many people on the hotel team work for tips, they usually have cash on hand.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.