Tipping experts say, and tip recipients implied, that cash is the best way to say happy holidays. "Tipping is not a time to try and be original," said Hilka Klinkenberg, founder of Etiquette International.
Other tipping tips include...
- If you frequent a restaurant daily, it's a good idea to tip your regular waiter. An extra $5 in a card is a kind gesture at your regular lunch spot, while at the Four Seasons you could shell out $40-$50, plus similar amounts to the maitre and captain.
- You don't have to give as much to the new hairdresser, doorman, etc. because you haven't forged a relationship with them yet.
- Alcohol is not recommended. Just because you
may enjoy the extra splash of cheer, it might not be right for someone else.
Babysitter 1 evening's pay + small gift
Au pair 1 week's pay or a gift + small gift from child
Nanny 1 week's to 1 month's pay + small gift from child
Daycare providers $20-$70/each + small gift from child
Child's teacher Gift (but check the school's policy to see if it's allowed)
Coaches, tutors, music teachers, ballet instructors, etc: A small gift from the child
Housekeeper 1 week's pay or more (depending on length of service)
Trash collectors $15-$20 each
Parking attendants $10-$35 each or up to half a
month's parking bill for the group if they regularly provide extra service
Gardener $20-$50. If the gardener's last job before spring is a fall clean up, it's best to tip in the fall
Doormen $25-$100 each (those who provide the most service for you should get more than those whom you barely see)
Superintendent/custodian $50-$300 (tip more if
there's no doorman and the service has been particularly attentive, but tip less if you tip throughout the year)
Porters/handymen $10-$50 each
Elevator operators $15-$40 each
Hairdresser Cost of 1 cut (or $20-$100) if you go frequently + small gift
Manicurist Cost of 1 session (or $10-$50) + small gift
Personal trainer $25 up to 1 week's pay (or cost
of 1 session)
Massage therapist $50-$100 or cost of 1 session
Dog groomer Small gift + 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of 1
Dog walker/regular dog sitter Cost of 1-2 week's pay (as with a
nanny, a small gift is optional)
U.S. mail carrier Gifts under $20*
UPS Company policy discourages drivers from accepting tips, but they can accept something of nominal value. Tipping guides offer $15 as a guideline, but the amount and choice of gift are up to you.
FedEx Company policy does not permit cash tips, but a gift worth up to $25 is okay.
Paper carrier $15-$25 for daily delivery ($5-$15 for
*Civil servants are not allowed to receive cash tips. But if you wish to recognize your mail carrier, the U.S. Postal Service asks that your gratuity not exceed $20 in cash value.