Tips for Tipping at Timeshares

 Tipping at Timeshares
Tips for Tipping at Timeshares

Most of us assume the rule of thumb for tipping in the US is 15 percent of our restaurant tab, one or two dollars per bag for luggage, and whatever is left over in bills and change when the pizza is delivered to our front door. Beyond that, the guidelines are fuzzy. How much do we tip other delivery people? Doormen? Hairdressers? And who has any idea about the proper protocol for leaving tips at timeshare resorts?

After reading an interesting article on tipping in Forbes Traveler, I learned the following:

  • For taxis in South America, it is sufficient to round up to the next dollar. In Africa, 10 percent is the standard tip for a taxi driver, while in India, taxi drivers receive no tips at all.
  • In Japan, tipping anyone, even the restaurant staff, is considered rude and offensive. But in China, 3 percent is the norm and in Hong Kong, 10 to 15 percent is standard, unless the tip is already included in your bill.
  • In most parts of Europe, the tip for restaurant service is built into the bill, but you are still expected to leave 5 to 10 percent on top of that.

But after realizing how different tipping standards can be for various services and from one country to the next, I began to do more research on what is standard, at least in the US, for tipping at timeshare resorts.

When and How Much are Timeshare Owners Tipping?

Many timeshare owners say they never leave tips for the maid service at their timeshare resort. They feel that, as timeshare owners, they are already paying for housekeeping, especially at a resort that does not offer daily cleaning service. This is certainly a valid way of looking at the issue of tipping during a timeshare vacation, and I don’t think anyone ever got kicked out of their timeshare for failing to leave the maid a tip.

On the other hand, numerous timeshare owners say they always tip. Comments we found included: “we always tip,” and “we tip according to the service”. And while daily or mid-week cleaning services may not be standard, many timeshare owners pointed out instances where the housekeeping staff made sure they were well stocked with supplies, such as coffee and bath towels—attention these timeshare owners felt merited a good tip and created motivation for tipping at timeshares.

You can’t assume that timeshare resorts in other countries operate the way they do in the US. A member of a prominent online timeshare forum recently reported that he was told at Hacienda Del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the resort charges $4 (US dollars) per day as a housekeeping fee, but the money only covers uniforms and that the maids are paid in tips, but no salaries.

Some timeshare owners say they leave $3 to $5 per day if the timeshare provides daily cleaning services. Other timeshare owners leave $30 to $50 at the end of a one-week timeshare vacation. But as many timeshare owners mentioned, the maid service may be different from day to day. If you wait until the end of the week to tip for maid service at your timeshare resort, your gratuity may not wind up in the hands of the person who actually did the work.

Guidelines for Tipping at Timeshares

So with all of those different perspectives, here are the best tips I found overall for leaving tips during your timeshare vacation:

  • If you have daily maid service at your timeshare, you probably should consider leaving a tip.
  • Tipping is customary in most European timeshares.
  • If you ask for special services, be prepared to say “thank you” with a tip.

And here’s the best tip of all: consider leaving a generous tip at the beginning of your timeshare vacation. It’s a great way to inspire people to give you lots of good service and help make your timeshare vacation especially pleasant.

The Timeshare Authority would love to hear what you personal policy is on leaving tips for the housekeeping staff at your timeshare resort. You are always welcome to leave your comments here on our blog, or to visit us at onFacebook and start a discussion there.