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    Tipping in Hawaii, a guide for getting it right

    Tipping in Hawaii, a guide for getting it right

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    The Hawaiian Islands are a wonderful destination for a holiday, offering stunning scenery, fabulous shopping and a wealth of activities to keep you entertained from dawn until well after dusk. From a luxury spa break with friends to a lazy beach holiday for the entire family, tipping is an unavoidable part of life in this neck of the woods: this is our handy guide to making sure that you get it right.

    1. Hospitality staff

    Hospitality staff rely on the typical American custom of tipping as part of their regular income, but generally speaking, if your breakfast is included in your holiday package, you don’t need to tip at this meal.

    2. Cafes

    Whether you’re picking up a takeaway coffee or a fresh fruit salad, most cafes have a tip jar by the cash register. It’s a good indication that a tip is expected, so leave a few coins or round up the cost of your purchase to the nearest $5.

    3. Restaurants

    In restaurants, as a rule you should leave a tip of fifteen to twenty percent, depending on the quality of the service you’ve received. It’s also preferable to tip in cash wherever possible, instead of adding it to the credit card bill.

    4. Bars

    A cocktail is a great way to celebrate the end of another magical day in Hawaii. Whether you choose the signature mai tai or a more decadent but equally tropical coconut mojito, it’s standard practice to leave $1 per drink each for your bartender and server. Alternatively, sometimes the establishment will provide suggested tip amounts on the “check” or bill.

    5. Tours

    There are plenty of great guided tours on offer that will ensure you make the most of your time in Hawaii. It’s a good idea to tip based on the length of your tour. For example, a $5 tip per person is recommended for a one- to two-hour group tour; $10 per person for a two- to four-hour group tour; and $20 per person for a four-hour to full-day group tour. If you’re choosing a private tour, the tip is at your discretion, but twenty percent of the price is a good starting point.

    6. Taxis

    Taxis are an affordable and efficient way of getting around, but they tend to run as a cash-only business. A good rule of thumb is to tip fifteen percent of the final bill for a smooth and courteous ride, or you can tell the driver to “keep the change” if that’s easier. Ride-sharing services like Uber have a tipping function built into their app.

    7. Transfers

    Airport shuttles usually don’t require a tip but $2 per bag is considered reasonable if your driver helps with your luggage.

    8. Doormen

    Whether you’re shopping up a storm on Luxury Row in Waikiki or heading back to your hotel after a long day at the beach, hand over a $1 tip for the doorman who kindly helped you hail a cab to get back to your accommodation.

    9. Hotel staff

    Back at the hotel, it’s considerate to tip the bellhop $2 per bag, depending on size for helping you lug your bags to and from your room. At the end of your stay, leave a tip of between $2 and $5 per day for a well-maintained room during your stay. A tip is generally not expected for your hotel concierge tip, but feel free to show your appreciation with a small tip of $1 or $2 for a special recommendation or hard-to-get reservation.

    10. Spa and Beauty

    If you’re treating yourself to a pampering experience during your Hawaiian holiday, give your spa service provider a tip of up to fifteen percent for exceptional service, while a hairstylist will expect up twenty percent of the final bill if you’re thrilled with your new look.

    As the fiftieth member of the United States, Hawaii is a laidback blend of Polynesian and American cultures. You can expect to be on the receiving end of their famous Aloha spirit wherever you go, but following these tipping guidelines is just one way of showing your appreciation – returning their smile with a friendly “Aloha” or “Mahalo” is just as important. Be sure to ask your personal travel manager for their favourite things to do in this fabulous destination.


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