All Inclusive Resorts
I'm wondering if I should take extra cash for leaving tips when I go to an all inclusive resort.
I know most all inclusive resorts say that tips are not necessary, but I wonder if the employees feel the same way.
I don't want someone to carry my bags all the way to my room and wait around for a tip while I have nothing to give them. For this reason, I plan to have a little cash in my pocket when I check in.
How about each time I order a drink or have something to eat? Do most people leave tips on the bar or table?
The last opportunity to tip is when I leave. Should I leave a tip for the housekeeping staff?
What do most people do about leaving tips at all inclusive resorts?
Check with the resort management about this. At some resorts, accepting tips can get an employee fired. More than once I've seen a bartender at an all-inclusive roll his eyes when someone leaves a tip, or ignore the tip, leaving it on the counter.
The reasoning is simple, it goes against the whole concept of all-inclusive. One of the great joys of staying at an all-inclusive is putting your wallet in the safe and never having to think about money. It's not a question of whether you can afford to tip, or whether they need and/or will appreciate it. By retaining even this small financial involvement in your transactions, you are greatly diminishing the experience in a way that you can only appreciate if you dispense with the tipping.
If you must tip at an all-inclusive, do it all at once at the end of your trip. For one thing, you'll be in a position at that time to know which employees provided excellent and friendly service, regardless of your profile as a tipper.
Bear in mind that you are visiting their culture, and resist the urge to shape it to conform to your own. Tipping is not a part of every culture, and by insisting on it, you are changing their culture. This can work to the detriment of the locals. You go for a week and leave, the locals have to deal with the aftermath. If the tourists insist on tipping when it is not part of the local culture, what happens is that service levels drop for the locals, who don't tip, to favor the tourists. This leads to resentment. Moreover, if the culture is inclined to be friendly and hospitable because that is their way of life, you don't do the culture a service by introducing the idea of paying them to be friendly and to provide good service.
Even in our culture, tipping is based on custom, and not everyone gets tipped. Do you tip the cashier at the convenience store, who is risking her life to be there at 1 in the morning to make sure the coffee is fresh and the shelves are stocked? What about the clerk who checks you in at a hotel? She could do it nicely and make your check-in experience pleasant, or she could be a jerk, but few people think of tipping her. Taxi drivers get tips, but what about bus drivers? Do you tip your flight attendant, who brings you drinks and snacks and comes running if you push the call button? So why insist on tipping in a situation where the local custom or resort protocol is to not tip?
Someone else mentioned that they tip in the specialty restaurants but not at the buffet. What is that about? The workers in the buffet don't work as hard or aren't as deserving? No, clearly it's about the tipper's own cultural norms.
Employment at most all-inclusives is a coveted job. They get paid well by local standards, work in good conditions, often have meals provided, and are quite happy to have their position. The tip is included in your resort package, by way of providing these employees with a job that they are very happy to have. You could arrange your own package for less than you pay at the all-inclusive, in which case, depending on the customs of the country, you might tip.
Tipping inappropriately may make you feel generous or even superior, but doublecheck your thinking on this. Feeding the bears at Yosemite might make you feel like you are nature's benefactor, but there are many great reasons why this is prohibited. It changes the bears. You feed the bears and leave, and others are left to deal with the changes in the bears' behavior.
It's really quite nice when someone offers you friendly service because they enjoy their work, and not in hopes that you will leave them a few dollars.
That is a great thought that we need to remember how our culture is different from other cultures. There is no denying that our cultures will influence each other. It is an important concept to think about as we embark on our travels.
Hmmm... I wonder how we can get college students to think about this more before they go on spring break?