How Much to Tip for Summer Expenses

Want to avoid awkward moments with the hotel bellhop or your child's camp counselor? Simply follow this handy advice about when to pay a gratuity-and how much to fork over. Bonus: In a few instances, you won't even need to open your wallet.
By Yelena Moroz

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Airport Skycap

The gratuity
: $1 to $3 a bag.

Bear in mind: Large or bulky items, like a golf bag, warrant an extra dollar or two, says Holona Ochs, a coauthor of Gratuity ($33,

Also See
: Air Travel Tips

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The gratuity
: $1 to $2 a bag (from car to room).

Bear in mind
: If your suitcase is on the heavy side, tip an extra dollar, says Patricia Rossi, an etiquette coach based in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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Camp Counselor (Day or Overnight)

The gratuity
: If a tip is permitted, up to $10 a week. If it's prohibited, just write a thank-you note.

Bear in mind: Read the parents' handbook distributed by the camp to find out if tips are allowed and whether other support staff, such as bus drivers, are covered by the policy, says Marla Coleman, a spokeswoman for the American Camp Association, an accrediting body.

Also See: 15 Ways to Bring Back Good Old-Fashioned Fun

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Dog Groomer

The gratuity: 15 to 20 percent.

Bear in mind: If your pup is rambunctious or if she receives a special clipping session, tip an extra 5 percent.

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Dog Walker

The gratuity
: Up to 20 percent of the bill.

Bear in mind: Tip if your pooch is exercised for a week or more, says Elliot Silver of, a network of dog walkers.

Also See: Foods You Shouldn't Feed Your Dog

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Food Delivery (to Sporting Event or Vacation House)

The gratuity
: 10 to 15 percent.

Bear in mind: Ordering for a small army? Add another 5 percent.

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Gardener or Pool Cleaner

The gratuity: $20 to $50, or the cost of one visit.

Bear in mind: Give the tip at the end of the summer.

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Hotel Housekeeper

The gratuity: $2 a night at a budget hotel; $3 to $5 a night at a higher-end hotel.

Bear in mind: Even if you stay for a week, tip daily, as the crew can change. Be sure to include a few additional bucks if you have a family the size of the Brady Bunch.

Janis Christie/Getty ImagesJanis Christie/Getty ImagesHouse Sitter

The gratuity: Nothing.

Bear in mind: Instead, "bring something back from the place you visited," says Rossi.

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Seasonal Sports Instructor (Swimming, Tennis)

The gratuity: Nothing.

Bear in mind: You are paying for the sessions with a professional instructor, so a tip is not expected.

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