Until recently, I tipped lots of people when I stayed in hotels. I would tip the bellman for bringing my bags up, the bartender for pouring a drink, the server for delivering my dinner, and the valet for driving my car half a block. There was one person, however, I didn’t even think about: the housekeeper who cleaned my room. And then, I read something somewhere on the internet about tipping housekeepers, and it really made me think.
I often stay in hotels for multiple nights on end and so my room becomes my home away from home. Without question, it is the housekeeper who gives the most of his or her time, attention and care to make my stay a pleasant one. A valet drives my car for 30 seconds and opens my door. A housekeeper makes my bed, changes my towels, puts up with my mess and cleans my toilet. Who gives more?
And within a hotel staff, the housekeepers are often people of color or non-native speakers. Most are women. Often they are Latina, black or Asian. I see them pushing their carts and when they knock on my door to announce, “house-keeping.” I imagine that many of them are mothers with children at home. I know they all work extremely hard in a job without much by way of recognition, pride or reward.
“Tips are not included, they are not required, but they are appreciated.”
And so now, I tip my housekeeper daily. I will leave the money along with a small note that says, “Thank you housekeeping! Have a great day!” Often I receive notes in return. I am a little embarrassed it took me more than 20 years of traveling to begin this practice. I am ashamed I didn’t even think about it until reading something about it on the internet. But that’s why I’m writing this story. Maybe some of you – like me – never even thought about it. And now you will tip your housekeeper too. That would be cool. Thanks for reading my story.