With the world now cautiously starting to look at opening up with the introduction of vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, you might be starting to thinking more about getting out and about.
But for those of you starting to dart around in taxis again – to go on nights out, for business meetings, or even holidays – stop for a moment because you’ll need to remember your etiquette.
With that in mind, etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, the owner of The Protocol School of Texas and author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, has been talking to Forbes in order to provide guidance and advice on tipping-related stresses for taxi rides as well as other travel related tips.
“When traveling, it’s no surprise that tipping will be part of the experience, so don’t be caught off guard,” she said to the publication.
“Go to the bank, and stock up on cash – $1 and $5 bills. You will use them!”
A year ago that would have seemed obvious, but in these pandemic times of contactless payments some of us are struggling to remember what actual cash looks like, so this is useful advice indeed.
Gottsman goes on to recommend that a minimum of 15 percent of the fare is average when it comes to tipping normal taxis.
She adds that 20 percent or above should be given to a driver who assists you with heavy luggage and ‘doesn’t scare the daylights out of you by taking tight corners and weaving in and out of traffic en route to your hotel or destination’.
For Uber or Lyft, however, she recommends a similar figure and says to select a preset amount or customize your tip.
Fifteen to 20 percent is again standard and drivers of the app-based services also greatly appreciate positive ratings as well as gratuity.
These tips fall broadly into line with the website Charity Cab, whose seven tips include tipping no less than 10 percent of the fare to a driver and also say that you should provide extra if they go out of their way to help you with luggage or something like that.
The site also says you should tip Uber and Lyft drivers as well, and also to not ask for change from any tip that you give.
Gottsman’s advice on tipping also stretched out to a number of other scenarios, for instance tipping 15-20 percent to waiters in a restaurant, while she recommends that you tip bartenders $1-2 per drink.
It’s worth remembering here that this latter piece of advice is really aimed at the United States, where service industry workers are much more reliant on tips to top up low wages. So bear this in mind next time you find yourself on the other side of the pond.
While she’s on the subject of the US, Gottsman also has a number of recommendations for hotel stays, including tipping house keepers $3-5 daily, rather than tip at the end of the stay.
She also suggests tipping bellmen, valets and doormen anything between $1-5 for the service they provide. It shows good manners and, after all, a lot of these employees have been hugely hurt by the loss of trade in the pandemic just as much as the companies that employ them.