How to Tip a Hotel Maid

male housekeeper in hotel throwing sheet on bed
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Housekeeping is a physically demanding type of employment. Tasks include making beds, tidying rooms, cleaning bathrooms, washing and vacuuming floors, and the list doesn't stop there. According to TripAdvisor, 31% of people don't tip hotel maids at all, despite their annual income estimating around a low $21,800 a year, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hotel maids, although often providing "invisible" services during your stay, can and should be tipped for good service.

By tipping correctly, you show appreciation for housekeeping services and ensure that the chambermaid will take special care of your room. Tip incorrectly, or not at all, and misunderstandings or poor service may arise. Here are five suggestions on how to tip a hotel maid for your next trip.

1. Tip Daily

The same maid may not service your room every night of your stay. If you wait until check-out time to tip for the entire stay, your tip may not go to the right person. Additionally, it is recommended to leave a tip in cash, rather than spare change. This will help alleviate the confusion on whether that's the guest's loose change or not.

2. Mark Your Tip Clearly

Leaving cash in the room is not a clear enough signal, as a hotel maid must be very careful about taking anything from your room. Enclose the tip in a sealed envelope. You can check the desk drawer for hotel stationary and mark it "Chambermaid" or "Housekeeping." If you can't find an envelope, you can ask the front desk to provide one.

If that doesn't work either, you can always wrap the bills in a blank sheet of paper and then label them appropriately. Of course, when you travel internationally, learn how to write "maid" or "housekeeping" in the local language. You can always call the front desk if you're not sure how, so you can label the envelope appropriately.

3. Leave Your Tip in an Obvious Place

You want to make it easy for housekeeping to find your tip. Here are a few suggestions on where to leave it:

  • On the television
  • On top of the pillows of the bed
  • The bathroom counter
  • The desk

4. Tip According to Service and Hotel Type

According to TripAdvisor's tipping and etiquette guidelines, in a luxury or high-end hotel it's recommended to tip up to $5 each night. For an average hotel, $2-3 per night is suggested. Travelers should also keep in mind that if there are three or more guests in a room or suite, tipping rates should increase. If the maid goes above and beyond in services, such as providing extra soaps and shampoos or folding towels in the shape of swans, feel free to leave a dollar or two more.

Tipping should happen at every type of hotel, however, motels are the one exception if only staying for one night.

5. Don't Tip for Poor Service 

Like all tips, if you're not satisfied with the service the maid is providing, don't leave a tip. Alternatively, you can also reduce the amount you would tip.