A Closer Look at Tipping On Inclusive Holidays

Tipping On Inclusive Holidays

Choosing to Tip Staff at All Inclusive Resorts

For many years, especially when our kids were young, we always chose all – inclusive resort vacations. You just can’t beat the value for your dollar on these types of travel packages, including cruises.  So the big question many ask is … “Do I need to tip the staff at these resorts?”

The answer simply put is – Yes and No depending on what resort you are staying at and your chosen destination.

Staff and Gratuities at All Inclusive Properties

tips-to-tipping-banner

If you’ve experienced all – inclusive resorts like we have, then depending on the star rating and the destination you are going, the reactions of staff to tipping etiquette varies greatly!  We’ve stayed at resorts in the past where for example, if you don’t tip the bartenders, they will simply ignore you or serve you very weak drinks.

At other resorts, they have not expected anything in return for their exceptional service.

Tipping Resort Staff

Cruise Ship Staff

So, should you tip?

My answer is yes and no depending on the service you receive and the manner in which you are treated.  I always budget for tips when traveling anywhere in the world.  The majority of people in the service industry rely on tips for the livelihood.  This even more so for those individuals living in poorer countries, and for the most part, where you are most likely to vacation at and where many all-inclusive resorts are located.

Below is a print out of a page in our hotel in room guide from one of our recent all-inclusive hotels. It shows that … “All Tips Are Already Included.” 

resort-tipping-guidelines

Good to know for those who aren’t sure what to do. But as mentioned again, if the service is excellent, your staff will greatly appreciate a small gratuity now and then. In many cases and from our years of traveling on all -inclusive holidays, it may just get you even better service the next time that staff member sees you!

At most all-inclusive resorts, your food, beverages, room and airport transfers are usually all included in your package, what isn’t are the gratuities paid to the staff.

Mexico and the Caribbean Islands are prime examples and countries that offer numerous all inclusive resort vacations.

Tipping Etiquette on All Inclusive Vacations

cruise tips

Like embarking on those fabulous Cruise Vacations where for the most part, your meals, entertainment and room service are included, gratuities are one of the things that are not.  Cruise lines have made it much easier for you to take care of gratuities by having a specific amount for the duration of the cruise charged to your credit card.

For me, it’s peace of mind knowing that gratuities are taken care of and something I always budget for.  The amount charged is negligible for what you receive from all staff members on board and for what you are receiving in return.

tipping-all-inclusive-staff

This is their livelihood – the money they need to support their families. So if they do a good job, are kind, courteous and professional, they have earned a tip in my opinion.

One travel expert recently mentioned:

“Generous tippers at resorts may find more mints on their pillows, so to speak, so don’t be afraid to open your wallet (and your heart) to those who keep you comfortable during your stay.”

The Short Answer to Tipping on Inclusive Holidays?  

Tips are included at most resorts. You are not obligated to tip resort staff.  At Sandals, Beaches and Couples Resorts for example, they have a strict “No Tipping” policy in place.

For Other All – Inclusive Resorts?

Tips can be a personal choice. You are not required to tip and no one should ever make you feel like a gratuity is expected. They’re included! For me personally, I will tip when I think someone has gone out of their way to help me or my family. I know how hard the staff works and if I leave just a little for them, it makes it all worthwhile. And I do see other guests that partake in this practice.

The Bottom Line on Tipping On Inclusive Holidays

Don’t tip at properties that forbid it. Tipping is a personal choice at resorts with no restrictions in place. If you tip your waiter after receiving good service at a restaurant, or tip your hairdresser or any other person in a service related employ, why wouldn’t you tip a staff member at an all – inclusive resort, or on a cruise ship that has gone above and beyond what is expected of them?

The moral of the story is to always budget for tips in your travel plans and you decide when on how you are treated at your chosen resort.

Safe travels!

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