Today in the New Yorker there is a cartoon of two people checking into their hotel room. One says to the other: “How much are we supposed to tip the guy who followed us to our room and flicked on the light switch?”.  Ironically it is the man asking the woman of the couple.

Women angst over tipping: amounts? when? and how? I am not sure why this is, but suffer from it myself. I think somewhere as accomplished and professional as we are, tipping still brings out our insecurity.

When? Do you grapple with cash in your purse while the porter stands at the door or do you hold cash secretly in your pocket until he is ready to leave? My personal thinking is to have ready cash in a separate section of my purse so I never have to pull out a wad or hand over sweaty cash.

How much is correct?  This will depend on where you are going and the cost of living there. We supply a suggestion list for each destination but feel free to add your personal opinion.Having single $dollars on arrival can never go wrong and $1-3 depending on your destination seems to work. For Europe, you might start at $3 for a single suitcase.  Solo women travelers might find the tipping sheet very comforting as they are alone in the room when they tip.

Finally when? This is most difficult with the housekeeping, so just leave your tip on the bureau in the room and assume that law of averages is money will get distributed fairly over time. I like to empty all my local money plus add some US$ to the pile and put it clearly where it has not been forgotten. (ie don’t put it on the side table or bed), but clearly on the larger bureau, neatly.

Group tipping: we often do this for drivers and guides along with a nice thank you speech. Again amounts are suggested but never required.