Guide to Tipping in Hawaii

On our most recent Hawaii Vacations Connection Podcast has Aloha Bruce and Lanai Tabura talk about tipping in Hawaii. With their typically easy-going style, our hosts talk about how to determine whom to tip and how much.

Lanai notes that cultures in Japan, China, and Australia do not tip, which disappoints servers in Hawaii. Those cultures have much higher minimum wages compared to workers in Hawaii, many of whom depend on tips as part of their incoming.

Bruce and Lanai talk about tipping bell clerks and valets, and how they are your “front line” on a Hawaii vacation. Lanai has a helpful tip for tipping valets when you park your rental car. Lanai notes that his private tours often tip him. Bruce and Lanai say it’s also important to tip housekeepers. Lanai also says its nice to tip baggage porters. Our hosts also not that large-tour bus drivers also appreciate tips.

Bruce says he’s seeing a “gratuity included” charge for many services, because workers are often not tipped. Bruce notes the cultural differences when tipping. In fact, some cultures may even view tipping as an insult to the worker/server. Lanai discusses how he has hosted week-long tours for millionaires who ended up not tipping him.

Lanai talks about tipping in bars and restaurants, and how bartenders are permitted to offer free cocktails to customers, and that tipping well could see the bartender make your next round free. Aloha Bruce says that anytime you’re receiving a service, you should include a tip.

Lanai says that tipping in Hawaii boils down to “karma”. If someone does something nice for you, you should return the favor. It is truly the Spirit of Aloha. Take care of your servers in Hawaii!

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