When it comes to budgeting for any trip there’s one expense that’s often overlooked yet when the time comes to pony up some coin for it most of us don’t think twice about paying for it.
Of course we are referring to the tip (aka gratuity, not what rapper T.I. likes to call himself sometimes).
Tipping is the sweet little bonus that gets added to the end of most expenses that stem from directly receiving a service, almost like a luxury tax. When you find yourself going out to eat, taking a cab or hitting up the bars then you’ll see how quickly it all adds up.
If you choose to go all “Frank Shirley” (reference for the cool kids) and fail to tip, or to leave a good one, then you’ll see how quickly your service goes down the drain should you choose to visit the establishment again during your short period in town.
Here is a small sampling of where you will be expected to add a little extra.
If you’re staying Downtown San Diego without a car then that means you’ll probably cab it from place to place that are not within walking distance. Maybe you’re heading to the zoo. Maybe it’s a day in Legoland. Chances are, you might even be taking a cab from the airport to your hotel. Look at that, not even in San Diego for an hour and you already have to tip! Mario suggests rounding up to the nearest 0 if it’s $5 or under, and an extra $1 for every $3 over that. Confused? Don’t be. For reference $5 is what it cost us to go to the Horton Plaza for a screening in 2011. That means just round up the next 0, which is $6. See, simple. That’s a 20% tip if you’re looking for more math. The same carries over for the pedicabs.
From the second you hit the hotel you will be faced with endless opportunities to tip. You walk up to the counter to check in and here comes a lovely hotel employee to help you with your bags. Some of us pack way too much and have bags that could break even Bane’s back so if your bags are on the heavier side and you opt to utilize this service be sure to tip a little extra. An expected amount would be anywhere between $5-$10. Of course if there’s a number of you in a room have everyone chip in and make sure their bags are covered. You never know, that person that helped you to your room might have some awesome inside info later in the week.
Speaking of rooms, some of us out there are messy. When you add in the fact that during a Con we’re grabbing every piece of free swag we can, rooms can get a little out of hand. If you request daily maid service $10 would suffice. If you skip on the daily (personally I don’t need my room tended to every day) then $20 at the end of the trip is fine. If you’re a messy beast or leaving behind a ton of unwanted garbage then be sure to tip accordingly! These people work hard for their money, basically pay people how you yourself would want to be paid should be in their position.
If you’re eating out the general rule is 20%. Of course it all comes down to the type of service you receive. I do ask that you keep in mind how packed places get during the Con. It might take a little longer than normal to be seated or be waited on so use your best judgement on how long too long is. If you notice it’s getting to be too long of a wait, don’t be afraid to speak up. I couldn’t imagine being a waiter or waitress during an event like Comic-Con. Just remember to be respectful and polite, it’ll go a long way. If you’re hitting the bar, a general rule is $1 a drink if you pay upfront, and 15-20% should you run a tab. Oh, it’s open bar? Doesn’t matter. You should still tip!
Delivery food is a tricky beast when it comes to tips. Most hotels will include a gratuity in their room service prices so giving anything extra is just excessive on your end. If you decide to have outside food delivered to your room it is a good idea to adapt the Sith “rule of two”; food for 1-2 people should warrant a $5 no matter the cost, but meals for any number of people over 2 it would be advisable to leave $10 with the delivery person. Why you ask? Because these people like to carry food up in one trip, navigating through the crowded streets past any number of zombies and Stormtroopers to do so, and the more meals ordered the greater the carrying volume will be.
It is also a good idea to throw change in the tip jars of local fast food restaurants should there be one. You’re going to need all of the good Khama you can get during the con.
There you have it. When making your Comic-Con budget, be sure to add tipping as an expense. As you can see above, it can really add up but it’s not an expense you should just skip.