The Ultimate Guide To Tipping This Holiday Season

The end of the year holiday season can be a huge money suck as people buy gifts for family, friends, and coworkers.

But we should also remember to thank the people who make our lives easier throughout the year: building superintendents, babysitters, hairstylists, dog walkers, and a whole host of other people.

The question, of course, is how much?

We spoke with etiquette expert Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick of The Etiquette School of New York to find out more about holiday tipping and gifting. She helpfully broke down her recommendations and advice on who — and how much — to tip.

Apartment/Building Staff

“We have to be very good to the service staff in our buildings because they’re very good to us,” Napier-Fitzpatrick explained to Business Insider. “Take into account how long you’ve been in the building, how important their service is to you, the frequency of the service, and the quality, plus what you gave last year.”

Superintendent: $US50 — $US200

Doorman/Concierge: $US50 — $US150

Elevator Operator: $US25 — $US50

Porters/Handymen: $US25 — $US50

Parking Garage Attendants: $US25 — $US75


The standard here is to give one week’s pay to one month’s pay, but it varies by how long they’ve been with you.

“If you’ve had a nanny for five years, you’d probably give her more than one week’s salary,” Napier-Fitzpatrick said. “You’d probably give her a month’s salary.”

Housekeeper/Maid: One week’s pay, or less if not a weekly service

Nanny: One week to one month’s pay, and a small gift from your child

Au Pair: One week’s pay and a small gift from your child

Babysitter: One night’s pay, plus a small gift from your child

Daily Dog Walker: One day’s pay

Day Care Provider: $US25 to $US75 each, and a small gift from your child

*Teachers/Coaches: Small gift from your child

*Child’s Teacher: A small gift from you and one from your child

*Coaches/Tutors/Music Teachers: A small gift from your child

*Be sure to check with the school before you give cash or gift cards to make sure it’s acceptable. Napier-Fitzpatrick told us another great way to give back to the teacher is for all parents to get together and get him or her a single gift certificate so that no one parent looks bad.

Personal Care

This is less mandatory than the first two categories, but if you use a service all year round like a personal trainer or hair stylist, you should give them a little gift.

“Most of these people we’re tipping all year, so we don’t have to go overboard,” Napier-Fitzpatrick said. “But at least give them the cost of one service.”

Hair Stylist/Colorist: The cost of one visit, or a gift equaling that amount

Shampoo Person: $US10 or a small gift

Manicurist/Pedicurist: $US15 — $US25, or a small gift

Massage Therapist: $US15, or a small gift

Personal Trainer: One session’s cost, or a gift equaling that amount

Miscellaneous Service Providers

Again, base these tips on how often you used their services in the past year.

Dog Groomer: A fourth or half the cost of one grooming session

Newspaper Delivery Person: $US25 — $US50 or $US10 if once a week.

Mail Carrier: Gift up to $US20 in value (there are legal restrictions on what USPS workers can accept)

UPS/FedEx Regular Driver: $US20 — $US25

Trash Collector: $US10 -$20 each.

Pool Cleaner: Cost of one cleaning

Gardener: One week’s pay, or less if they work for you occasionally

Final Advice

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