Is Tipping While On Vacation Out Of Control? IMHO, Yes.
I know I'm probably going to get myself into some trouble as I write this opinion - my OPINION - piece, but I'd like to say that tipping is out of control. Last week while on vacation it seemed as if everyone was expecting a handout and wanted a tip for what seemed like them to be just doing their job.
Hang on there with the negative comments, I DO NOT MIND tipping for great service, especially when it comes to servers at restaurants because I know their pay scale is different. But when it comes to baggage handling, making a purchase at a coffee/beverage shop, an excursion and even at a souvenir shop, it seemed like there were tip jars and tips expected to be paid every time you interacted with someone. It gets to a point when tipping seems to be excessive.
I guess it all comes with traveling, especially to a touristy area, especially during spring break. It starts with the shuttle service from the parking lot to the airport, the guys loading your luggage into the shuttle bus expect a tip. Honestly, I'm perfectly capable of loading my own luggage to the rack inside, I loaded them and unloaded them from my truck just fine. Then I'm pretty sure the employees working at the coffee bar are paid a normal rate, unlike waiters and waitresses, so just handing me a cup of coffee doesn't really require a tip.
What really got me to thinking that tipping is out of control is when I received the bill while eating out one day. We had lunch at an awesome burger joint that was recommended by locals, which was phenomenal. When I received the bill it included a line that said 'Kitchen Appreciation' with a charge of $3.33. What does this actually mean? I was under the impression that the kitchen staff is paid at least minimum wage, unlike servers, and now I'm being charged what seems to be the equivalent of a tip. I could be completely wrong and the kitchen staff is not paid minimum wage and for that, I apologize. But until I learn otherwise, I see this as a tip.
Then during our vacation, we booked a snowmobile excursion into Colorado's backcountry. After paying the going rate for the excursion, the tour provider suggested we tip our guide 25% of the total charge. I felt that request to be a bit unreasonable. I'm already paying quite a bit for a three-hour run and these guides get paid an hourly rate by the tour company, adding 25% more I felt was a bit excessive. I'm sorry, if you're making this suggestion to me, you need to go ahead and build that in the price of the excursion and then give your guides a raise.
I guess I'm not accustomed to all of the tipping because in my daily life I'm usually only tipping restaurant employees, my barber and that's pretty much it. I don't interact much with people that expect to be tipped for anything, so seeing this while on vacation really caught my attention and I felt as it everyone had their hand out expecting more money from me. At some point, I had to say enough was enough. I'll close this piece with how I started it, now that's it for my opinion - my OPINION.