I believe in a simple concept — give gratuities to receive gratitude, and its inherent service.

Musicians outside of the cable car to Mountain Pico Isabel de Torres

My parents raised me with two values in combination: thankfulness and generosity.  Any time that my family would go on vacation, my father would be sure to tip the valets, servers, housekeepers, and any other help well.  He instilled this in me as well.  It was deeper than just that if you do tip well you will generally receive better service.

It also wasn’t because we had the money to tip everyone well.  I do not have a wealthy background, but we did what we could and appreciated good service.  Vacation, after all, is about enjoying yourself, and the service you receive is a big part of that.


Dominican Republic Trip:
$1 USD = 42.5 Dominican Pesos.  The US Dollar is highly valued to locals, who generally make around $200 USD per month.  In an all-inclusive resort with international guests, very few would tip the help.  Some people assume all gratuities are part of renting the room, so no further tips are needed.  This can make sense, as in some European cultures that is traditionally the norm when traveling to resorts or hotels.  However, in America we tip everyone — valets, bartenders, waiters, bathroom attendants, the maintenance guy, barbers, the mailman, and so on.  Tipping can be beneficial to you in many ways, done the right way.

In America, tipping a single dollar to, for example a valet, bellman or bartender, will either:
– Have that dollar handed back to you with frustration
– Result in poorer service than if you had given nothing at all
– Give someone something to complain about once you walk away

BlueBay Villas Doradas Resort

BlueBay Villas Doradas Resort

In the Dominican Republic, this was not the case.  We tipped everyone $1 or $2 at a time, and they loved us for it.  The bartenders would serve on us more intently, the security guard went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable, and the concierge would seek high and low for whatever we needed.  In America, tipping has a similar effect, but at a significantly higher cost.  There are nightclubs where you have to tip the bouncer $20, $50, or $100 just to get into the door.  So, why not have an extra $30 in singles on your trip to make it that much better?

Human nature plays a role in the joys of being generous
Here’s a little fact I have found true myself — and I would bet it is true about you as well.  This can be noticed in gift-giving quite a bit as well….

The person giving the gift often feels great satisfaction, similar to what you would expect of the person receiving the gift.

What is this all about?  Well, we love to make other people happy.  It’s a hardwired emotional impact.  We are built to survive individually.  However, when we can do something to help another, non-competitor survive, and it doesn’t lower our chances of survival, it makes us feel good.  Since Christmas is around the corner, think about that.  How excited are you to give gifts to others, despite the financial burden, to see them happier?  It happens to all of us (except a few Scrooges).

So why do I say this?  Too many people don’t bother tipping because they want to save that extra dollar here or there, because eventually it will be self-invested.  It might be saved up for a new gadget, haircut, coffee, or anything else.  But, what if giving gratuities to others is a self-investment?  Next time you are on vacation, give it a shot.  Especially if you happen to be somewhere that your currency is highly valued, making it easier financially for you to give more and/or larger tips.


People who are successful are those who self-invest.  Next time you are questioning whether to tip someone, or to buy something, think of if that thing is a self-investment, and if so how much will it impact you.


“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
~William Arthur Ward