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Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Boston, MA
posts: 34
Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

I've heard some people bring small gifts for housekeeping each day, especially small items that may be difficult to find on-island. I'd love to hear other's thoughts regarding this. I think I read in a way-back post that someone brings small chocolates, and it might be fun to bring something from my hometown (like new england maple syrup!). Any ideas of what items might be inexpensive for me, but highly desired and appreciated on-island? If I bring little gifts for housekeeping, should I also leave a ($) tip at the end of the trip (if yes, how much)?

Also, what are the general rules of tipping across the island? I know SOME (not all) restaurants add gratuity on the bill... are you expected to tip on top of the added gratuity? If there is no gratuity added, what is the general rate? Also, what about tipping for other services like the shuttle boat from SXM to AXA, or for any taxi service?

Thanks for your "tips" ;)

posts: 119
reviews: 4
11. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

IMHO I am not sure you can compare tipping (and gift giving) housekeeping in a small Anguilla hotel or apartment to a NYC hotel. You usually have much more interaction and build a relationship from year to year. It's a small, nice and thoughtful gesture not unlike bringing Ronnie Bryan gluten free pasta.

posts: 1,641
reviews: 90
12. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Penny, I've never heard of Fit Flopps but I will check them out!

Feather, in a different setting, I might not bring gifts for housekeeping, but since we've started renting villas around the Caribbean, we try to do a little something. And once we return to any property like we do with caribella, then we try to personalize it a bit more.

I've never paid duty on these or other items I bring to the island to give away, like books. While I don't think I've disclosed them each time, I have mentioned at least twice that among my personal items are things that I will giving away or donating and Ive been waved on through.

Boston, MA
posts: 34
13. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Thank you all for your thoughts. I'm glad to hear that others bring gifts to accompany their cash tips. I feel like any little extra thing we can do to make another person smile is worth it :)

I never thought about having to pay duty on items we bring and leave on the island. We are bringing a VERY large bag of items to donate to the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation. Should I be concerned about paying a duty? Is there something special we should do when we get to customs?

Wolfville, Canada
posts: 166
reviews: 34
14. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

I will give you a "tip" about tipping for the shuttle services as I just found out about it myself after staying in Anguilla. If you use the shuttles rather than the ferry then you should know that the porters who will carry your bags to and from the boats are not employed by the shuttle services themselves. So it can be confusing, as you have the guys who drive the shuttles and other who help you onto the boat that are employed by the shuttle companies but the porters are tipped seperately.

Boston, MA
posts: 34
15. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

Good to know. Do we HAVE to use a porter? We won't travel with much luggage, so can carry everything ourselves. This will be our first time using a shuttle (Funtime), not the public ferry. Are the porters pushy? I remember when we were in St. Thomas taking the ferry to St. John, the porters were very pushy, trying to grab luggage out of our hands to "help" just to make a tip.

Mystic, CT
posts: 1,038
reviews: 15
16. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

You probably will have to use the porters. I doubt they'll let you carry anything yourself other than a small backpack type bag onto the boat.

Cookham Dean...
Destination Expert
for Prague, Bohemia
posts: 21,773
17. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

martha39forever - totally agree with you, why bring gifts for people you don't know and to whom at the end of the day are only a customer who spends a few days in the location.

10% service charge on hotel bills is quite a huge amount of money for the little work that is done, not to mention 15% on restaurant bills.

Bringing books or leaving books behind is the only worthwhile gift for the locals.

Edited: 2:04 pm, June 17, 2013
Wolfville, Canada
posts: 166
reviews: 34
18. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

The problem is that the porters are the only ones allowed to transport the luggage within the customs area. Not so much of an issue travelling there but when you leave they will generally ask you to leave your luggage outside the booth area as the porters are responsible for taking it through the building and to the boat. We had one incident on the way back where the porter was very agressive about getting tips from all of the passengers and was quite rude when he didn't. However as is always the case I wouldn't want to take this as the norm for all of the porters.

19. Re: Gifts for Housekeeping? And other ($) tip questions...

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