Tipping – and The Travel Insider

How much do you tip people each year/month/week?

We are hoping to end the current annual Travel Insider Reader Fundraising Appeal this week.  At the time of writing, we have 422 people who have responded with generous support, leaving a gap of only 133 more supporters to reach our goal of 545 supporters this year (ie, to have the same number as last year).

In past weeks we’ve compared supporting The Travel Insider to supporting politicians, and we’ve compared your weekly 5,000+ word free read here to the cost of reading newspapers, magazines and books.  We’ve even equated your support of The Travel Insider in terms comparable to the cost of a single cup of coffee each week.

As one last comparison point, may we compare supporting The Travel Insider to tipping.

How often do you tip people who, in truth, do nothing special for you at all?  Sure, they do their job, but they don’t go at all above and beyond the call of duty to help you, and you still thrust notes into their grasping hands as you briefly pass through their lives, never to see them again.

We know there are arguments in favor of tipping, even for ordinary (rather than special) service.

That is why people tip bell boys who merely blow a whistle or wave to summon the cab parked 20 yards away to the hotel front door, and why we again tip them for ‘carrying’ our wheeled bag to our room, even though we could do both acts just as well ourselves.  That is why we also tip people we never see like housemaids in hotels, or provide generic tips that are distributed among an entire ship’s crew, giving tips even to the deck hands and engineers.

And sometimes we tip because we feel social pressures acting on us.  Why exactly should we tip a taxi driver who does nothing except take us the long/slow way from Point A to Point B, running up the metered fare in the process?

Add it all up, and every week/month/year most of us spend hundreds of dollars on voluntary/gratuitous tipping, in return for which our life’s experiences are almost completely unchanged.  So how about now giving a little something to preserve an experience that hopefully does mildly change and improve your life – The Travel Insider.  Here’s an interesting set of suggested tip levels for various types of service providers; although regrettably it doesn’t show a suggested level for The Travel Insider.

If you’re reading this, you’re clearly already a Travel Insider reader, and with the average reader having been subscribed for more than five years, the chances are you’ve been reading the newsletter for quite some time.

We don’t expect your life to have been profoundly changed over the last year of reading, and probably the next year won’t bring profound changes either; although we do hope that some of the items you’ve read have not only amused or annoyed you, but have also educated you.  Perhaps they have helped you to travel more wisely and smartly, and maybe helped you to spend your money more appropriately on electronics and assorted other things.  Surely it is appropriate to consider a ‘tip’ to me once a year (or even once a quarter) – at least I’m not asking for a tip every time I send out a newsletter.  You are asked to help just once a year.

In a survey last year, 52% of Travel Insider readers said they tip hotel housemaids, up to as much as $20 a day.  But fewer than 5% ‘tip’ the Travel Insider.  We need only 133 more of the 10,000+ readers to send in a contribution/tip to close out the fundraising drive this year.  Please choose to be special and be one of them.  It only takes a few clicks and a few minutes to help make a big difference here.

Many thanks indeed.

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