Tip Trends in New York CityAside from traditional service providers like delivery workers and cleaning services, many other businesses have taken to placing a "Tip Cup" near their registers. Pizzerias, gas stations, coffee shops and cafs are just a few of these establishments. These cups are left for customers who wish to tip the attendant working behind the counter. Although it's not necessary to place any money into these designated cups, if your server was polite, prompt and perky, the extra change is always appreciated. So cleanout those New York car rental cup holders and show you're appreciation for the hard working people on the Big Apple.
Hotel Staff and Housekeeping$3 to $4 a day is good rule of thumb for tipping the hard working hotel service people of New York. Or if you like, you can always leave a compounded tip the last day of your stay; just leave a sealed envelope on the nightstand or desktop labeled "Housekeeping". Either way it is always nice to reward the housekeeping staff for their diligent work. Of course one must always use their discretion when it comes to leaving a gratuity. If you are unsatisfied with the overall cleanliness of your hotel suite, (i.e. the beds are not made, or the floor has not been vacuumed), there is no need for you to feel obliged to leave a tip.
Taxi ServicesWhile visiting the Big Apple you may choose to take a taxi instead of braving the heavy traffic in your New York car rental. In this case be sure to carry cash with you because taxi cabs do not except debit or credit. 15% of the fare is a customary amount for tipping your cab drivers. Again it is up to you whether or not you wish to leave this large of a tip, or any tip at all. If your taxi driver took a longer than necessary route, executed unsafe traffic maneuvers, or broke any laws during your trip it is ok to avoid leaving a tip.
Messenger Services and BellboysTipping a messenger or bellboy is not entirely necessary, but a few dollars is always appreciated. If you have extremely heavy luggage that must be carried up numerous flights of stairs you may wish to give the attendant a few more dollars but typically $2 or $3 is sufficient.
Parking Garages and Valet AttendantsIf you have decided to leave your New York car rental with a valet parking service it is normally polite to tip the valet a few bucks. Before tipping the attendant you should do a quick vehicle check to look for dents and scratches. If the valet has tinkered with the radio station or moved the settings of the driver interior there is no reason to leave a tip. But if the service was prompt and friendly $1 or $2 is sufficient.
Some services offered to you during your trip to New York City may not be appreciated. It is common to run into people on the streets trying to peddle unwanted services; for example, people all over NYC attempt to wash car window shields at stop lights and road signs everyday. It is not necessary to tip these people for their services if you have politely asked them to step away from your New York car rental. If the window washer becomes more aggressive in their requests for payment, quickly lock your doors and avoid any further conversation.