Factors to Help You Choose the Right Tip for Your Shuttle Driver

Hopping on a shuttle from the airport to your hotel or vice versa -- or traveling by shuttle elsewhere -- allows you to skip the hassle of navigating the streets of a potentially unfamiliar city and contending with traffic. The added bonus is that because shuttle service is often complimentary for hotel guests, your trip doesn't have to cost you anything -- beyond the tip. Tipping is a proper way to express gratitude for a variety of services when you travel, and riding on a shuttle is no different. But, how much to tip? Unlike a taking a taxi, you don't determine the tip amount by calculating a percentage of the fare because there often isn't one. Instead, there are two schools of thoughts regarding how much you should give as a tip.

Flat Rate

A tip of $2 is an appropriate way to convey your appreciation for the shuttle driver, according to the American Society of Travel Agents. It's always best to tip in cash and to hand over the tip with a smile at the end of your shuttle ride. If you've taken the shuttle with members of your family, you should technically tip about $2 per person -- remember, each person in your group is taking up a seat that would be otherwise used by someone who might tip the driver.

Tipping Based on Luggage

Another approach that you can take is to tip based on the pieces of luggage that the shuttle driver handles for you. Etiquette expert Lizzie Post suggests tipping $1 or $2 per item. When you take this approach to tipping, it's best to consider the overall nature of the items with which you're traveling. Something that is heavy to lift or takes up considerable space in the shuttle should be worth a higher tip than a light suitcase, for example.

Other Factors

Although you often don't spend too long in the shuttle, especially if your hotel is located close to the airport, your interactions with the driver can warrant giving an extra buck or two. If you're dashing through the hotel lobby with your suitcases in hand as the shuttle is preparing to leave and the shuttle driver spots you and waits for you, it's polite to give a little more when you tip. Likewise, consider an extra tip for a shuttle driver who goes above and beyond to provide some insight about the city you're visiting.

Talk to the front desk about a shuttle service to all your needed locations.