TIPPING IN THE BAHAMAS
In the U.S. tipping is customary and expected for everything from lackluster to outstanding service. It is an etiquette that is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades.
The questions `when?` and `how much?` that surround tipping can leave some travelers confused, as the practice varies. This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.
In the Bahamas tipping is expected by workers in the service industry, they have similar practices to North American and Western Europe. The islands are well accustomed to international tourists and work hard to provide visitors with outstanding service, it is common to leave a tip in the tourist areas of the island.Currency: Can I pay in U.S. dollars, or should I use Bahamian Dollar?
The currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian Dollar, US dollars are widely accepted and is equivalent to the Bahamian dollar. If you pay in US dollars, you will likely receive change in Bahamian dollars, not the US. There are currency exchange desks at the airport and major banks on the island are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm and some may open on Saturdays. On the major islands, ATM machines can be found at the casinos and commercial banks and the port areas.Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars: When should I tip? How much is customary?
Many restaurants in the Bahamas will automatically add a 15% gratuity to your bill. If there is a service charge on your bill there is no need to leave an additional tip, however, if you receive exceptional service and wish to add more, this is at your discretion. If no service charge is added then general tipping rules advise leaving 15-20%.
Tipping at bars in the Bahamas is a common practice and it is standard practice to leave the bartender at least 10-15% or $1-$2 per round of drinks.Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?
Tipping in hotels in the Bahamas is customary and a general guideline to follow would be leaving your bell boy $1 per bag and tipping your housekeeping $2 per day. Also, a standard common practice on the islands is to leave behind your small change at the end of your stay as a complement to the staff.Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?
A taxi driver is commonly tipped around 15% in the Bahamas, or round up to the next dollar for short-distance trips.Tour Guides: Is a tip required?
Tipping your tour guide between 5-10% is advised by not required in the Bahamas. There are many companies providing services on the island and you may want to consider tipping the people who help you on your day trips and excursions.Miscellaneous; is there anywhere else I should be aware of to tip in the Bahamas?
It is customary to tip 10% in the Bahamas for spa services, hair dresses, etc. If you received outstanding service you may wish to leave more, which is always greatly appreciated by the staff.
Remember that it is perfectly okay to abstain, especially if you are not happy with the service provided. This is also true for hotel staff, however, if you should encounter a problem with the service within the hotel, we highly recommend speaking with the manager.
When paying for services in cash (which we generally recommend for services other than your hotel) remember to take your receipt. This is important for two reasons; If you leave a tip on a credit card, the person providing the service may not always get it, and if there is a discrepancy it is important to have your receipt to settle it with the manager of the establishment and to prove that you paid for the service.