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In the U.S. tipping is customary and expected for everything from lackluster to outstanding service. It is an etiquette which is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades. In the Dominican Republic, it is customary to leave a tip as well, if you enjoyed the service. This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide you a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.

Currency: Can I pay in U.S. dollars, or should I use Pesos?

The currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso. The most convenient currency to take with you is US dollars, which you can change to pesos once you arrive.

Many tourist destinations, including restaurants, bars, department stores, souvenir shops, and supermarkets tend to accept dollars, though you will receive a less favorable rate than at the banks. Many places also accept major credit cards. That said, most prices in the Dominican Republic are in Dominican pesos. If you plan to make a big purchase in small shops and markets, negotiate first with the seller who may be interested in receiving the payment in American dollars. Prices are fixed, however, in supermarkets and shopping mall stores. Your best bet is to use an ATM to withdraw local currency at the best daily exchange rate.

Restaurants and Bars: When should I tip? How much is customary?

In the Dominican Republic, it is customary to leave a 10% if you enjoyed your services. Some restaurants will add 10% gratuity to your bill, so make sure you look at your check before leaving extra. You will know if it has been added if you see propino incluido or simply servis on the check. If your service was exceptional, you can also give an additional tip straight to your waiter or waitress. This will guarantee your money directly to them.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

In hotels in the Dominican Republic it is typical to tip your housekeeper $1-2 per night for good service. It is helpful to leave a short note with it to let them know that it is intended for them. Leave both of these on your pillow, as the housekeeper will need to show this to security to prove it was meant for them. You may notice a 10% service charge added to your bill as well. This fee is for the hotel staff. You should tip the porter who helped you with your luggage $1 per bag.

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

As with restaurants, in the Dominican Republic some taxi companies will add a 10% service fee to your final fare, but not all do. Make sure you know if it is included or not before you pay. If it's not leaving a gratuity of around 10% is good tipping etiquette.

Tour Guides: Is a tip required?

In the Dominican Republic, tours are quite inexpensive. You should tip your private tour guide $25 per day and give the driver a tip around $10.

Should I tip at an all-inclusive resort? And if so, how much should I tip?

First of all you should know that in your rate at all inclusive resorts, tips are already included, however, many guests decide to share a little more during their stay. In this scenario, it is important to note that this gratuity is because they feel very grateful for the service and experience they are receiving and without a doubt; it is appreciated by the staff.

In regards to how much to tip, it will be at your discretion, but if it helps, in the Caribbean it is common to leave a 15% to 25% tip for exceptional service. However, all gratuities are well received, from $1 per service to $20 or more at the end of your stay.

Miscellaneous: Is there anyone I should tip that I would not normally?

There are many luxury spas in the Dominican Republic. You can get away with tipping only 10%, but if you received outstanding service, a 20% tip is a great way to show your appreciation.

Final Thoughts:

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.