Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Hawaii Vacation Blog

Your Guide to Tipping in Hawaii

a glass of wine sitting on top of a wooden table

Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy Hawaii’s beautiful water and engaging activities. Hawaii is part of the United States. Therefore, you can expect to tip the way you would in any other American state. For a stress free trip, it’s essential to learn about tipping in Hawaii before you travel.

How Do I Know When Tipping in Hawaii is Expected?

Generally speaking, you should tip when someone performs a service for you. This includes handling your baggage, driving you somewhere, offering you a tour, or serving you food or drinks. You should also tip housekeeping and valet services, as well as health and beauty professionals such as stylists, massage therapists, and manicurists.

Tipping in Hawaii includes nail technicians
Tipping in Hawaii includes nail technicians

When Should I Forgo a Tip?

There are sometimes where service workers do not expect a tip. For example, you don’t need to tip hotel staff who fix a complaint you make. If the ice machine or the shower in your suite is fixed, you don’t have to tip the repair person. You also don’t need to tip the front desk staff where you are staying.

Similarly, don’t tip at a fast food restaurant. However, there is a debate as to whether you should throw a dollar or two into a tip jar at a food truck or when you pick up a coffee. That can be a personal choice.

Additionally, luaus are another instance where you can decide to tip or not. If you appreciated the performance, you may as well provide gratuity.

At a luau, you can decide whether or not to tip.
At a luau, you can decide whether or not to tip.

Tipping in Hawaii: How Much?

Expect to spend an extra 15% or 20% when dining at a restaurant. At a bar, you can spend one or two dollars per drink, depending on the cost of the beverage. Be sure to tip your tour guides between 10% and 20%, depending on the number of guests on your tour and whether you thought the guide did a good job. For your hotel bellhop or airport baggage handler, 1$ or 2$ per bag is the going rate, and when you take a taxi or Uber, you should tack on 10% to 20% of the total ride cost.

Why Tip?

Traveling in the United States is different from visiting other South Pacific destinations. That’s because many service worker pay rates are lower than minimum wage. Patron tips make up the difference.

People living on any of the Hawaiian islands pay a high cost for food, housing, and goods. As a result, visitors should consider offering generous tips to make sure that the people servicing them are able to afford these necessities.