Tipping...... ahh - I am a really fair tipper - by all means. 20% at least. 20% is always easier for me to calculate than 15%, so I take the easy route. Even when I get bad service, I leave a tip. There may have been approximately 5 times in my 28 years of living that I have walked out without tipping - for TRUE reasons of course..... check the tips AND please check the video at the bottom of the post. Damn! I miss true blood.
At a restaurant: Offer up 15% to 20% of your total bill. Keep in mind that the amount you tip reflects the total price before any coupons, gift certificates, etc. Just because you get a discount, does not mean that your server did not serve up the full order. If you are part of a party of more than 8 people, you should offer an amount closer to the 20% marker, if not more, depending on the needs of the guests in your party. If, for example, one of your guests insists on getting the salad dressing on the side, extra bread, more water and no avocado, then you definitely want to compensate the server who extended service to include these extras.
At a club or bar: Tip the bartender between 10% and 15% depending on the complication of your drink order. If you just order a beer in a bottle, there's not too much effort involved in providing the service, but if you order a mixed drink that takes time and includes a lot of ingredients, then offer up a more sizable tip, somewhere closer to the 15% range.
Transportation: Whether you hail a cab or take a limousine, you best offer a gratuity between 10% to 15% of the fare. If the drivers are particularly rude or unhelpful, give them the minimum. But if they are attentive to your travel needs and help you in any way beyond the norm, remember and thank them with a 15% or larger gratuity. If you use valet service at a hotel, restaurant or shopping area, offer the driver 10% for the service, but never give change. Another guideline is simply offering the attendant a back or two for the parking and retrieval of your car. And if you're traveling through an airport, and utilizing the aid of skycaps, offer a dollar per bag and up that amount if the bags are particularly heavy or large.
At a Hotel: It is standard to leave the maid a few bucks for tidying your room. If you have additional needs such as more towels, soap, an extra toothbrush, etc. thank the maid with an additional dollar or two. When checking in and out of a hotel, remember the bellhop with a gratuity of a dollar per bag, unless, once again, you have particularly large or heavy bags.