I was part of an interesting chat today about tipping while traveling. I did not realize that I had such strong feelings about this until a couple of the comments really struck a chord with me.
As an American it is customary to tip every service person at least a minimal amount and extra if you are very pleased with the service provided. One of the comments was - why should you tip someone for just doing their job? I realize this isn't the case in other countries but in the US the typical wait staff at restaurants or housekeepers at hotels make very little money and tips help give these very hard working people some additional income.
Anyone who is willing to provide that service should be paid well enough that tips are not an issue but here that is just not the case. As for the housekeeping staff who have to clean up after strangers (in ways I don't even want to imagine) they cannot be paid enough to make that worthwhile. Yes, I'm the guest who makes her own bed and picks up before they come in to clean. I leave money, candy, calling cards or anything else I think might be useful as a sign of my appreciation for work that I could never do.