I am traveling this week for business and, as I blogged about it earlier this week, it provides me a different perspective outside of my daily routine.

One thing I have implemented in my business travels and now even in my personal travels is leaving a tip for the hotel maids. A quick internet search reveals that only about 30% of folks tip the lady who clean up after you. And the average tip isn’t very substantial — $1-2 or $3-5 per day depending on what web site you refer to or what type of hotel you stay in.

I decided to take a look at it from a different perspective — one from a ministry or outreach point of view. You see, this hotel maid position is one that is almost always filled by a woman who is at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Sometimes she doesn’t even speak English. And she fills a role that is invisible to most travelers and quite often goes unnoticed….. unless it is not done. Some might even perceive her as the sustainer of life given the fact that she replenishes those vital coffee packets for your morning java. Here lies an opportunity to show appreciation to someone who probably works hard every day without recognition or appreciation, whose work most likely goes unnoticed, and who could most likely heavily benefit from my generosity because of her economic condition.

So for the last many years I have deliberately planned for and left a $10 a night tip along with an encouraging note for my hotel maids. And while usually the cash and note are gone upon my return to my room, sometimes I receive a nice surprise upon my return back to my temporary home. On one stay at a nice hotel in San Francisco, I received a handwritten note saying “Thank you Mr. ——–“. I received this every day during my stay there. On another stay in Switzerland (where I was leaving my notes in German) I received a very nice thank you note in English saying “Thank you very much. Have a nice day”. Well, this evening when I came back to my room I received a little arrangement of goodies around the note I had left the maid. The chocolates reminded me of a time gone by where you would get little chocolate mints left on your pillow. And while I have never had that happen, this is about as close as it gets.

I am blogging about this, not to brag about my acts but to encourage other travelers, especially those on business trips, to have an impact on some people who they probably don’t interact with much. Leave a note or say a thank you. The small gesture with a tip might go a long way towards supporting someone who works hard but probably isn’t compensated or recognized for it.

In fact, I am going to do something different with my tip tomorrow morning and leave it with one of my “Jesus Loves You” cards.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net