Staff Gifts: Room Staff - Assume they have children? (and some other questions)
My husband and I are going to CSA in just over a week, and I would like to take some small gifts for the staff. It seems almost anything would be appreciated since everything is very expensive there. I'm planning to take some M&M's or something that isn't likely to melt on the way there for the bar, wait, cooks, garden etc staff.
However, for our room staff I'd like to make sure I have something a little extra special. I have a few questions, so I can plan accordingly so no one is left out. I'd also like to do something a little extra for the scuba crew since we'll be doing our checkout dives there.
How many people service a room in one day? (maid, min-bar, and turn-down?)
Is is safe/appropriate to assume that they all (or most) have children?
For children, should I take mostly stuff for children of any particular age?
I've seen recommendations for everything for OTC medications, toys, school supplies, personal care/beauty supplies, and even some clothing items. Should I stick to travel size goods? I was thinking about full size bottles of body lotion.
Thanks for all of your advice in advance! I'm so excited and ready to be there!
I took Milk Duds and they melted at some point, even with the AC set at 72*F, just a warning. I saw some cute ideas on Pinterest for teacher gifts that could work for staff. One idea had a "cold cup" with straw and it was filled with treats or Sharpies. I noticed that many of the staff at CTI have these for their drinks on their carts. Another thought would be to make a donation to the Issa Trust Foundation in the staff's name.
Your room service crew usually consists of a day person, the mini-bar guy and a turndown person. Sometimes there are 2 people cleaning a room, but that's generally when someone is in training.
I don't know if it's appropriate to assume that most people have kids, but if you want to take some kids stuff, you may want to think of school supplies and just leave that with the front desk.
If you can manage to take full size bottles of body lotion, etc., that would be extra nice!
I typically bring a whole slew of paperbacks with me and as I read them I've left them with our cleaning person or bartender.
We've also brought OTC meds - we were friendly with one of the bartenders who had hurt his knee and was having problems standing during his shift - we had an opened bottle of ibuprofen and gave that to him - he was thrilled, as apparently that is VERY expensive in Jamaica, so we learned to bring a couple of unopened containers of Advil, etc. with us for the staff....Your watersports guys might appreciate something along those lines....
Just remember, that if you do give a staff member a gift (even if it's a used paperback), make sure to also give them a note identifying the gift with your name and room number. The staff member may or may not need to present this note as proof that the item was, in fact, a gift.
We have been to Jamaica many times and have always brought school supplies, but I love the idea of OTC meds. Never thought of that! I know the dollar store carries ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I will pick some ip before our next trip. And I like the insulated cup too!
We took big candy bars and I tied a little ribbon around them saying thank you for all the great work. If you want take something extra, we took a few soccer balls that were not inflated and a small air pump. We choose a few people that made our trip extra special and gave them the soccer balls after we pumped them up. They were a huge hit! And, if they have kids they can take them home for their children to play with also.
I brought some composition notebooks that I had gotten very cheaply during the back to school sales (that are coming up again soon), seriously I think I paid $.07 each at one of the sales, some folders, some pencils, etc. Our main housekeeper we had frequently had mentioned she had kids, so I asked if it was ok if she could take them home. She was beyond thrilled as all her children's items had been damaged during Sandy. Her son's birthday was coming up so she was going to give him some of the items as a birthday present (couldn't afford anything so she was so thankful she could give him these things). I plan to do the same this year. What we take for granted can really make someone's day there. I am not feeling self righteous about it. I am just thankful I have the means to make a bit of a difference for someone else.
Take school supplies. We just got back a week ago and we gave school supplies to two of the bartenders and they were so greatful for them. They were separating them out to share with other staff members. I took a few bags of dove chocolates and gave them out to the staff staffand they love it. I also took asprin and midol and gave them to the housekeeper. Next time I am going to take a whole carry on bag of school supplies and candy. They will be grateful for anything you give them. I hope you have a great time. Dont forget to leave notes for anything you give out. the only thing i didnt leave notes for were the candy because they will eat them when you give it to them.
Thank you! I did a lot of running around on Tuesday night.
16oz Chill Cup + Crystal Light for 16oz Water bottles = WIN!
I also came across ring pops at Kroger, so I grabbed a bag of those. I figure they're less likely to melt than chocolate (I hope!) and they're so much fun. I grabbed a lot of other stuff too. School supplies, B&BW lotion, nail polish, M&M's, gum. I may be going overboard, but I just hope it is needed & appreciated.
I'm also planning to split up some of our OTC medications when we leave from our emergency kit.
I'll post when we get back! Thank you again for your awesome suggestions!