Tipping is the way to acknowledge the work of good service. This is how you thank people after you enjoy their services.
Tipping is something that the Europeans and American practice. And are comfortable with. And Nepal is still new to this. But with time, people have started expecting tips for their service. Be it during the trek, or at a restaurant, or in vehicles.
Tipping motivates the person improve their service and continue doing what they are doing. The extra money also helps them to keep up with their livelihood.
Tipping Trekking Guide, Porter, and Tour Guide
A guide helps in navigating the route. He is aware of the condition in the mountains and alerts you in case he senses any danger ahead.
Often times they even put their lives at risk for you. They are also storytellers during the trek. So when they offer so much, why is it that we often battle on how much to tip a guide.
Hence tipping a guide is totally worthy for the services they offer. In every trekking group, there will be one guide who will be in charge of all the arrangements in the trek. He decides the required number of porters too.
Down below, we have a guideline on how much you can tip in case of doubts. And for your information, guides usually expect more tips than porter.
|Trekking guide||USD 10 to 15||NPR 1000-1500|
|Porter||USD 5 to 10||NPR 500-1000|
|Tour Guide||USD 10 to 15||NPR 1000-1500|
For Solo Trekking
|Trekking guide||USD 3 to 5||NPR 300-500|
|Porter||USD 2 to 4||NPR 200-400|
|Tour Guide||USD 3 to 4||NPR 300-400|
Tipping rates also depend on the duration of the trek. If you are going for a week or two, you can follow the guidelines above.
But if you are planning for a month-long expedition, USD 200 to 250 would be appropriate. And for those who are solo trekker, you can lean towards the lower end of the range.
While this is a rough estimation, it may be convenient if you consider keeping a little bigger margin.
The above tipping guideline is also applicable if you are trekking with a company. As they pay a decent amount of wages to the guides as well as provide insurance for them.
Tipping can also vary based on the activity. For a hike or city tour guide, you can tip USD 5 per day. Yet for a mountaineering guide with their skill set, you might want to tip more.
And if you have a head guide and assistant guide, you should give the head guide a little more over the assistant guide.
For instance, if you do a 10-day trek, an assistant guide should get USD 100 from the group and a head guide should get USD 125 to 150 from the group.
NOTE: Above are just guidelines and it is not compulsory to stick with the particular figures. With your personal experience, you can always feel free to switch it up.
Tipping Guidelines for Other Services in Nepal
Besides the guides and porters in Nepal, there are various other services where one can tip. The average service worker in Nepal may not expect a tip. Now it could either be because of their culture or due to shy nature.
When given a gratuity you may find that they stuff the envelope into their pocket even without counting or acknowledging in front of you.
This is because they do not want to come across as greedy. But wages in Nepal are much lower than the average income of the developed countries.
It is very difficult for most workers to make their ends meet. Hence if the service offered to you is great, you can always tip a small amount to show your appreciation and gratitude. This makes the workers happy and pushes them to work better.
Tips at Hotels and Hostels in Nepal
You can always leave tip for cleaning staffs in the hotel or hostel. And depending on the standard of the room, you can think of how much to leave.
For a hostel, you can leave about NPR 20 (USD 0.2) and for a better hotel room ranging from USD 4 to 20, you can leave about NPR 100 (USD 1).
This is not compulsory but is a nice gesture. And for those staying in a luxury hotel, you may consider giving more.
It is good to tip for room service. Esp because they make an effort to offer their service right till your door. For small orders, you can consider rounding up the bill.
While if you are in a fancy hotel and order a full meal, just like you would do in a restaurant, you should tip 10 percent. But before doing that do check your bill once.
Because sometimes they would already include the service charge in the bill. In that case, you can skip the tip.
This depends on how big your luggage is. And how far they have to move the luggage too. If you feel that the person has a good nature and does his work well you can give him around USD 1.
The least you can give for this service is NPR 50 (USD 0.50). In big hotels with a large number of bags, consider giving more.
Tipping at Restaurants in Nepal
Many restaurants in Nepal will include a 13 percent tax and 10 percent service charge in their bill. Hence if you receive a bill with these charges, then you don’t need to tip.
However, in restaurants with no service charge, you can leave 10 percent of the total amount of bill.
It is not common to tip in the local small restaurants of Nepal. So you can just leave the change.
Tipping a Taxi Driver in Nepal
Most of the time, the customer and the taxi driver will agree on a cost and then move to the destination. However in rare cases, if a taxi driver uses the meter, then you can consider rounding up the fare.
This is because the meter in a taxi will charge you the standard rate which means that the driver is not trying to overcharge you.
Tipping Private Drivers in Nepal
If you happen to hire a private vehicle which comes with a driver to take you on the best route to a trek, then you can tip them. If the ride includes in your tour, you can ask the tour company how much tip is appropriate because rides to different areas vary in price.
For a multi-day trip, you may want to tip more like USD 10 per day with a group. Sometimes you can also consider paying for the food and drinks they take during the trip.
Tipping at Spas in Nepal
Just like a restaurant, while tipping at Spas % sure to check the bill. Some bills already include the service charge of 10 to 15 percent.
However, if you really like the service and the nature of the service provider, you can leave around USD 3 to 5. Because what would cost USD 250 in abroad costs USD 20 to 25 in Nepal which is so much cheaper.
In that case, you can try not being stingy and tip them according to your satisfaction.
How to Tip Guides in Nepal?
While tipping in Nepal, there are some things to keep in mind. They are
You can either tip in Nepali Rupees or US Dollars. But for those living in the remote areas, tipping in Nepali rupees would be more convenient. As then they will not have to worry about exchanging the money in order to use them.
Also for those workers who make their survival based on daily wages, it would be appropriate if they get money in their own currency.
In Nepal, you can withdraw cash from ATMs when in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Or you can even exchange cash in any nearby money exchange counters.
Tipping is not offensive in Nepal. In fact, in modern days, most professions esp guides and porters expect tips. However, while tipping it is important that you do it discreetly.
If the amount is large you can put it in an envelope if possible. And with a small tip, you can pass it without making a scene.
Hand Money with Your Right Hand
In Nepal, people consider it rude to hand money with the left hand. Well, this is not a big issue for foreigners as locals are aware of a foreigner not having an idea about it.
Yet it is still much better to hand money with your right hand as a sign of respect. Esp when giving a large tip.
While tipping, make sure to tip your guide and porter each separately. This ensures that they each get their right amount and don’t get mixed up.
Give Extra Clothes or Equipment
Along with giving cash, another thing you can consider doing is giving away the gear you no longer need. There can be incidents when you have purchased some gear or equipment for your trek.
But once after the completion of the trek, you no longer need them. So in that case, you can give your team the extra equipment.
However, leaving these items doesn’t mean that you can skip tipping. Because what’s more useful to the guides and porters is the money. But if they find an item that they need or like, it will just be a bonus for them.
Their work demands being in the mountain and these things can always come in handy to them.
However, you should never give things you no longer need to someone directly as this might be embarrassing or offensive. It could indirectly imply that they do not make enough money.
So the best way to hand over the item is by talking to them. And letting them know that you have certain things that you will not use in the future. And that you do not want them to go in waste. Hence just by saying so, if they need it, they will open up to you.
Things to Avoid While Tipping Guides in Nepal
- While tipping, make sure you do not showboat your generosity
- Avoid giving old or torn clothes or goods. It can offend your guides
- Do not tip too less esp to those who go out of their way to ensure you a good service.
- If you like a service of the guide or porter, do not delay on tipping. Sometimes the staff member may not be available the next morning and may miss out on the tip.
Tipping is not common in Nepal. But for a job as of the guide, whose work demands strength, skill, and determination, it becomes very important to give them a good amount of tip.
And since their work is not consistent and depends on the number of tourists flow, the extra tip that you pay helps the guide to support their livelihood in times when they have no work.
So while the guide ensures you have a safe and memorable trekking experience. It is also your duty to appreciate them for their job well done by giving a gratuity. So, if you also want to know about the cost for trekking in Nepal than click here.
To know more on this, feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.
Is it okay not to tip if you are not happy with the service, or is there a better way to deal with it?
As far as possible, do not leave completely without giving a tip. When you get a good service, you would want to thank your guide in addition to leaving a good tip.
In contrary, if you do not receive good service, you should still leave the customary 10 percent.
And lastly, if you get a horrible service, then we suggest you talk directly to the manager. And express your dissatisfaction so that they can work on it next time.
What is the most common Tipping mistake?
The worst tipping mistake probably is to not tip at all. Hence, with tipping guidelines, you know how much to tip and if it’s enough.
When is it okay to tip in foreign cash besides Nepali cash?
If you have no choice or option, then you can just leave the foreign currency instead of not tipping at all. But, otherwise, try to tip in Nepali cash as far as possible.