How much should Travellers tip carriers and guides in Nepal?
Knowing how much to tip in Nepal, especially when guides and carriers are involved, can be a tricky question. While most of Asia does not have much of a tipping culture, some of the underpaid staff in Nepal rely on tips from tourists for their livelihood.
First, see some travel information to know before visiting Nepal.
How much to tip in Nepal
The average service worker in Nepal can not expect a tip, partly for being polite and partly because of a desire to save face.
With that said, salaries can be very low and many employees work seven long days a week to end the meeting. If the service was excellent, you can tip 10% to show gratitude.
A 10% service charge has already been added to the bills in many tourist-oriented hotels and restaurants. In theory, this 10% should be shared between staff. As is sometimes the case in Asia, the service charge can only go towards paying basic salaries. The only way to ensure that a server gets your compensation for a good job done is to give a small amount directly to them. Avoid contributing to cultural mutation by tipping when it is not merited! See this list of some other things not to do in Asia.
There is really no custom in tipping the house staff or hotel carriers carrying your bags, although the gesture will surely be appreciated.
When using taxis in Asia, it is common to simply round up your ticket to the nearest full amount. This prevents the driver from having to dig for change and is the best way to leave a little extra.
Realistically, you will not come across many work taximeters in Kathmandu and should agree on a price before getting into a taxi!
Tipping Trekking Guides, Sherpas, and Carriers
Unlike the service staff in town, your hiking staff will probably expect some form of compensation for a job well done. A good guide and team can make or break your hiking experience - perhaps one of the main reasons why you came to Nepal.
They do not earn much for their hard work and usually rely on tips to survive. Usually, you give the tip to the leader or the guide and they will hopefully distribute what suits the other members of the team (eg bearers and chefs). The guides should get a little bigger tip than carriers.
If you make the trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, the general rule is to tip one day's salary per week, or 15% of the total cost. Without really knowing what the staff is earning, this can be difficult to decipher. Assuming the experience was excellent, a good rule of thumb is to tip the equivalent of $ 10- $ 15 per day for your guides and the US $8- $ 10 per day for carriers.
Along with giving money, you can also leave behind the equipment that you no longer need. If you have purchased gloves or other gear specifically for your hike and are ready to leave Nepal for warmer climates, consider giving your team the extra equipment - they will use it to good use!
See 10 tips for hiking safely in Asia.
How to tip in Nepal
Because tipping in Nepal is still not completely customary and can even cause embarrassment in some cases, tips should be given in a discreet manner. Do not show your generosity; Instead, put your gift in an envelope or discreetly take the recipient aside. You may find that they simply fill the envelope or indemnity in a pocket without counting or confirming it in front of you.
Always tip in Nepalese rupees - the local currency - instead of currency from your own country. Learn how to quickly find the official exchange rates for a country.
As you tip the hiking staff, show your gratitude on the last night of your night rather than as everyone says goodbye. Some employees may not be available the next morning and may miss the tip. If you made your trip with other tourists, you can combine money to tip as a group.
Repayment of generosity
If you happen to be able to eat with a local family or are invited to stay in their home, you should bring a little sense of appreciation. Some gifts can be considered bad form or even bad luck; ask another Nepalese person for gift ideas.