The Practice of Tipping
As you probably know, Nepal is amongst one of the poorest countries in South Asia, and most people’s primary income relies on the tourism industry. Trekking in Nepal is an adventure of a lifetime, but the people who work in trekking often go to great (and sometimes dangerous) lengths to secure work that will feed their family. Here's where your sincerest contribution of tipping will assure that while our guides and porters are keeping you safe on your trek, their families are also being kept safe at home!
Though tipping isn't the culture amongst the Nepalese people (unlike in American and Europe), believe us, the people of Nepal greatly appreciate the additional help it offers to their lives. Therefore, it is left up to your personal discretion to make the choice to tip when you feel you have been treated with exceptional service!
Tipping & Why it is Important?
Nepal is a country that offers a wide variety of experiences for so many different people. People come to this eclectic country from the vast corners of the world to explore its vibrant culture and rural lifestyles, or to spend quality time in unrivalled picturesque valleys and snow-clad mountains.
But any of these trips would be incomplete without the guides or porters who make sure, through rain, snow or shine, that you get the most from experience. These are the superhuman, guardians of mountains - The Sherpas!
These adventure heroes may seem undefeatable in any circumstance and under the worst of terrain and weather, but at the same time these people have families who are not as strong as they are and who rely upon them to support and care for them. And they depend upon your generosity also. Tipping not only thanks them for their warm company, but allows them to make a living for themselves and supplement their income so that their children get more than the basic necessities of life.
When, Who, And How Much To Tip?
Though we ensure our staff is paid comparatively better than the industry average, and we know they will not spare any chance to provide you with warm hospitality and excellent trip service, tipping is encouraged as a gesture of appreciation from your side. Especially for your porters who have worked so hard and tirelessly to carry your bags and ensure you have everything you need delivered safely to your accommodation each night.
We know that navigating the world of tipping can be confusing (especially if it isn’t common in your own culture), so we have gathered some information for you to help you understand who to tip, when and how, so you don't have to ask anyone or spend your time searching the web. Here's a quick guide...
Who to tip
The people most deserving of your tipping would be Drivers of Jeeps, Hotel/Restaurant Staff and most importantly your Porters and Guide who make sure everything goes as planned and you are as comfortable as you can be. Most restaurants charge tax and service charges to be distributed among their staff, but if you're dining in a small lodge or hotel, consider rounding off the bill or leaving behind some cash. This would be greatly acknowledged by the people!
Usually, tipping would be preferred in Nepalese Rupees as most treks are remote and exchange services are generally only available in larger towns and cities. However, if you only have USD then that is appreciated too. After all, it is about helping.
How to offer tips
For large tips for your Guides and Porters, you can use an envelope which will be given to you by us. This keeps your gratuity confidential, and it’s easier to hand over cash in this way.
When to tip
Don't wait till the last day to distribute your tips as some of the porters may leave early in the morning. The best possible way to do it is to carry budgeted cash with you and distribute it at last evening's gathering, rather than trying to find a working ATM at our final destination.
What to offer (besides cash)
You know all of the stuff you purchased for your trek that likely won’t be useful for you once you return home - like the too warm clothes, the oversized backpack, or the trekking poles? We will happily collect these items and distribute amongst our staff and their families or community members in our village, who will find these items way more useful than they would be collecting mothballs or rusting away banally in your storeroom. Elderly people in the villages especially can benefit from walking poles!
But don’t worry...
We will always guide you through tipping. And in a group, we will ask you to appoint one person as the coordinator of the tips.
Here’s our guide to tipping rates...
|Trek Guide||USD 10-15 per day||Rs 1000-1500|
|Assistant Guide||USD 7-12 per day||Rs 700-1200|
|Porter||USD 5-10 per day (each)||Rs 500-1000|
|Driver||5-10 per day||Rs 500-1000|
Following this guide will give you the total amount recommended to tip to your staff as a group. As such, the amount can be divided amongst your group. Of course, while the above is a recommended range, you are always welcome to go above and beyond if you feel called to.
In easy words, suppose you're trekking the pristine Mardi Himal or Langtang Valley with a group of four on a 10-day trek. We provide you with a Guide and two Porters to assist you. In the end, you're encouraged to tip 100-150 USD to the Guide and USD 50-100 per Porter (USD100-200 for both porters). The total you would be encouraged to tip your entire team would be USD 200-350.
Because you have 4 people in your group, this could be divided amongst the four people, so you are contributing USD 50-87.50 each.
You thoroughly enjoyed your trekking experience, we know! And you undoubtedly want to come back soon (we hope you do!). Tipping will ensure that this majestic country and it’s smiling people will continue to inspire, enthrall and entertain people like you forever. You likely spent thousands of dollars reaching Nepal for your adventure of a lifetime. What’s another hundred or so for this part of the world and it’s beautiful people to prosper?
What seems like the cost of a usual evening out for you is the gift of school for the child of the Porter who lifted your backpacks so you could relish your adventure in the wild mountains without worrying about the load or the trek. So tip, because they deserve it.
Indeed all your deeds will echo for eternity in these mystical Himalayas!