Tipping in India

Also in India, especially in tourism, it is customary to give a tip for good service. In some professions, such as waiters, people are even dependent on tipping.

For example a friend of mine worked for 4000 rupees a month in a small restaurant in Goa. 4000 rs is equivalent to 50 euros. Even a factory worker earns more. There is speculation here about tipping. Unfortunately, thrifty backpacker travelers often give as much as nothing. However, I think 5% to 10 % is appropriate, with the restaurant bill for 2 people being often between 500 and 1000 rs (For a big meal).

Rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers do not expect a tip for short distances. A good driver, which you have for long distances or even for a multi-day tour, you should tip. Here 500 to 1000 rupees per day are appropriate, depending on the number of travelers and days.

Now coming to the tipping for trekking tours. Often during a tour I am asked how much it is appropriate and often I have tried to bypass the answer somehow, because I myself did not know exactly what an appropriate “tip” would be, without being neither to thight or to generous.

We, as the organizers, are happy if our employees are well tipped for their work, as they often do a lot of extra work during a trek and we want them to stay motivated! But don’t forget that tipping is not a payment. That is already taken care of by us!

Of course, you also have to differentiate who is participating in the trek. Students and backpackers can often hardly afford the trek themselves, so a small recognition counts. On the other hand, our employees automatically expect a little more when it comes to large, pre-booked groups for longer treks. Here it is usually a little more well-heeled customers of older age people, who expect more service at the same time.

In order to make the decisions for a suitable tip a little easier, I have now thought a little and listed my recommendations for a reasonable tip in the table below. My distinctions are in the group size and working area of the receiver. The amount is valid per day and is shown in rupees (80 rupees= 1 euro).

Depending on the satisfaction, the amount can of course also vary significantly individually! For students and long-term backpackers, the amounts may and should be lower!

Group size by participant Cook Helpers/carriers Horse guide Guide
1-3 participants 500-700 rs/day 200-500 rs/day 200-300 rs/day 500-1000 rs/day
4-7 participants 500-1000 rs/day 300-700 rs/day 300-500 rs/day 700-1500 rs/day
8-12 participants 700-1200 rs/day 500-800 rs/day 400-700 rs/day 1000-2000 rs/day

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