Tipping is not a universal custom, and not everyone is comfortable with it. We hope this short explanation will help to clarify your queries of tipping while you travel in Nepal.
In Kathmandu (or any other major city) most restaurants and hotels have included the service charge in the bill, so it is not necessary to give a tip (but it is fine if you wish to.)
On a Tea House or Lodge trek it is common to see a box for tips. It is a nice gesture to leave a tip to show appreciation for their service.
Tips for Trekking/Expedition Crew Members
Why should you tip?
When you travel with Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expedition, you will be accompanied by a team who will work very hard to make your trip hassle-free and enjoyable.
Nepal based trekking agencies (including Annapurna Foothills Treks), as well as most international companies, pay their staff according to the rates set by Trekking Agencies Association Nepal (TAAN) union. TAAN sets their wages comparatively higher than other jobs taking into account the seasonal nature of the work but they also take into account that these employees generally receive about 10% in tips.
Since Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expedition’s package cost provides excellent value for the money, you are still getting a bargain if you budget 10% of the trip cost to allocate in tips. You can be sure that the crew will be extremely grateful to be rewarded for their efforts.
Your tips are an incentive to provide excellent service. When the staff receives a tip directly from you, they feel a sense of pride in their service. Of course, there is no obligation to tip if you are disappointed with the service you receive.
How to divide the tips?
As a suggestion, we advise you to allocate an amount of 5 - 10% of the total package price for tips.The amount you give depends on your budget and appreciation of their work.
For example: If your Package Price is $1000, 10% of the package price means you would bring an extra $100 to distribute in tips. You would exchange this money for rupees and carry it on your trek to distribute on the last day. You may want to carry some envelopes to put the money in.
Tea House/Lodge Trek:
There is no need to give individual tips if you are trekking in a group, however, if you are a larger group, you may want to increase the amount. We suggest you allocate around US$ 6-7 per day for a guide, US$ 5-6 per day for a Guide assistant and $ 4-5 per day for a Porter.
Camping treks are labour intensive; so we request that each member of the group allocate 10% of the package price and pool it at the beginning of the trek. Many of these treks require local porters for a section of the route or horses or yaks to carry gear; these local porters, horse/yak men will also anticipate tips, so you will need to give part of the allotted tip money to the guide for distribution to temporary members of the crew.
The tips are generally graded according to responsibility. Here is an example of how you might distribute $100 dollars (equivalent in rupees) among a staff of 5:
I did the above mentioned trip in December 2016. The trip was perfectly planned and everything went smoothly. The itinerary allowed for perfect acclimatisation, especially having two nights at Island Peak Base Camp. Tashi, the trekking guide for the trip picked me up at the airport and helped me through…Lukas
A friend and I worked with Annapurna Foothills Treks to be guided trekking on the Annapurna circuit from Besi Sahr over the Thorong La pass to Jomsom, with a guided climb of Chulu West on the way. Our trekking guide Dawa was outstanding all the way to Pisang, and provided…Craig
Our 14 day Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp trek, guided by Tashi was an outstanding experience. We enjoyed his local knowledge while making the trip a joy. From the trip's booking to departure from Nepal, all aspects of the trip were carefully organized and well executed-something we appreciated very…Kathy