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). 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 7 - 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 $100 to distribute in tips. You would exchange this money for rupees and carry it on your trek to distribute on the last day. You may want to carry some envelopes to put the money in.
Tea House/Lodge Trekking:
There is no need to give individual tips if you are trekking in a group, however, if you are a larger group, you may want to increase the amount. We suggest you allocate around US$ 8-10 per day for a trekking guide, US$ 7-8 per day for an assistant guide and US$ 5-7 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:
Guide Assistant: $18
Cook Assistant: $18