All of our staff members are paid higher wages than is the industry minimum, our team members are all provided with training and educational opportunities, we know our guides and porters are the backbone of our company. We know our consistently good feedback is because of the great work our team do. Tipping is a way of showing gratitude for a job well done, it is not their salary, it is a bonus on top of what the team have already earned. We also want to stress that in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the level of service received from your team, you are not obligated to tip.
As a general rule of thumb, the average tips given to your team (guides and porters) are 10% of the cost of your trek. For example, if you paid $2,000 for your trekking experience, $200 would be a kind and respectful amount to pay to your team. If you are trekking in a group this money is divided among all of the guides and porters, f you are trekking privately the tips can be given directly to you guide and porter.
How to tip?
We like to make the tipping fun and easy, we don’t want you to feel uncomfortable about how to tip or how much you should tip, we like to be transparent about this. If you are in a group it’s normal for the tips to be pooled together on the first night at the end of your briefing dinner, the tips are handed to your lead guide who will then go on to divide the money into envelopes to be handed out on the very last day of your trek in Lukla. The last night is always a celebration, everyone is happy and relaxed. The envelopes with the pooled tip money is given to a nominated person in your group who then presents each of the tips to the porters and guides. It’s a gorgeous way to end the trek, it brings joy to both the givers and receivers.
If trekking privately it is normal for the tipping to happen on the last day of the trek when you are in Lukla, on that evening you will celebrate your trek with the team that supported you and hand the tip money directly to your team members. Many people choose to be prepared before they start the trek by ensuring they have the money ready before they leave Kathmandu.
When not to tip?
At the airport! When you are leaving the airport, look out for our staff holding the “Take on Nepal” sign, as soon as you see them, head in their direction, but DO NOT allow anyone to help with your bags. It’s common at Kathmandu airport for ‘helpers’ to approach tourists, pretend to be one of their party, and help with their bags in the expectation of a tip. Your Take on Nepal guides never ask for or expect tips. If anyone asks you for a tip or stands around you waiting for one at the airport, they are not Take on Nepal staff. Ignore them and keep moving towards whoever is holding the Take on Nepal sign.
Tipping before the trek?
Many of our trekkers have a day or two in Kathmandu before they head to the mountains. Our wonderful guides will always offer to take you on a tour of the city, this is often 4-5 hours of their time. If you choose to do this we recommend you pay for their lunch and also what would be the equivalent of one hours wage for you as a generous tip, this for most people is approx $20-$30. Keep in mind that tips make a big difference to the lives of our guides and porters, this money always goes to good use, generally towards caring for their families. Your generosity has a wonderful roll on effect in Nepal. Generous tips result in happiness all round. You will leave Nepal knowing you have rewarded the people who have made your experience what it was and your team will feel gratitude for your kindness.
© Take on Nepal 2019