Tipping is the act of showing gratuity by giving additional money to the service providers or workers. It is a widely popular term in the service-oriented business. It is generally a way of showing appreciation and satisfaction with their services.
Tipping culture is widely popular and considered compulsory and customary in the Western world, but the practice of tipping has only recently been introduced in Nepal. As Nepal is enthusiastically accepting the concept of tipping, the tourism industry has been at the forefront of welcoming this practice.
However, tourists get confused about whether to tip or not, and if yes, then how much to tip to the guides and porters? So, with the intention to reduce your confusion, this blog will help you to give a general idea of tipping culture in Nepal, elaborating it with tipping guides and porters in the Everest base camp trek.
How Does Tipping Work?
If you are satisfied with the service provided by the service providers, then you can give tips, but if you are not satisfied with their service, then it is not compulsory to provide tipping. The service providers cannot demand tips, so It is upto the clients or tourists whether to thank them with the tip or not to tip. However, service providers like guides and porters will expect tips even though they do not ask for them verbally.
Since tipping is a way of appreciating their jobs, rewarding their good service with generous tips can motivate the guides and porters in the Everest base camp trek to enhance their skills and work more efficiently than before. Some porters and guides even take tipping as a secondary source of income to support their livelihood.
In theory, you should contribute what you believe the guides and porters deserve, but only if they have provided you with satisfactory service. In practice, most trekkers are unsure how much to give and are worried about giving too little or too much.
How Much To Tip Guide And Porter In Everest Base Camp Trek?
There are various factors that determine the amount of tipping guides and porters in the Everest base camp trek, such as the happiness and satisfaction of the clients, the duration of the trek, types of the trek, the size of the group, the difficulty of the trekking route, and many more.
The Everest base camp trek usually lasts for about 10 to 15 days, with a moderate level of difficulty throughout the trek. In general, you can consider tipping about 10% to 15% of the total trekking cost. Many people think that this way of tipping guides and porters in the Everest base camp trek is quite reasonable. Some people even consider about giving 15% of the salary of the guides and porters.
Tipping Guides and Porters In The Everest Base Camp Trek On Group
When you are going on a group trekking, tipping guides and porters in the Everest base camp trek can be convenient as all the members of the trek can pool the total amount and divide it among the guides and porters. You can consider the following chart if you cannot decide on the actual amount for tipping.
Trekking Guide- USD $10 to $15 per day
Tour guides- USD $10 to $15 per day
Porters- USD $5 to $10 per day
Tipping Guides and Porters In the Everest Base Camp Trek While Solo Trekking
Tipping on solo trekking can be slightly different than group trekking as you will have flexibility on how much or little you want to tip to guides and porters.
Trekking Guide- USD $5 to $6 per day
Tour guide- USD $5 to $6 per day
Porters- USD $3 to $4 per day
Which Currency Is Preferable For Tipping?
There are no any specific currencies for tipping in Nepal. Any currency that is feasible for you can be used for tipping. However, in practice, Nepalese currency or currencies like dollars, pounds, euros, etc., which can be easily convertible into Nepalese currencies, are used for tipping.
It is better to tip in Nepalese currencies to the porters or crews with whom you will depart on the trekking trail. For instance, you will depart from porters in Lukla when you are returning from your Everest base camp trek. In some locations, there may not be readily available ATMs or ATMs in active mode to convert those tipped currencies into functional currency.
So, you can encash the money or draw the money when you have enough modes to use ATMs or before you start the trek. However, the exchange rate fluctuates daily, so the rate you use today to draw cash may not be the same tomorrow. It’s possible that ATMs in Nepal might be erratic, requiring many tries until one operates properly. An alternative for this is to exchange traveler’s checks or cash at a bank.
If you think, “Why I must tip in cash,” then let me tell you: Nepal is a cash economy country, so it is more natural to hand over cash while tipping rather than using other modes.
When To Give The Tip?
Deciding when to give the tip can be quite confusing. You can tip guides and porters before bidding farewell to them. Usually, during the Everest base camp trek, porters do not accompany you to Kathmandu. So you can give them tips when you are collecting your luggage and equipment from them while heading back to Kathmandu from Lukla.
Likewise, the guides will accompany you to Kathmandu. So, you can give them tips when you are saying goodbye to them. You can take some time out after dinner during the last day of the trek after dinner to tip them and show your satisfaction with their work.
Guides and porters play an equally important part but with different roles and services in your Everest base camp trek. So, while expressing gratitude towards them by tipping them, you should tip them separately. You should just give the amount to whom it belongs rather than tipping both of them in aggregate.
Tipping guides and porters altogether can create conflicts and riots between them. So, make sure that you tip them separately.
Idea On How To Give The Tips Perfectly
Leaving a tip inside the envelope and giving it to porters and guides is an excellent gesture, regardless of how much you are tipping. It is thus advised to always have envelopes with you since you never know when you might need them.
In addition, Nepali people are accustomed to presenting and handing things over with their right hand. Thus, you may give them money in an envelope with your right hand and make your tip appear more sincere and heartfelt.
What If You Are Not Satisfied With The Service?
If you are dissatisfied with the service of guides and porters during the Everest base camp trek, then it may keep you in a dilemma regarding tipping. Initially, you should analyze and evaluate the service you have received from them. Sometimes when you have high expectations and when it doesn’t meet, then it can create disappointment in you.
So, you have to consider your expectations and dissatisfaction and evaluate whether they are reasonable and rational or not. If they turn out to be rational due to some negligence or genuine lack of effort, then it is better to communicate with them directly by giving them polite and constructive feedback.
If you are not comfortable directly communicating with them, you can give feedback in terms of reviews. Tipping is given as a reward for good service, but in some businesses like tourism, they are considered customary or are usually expected. So, you can adjust the tip accordingly by giving a small tip in comparison to the amount you previously intended to give or no tip at all if you are 0% satisfied with their service.
Things To Remember While Tipping
You should not flex your generosity and kindness. Do not make them think that you are doing charity rather than showing a gesture of gratitude.
Moreover, it is not a good idea to give guides and porters in the Everest base camp trek worn out and old clothes or goods. You may have good and bona-fied intentions, but sometimes, it can turn out to be humiliating to the person receiving those things. Additionally, it is better to avoid tipping too little.