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India tipping guidelines

by James Wilmshurst

It is customary to tip in India.  Staff will happily to accept and appreciate it.  Small tips (anything between 20 and 100 rupees) for small services, such as looking after shoes, carrying bags etc… are appreciated and bar staff also expect small tips. 

However, all ETG holidays are ‘Tip-Inclusive’ so the total holiday cost includes all tips for your guides, drivers, and other in-country experience providers. This is all taken care of before you set off, in just one simple upfront cost. There is no stress around whether, when, and how much to tip; no more awkward fumbling for notes, or that feeling that you’ve under-tipped and offended your guide. The only people in an ETG holiday you might feel the need to tip are hotel or boat staff, at restaurants, and in taxis, but that is entirely at your discretion.

For those not travelling with ETG you can find our guidelines for how much to tip in India below.

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MD & Founder Sam with his driver


 

Tipping in India – Per group travelling (couples and families) –

Taxi drivers do not expect tips but you can round up the fare to make it easier. In bars and restaurants, you might see a 10% service charge added to the bill in some higher-end restaurants.  However, if the service charge isn’t on the bill then 5-10% is appropriate and should be given directly to the waiter. Tourist guides and drivers do expect a tip and it is an integral part of their income. Please see below some suggested amounts for different services but feel free to adjust upwards or downwards depending on the level of service you receive:

Drivers for transfers from/to ports of arrival and departure Rs 150-250
Reps who help you with the above transfers Rs 200-350
Bell boys who carry your baggage to your room Rs 25-50 (medium hotel)

Rs 50-100 (first class hotel)

Rs 100-200 (luxury hotel)

Drivers for sightseeing trips Half Day Rs 600
Full Day Rs 900
Guides for sightseeing trips Half Day Rs 800
Full Day Rs 1100
Drivers for long trips spread over many days Rs 650 per day
Accompanying guide over many days Rs 1200 per day

Visit our extensive India page 

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