I booked a private tour of the Golden Triangle in India over 7 days. The tour site recommended the following gratuities:

Local Guides: INR 1000 – INR 1500 for full day sightseeing


INR 250 – INR 500 for airport transfers

INR 500 – INR 1000 for full day sightseeing

INR 1000 – INR 1500 for an overnight trip (each day)

Hotel Porters: INR 50 per bag

Housekeepers: INR 250 – INR 500 for each night

How appropriate are these levels?

For reference, the week-long tour was a bit over 50,000 rupees.

  • Tipping hotel housekeepers is something that varies a lot between guests, I know many Americans who always do it, many Europeans who'd never think of doing it! – Gagravarr Jul 3 '15 at 17:02
  • @AnkurBanerjee perhaps you have an idea? – Mark Mayo Aug 19 '15 at 8:38
  • I am one who does not like "why can't I ask X when there are open questions about Y, which is just like X" as an excuse when I believe questions about X are off topic. This however... there are MANY tipping questions in Travel. What is expected of a visitor? – CGCampbell Sep 7 '15 at 14:58

Those tips seem way too high. To put those figures in perspective, legal minimum wage in Haryana (state next to Delhi and one of the richest in India) is 5,800 rupees/month, and there are plenty of unskilled workers (live-in maids etc) getting paid much less than that. If you tip somebody Rs. 1500/day for a month, he's making almost 10x that!

I'd revise those figures to something like this, but please bear in mind it's been a few years since I was in India and these may be on the low side by today's standards.

Local Guides: INR 200/day for a personal tour (on top of the agreed fee and only if he's done a good job, that is; don't fall into the common trap of "pay me what you like" and then being pestered for silly amounts at the end!)


< INR 50 for airport transfers

INR 100/day if it's just point A to B, wait around, and back again. Maybe 200 if he's driving you around all day. If he's overnighting, his accommodations should be accounted for in the base price; again, be sure to sort this out beforehand.

Hotel Porters: INR 50 per bag

Housekeepers: Hotels often have central tip boxes that get shared out to everyone, and ~5% of your bill is generous; if you want to tip the housekeeper alone, maybe INR 50/night?

  • It seems interesting that you'd tip more for a bag than an airport transfer. I mean, no offense, but most people don't particularly need or want the hotel porter anyway – Casebash Sep 16 '15 at 14:28
  • 2
    A lof of expected tip amounts depend on if people are being paid anyway - one would normally expect a driver to be. – CMaster Sep 16 '15 at 15:02
  • Also, taxis and the like aren't generally tipped in India, fares are usually negotiated in advance so the tip is built in. – lambshaanxy Sep 16 '15 at 22:25

I lived in India for 6 months. Those numbers are way too high as jpatokal mentioned. My usual way is to tipping is if I feel that the person deserves the tips, I'd tip. I don't really tip taxi drivers.

My local friends told me that tipping culture has damaged the country where taxi drivers only take foreigners because they tip and local people don't. However, if I hire a private driver and he's really really good, I'd tip him 10% or more. On one occasion we tipped the guy 20% but because the driver waited for us and took us anywhere we want and he's super polite.

For private tour guide, I use the same concept but I usually tip about 50-100 if I feel happy about the person.

Sometime, when you're in a restaurant the owner or waiters or waitresses might tell you beforehand that the price doesn't include tip and any tip would be really appreciated. My friend told me that you don't have to tip but generally I tipped about 5-10%. 10% is if you're happy. 15% if you're super happy.

Hope this helps.

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