Do whatever you feels right, it is your holiday in India is the first rule that come to Indian Tipping Culture. Whenver you are visiting Kerala or India and you are in the habit of giving tips , the ensure that you are carrying enough Rupees 10, rupees 50 and rupees 100 cash notes with you .This can be used as rough guide on how much you should be tipping in India and at which instances.
Wages in Kerala are on the lower side when compared to other developed countries like USA and UK and most people who will be serving you in India still earn less than 2 USD per day. You should tip because you are making someone who helped you really happy. However there are some cases where you should not tip at all if you feel that you have been overcharged and poorly serviced, For Rg: Lot of rickshaws and taxis automatically increase the price manifold when they know that you are not familiar with the country and you should not tip as you had been overcharged. Tip only if you got a special service from someone especially when you are Tipping in Kerala.
Everyone in Kerala likes tips. The taxi driver, the room boy in the hotel, the laundry maid , the tour guide, the restaurant waiter and everyone else you meet on your Kerala holidays will love to get a tip and you can oblige if you are a generous person who doesn’t mind paying a tip if in fact you have received something special as a service that exceeded your expectations. If you like to keep people happy and does not want to disappoint someone then the right thing is to give a tip.
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We do recommend tipping at various instances like below , but tip higher only when you received superior services and you feel an individual went out of his way to help you and you extremely satisfied.
Hotels, cafes and restaurants – How much to Tip in Kerala?
Most of the resorts/ restaurants in India have a concept called service Charge which is a different item in the bill that service tax (which is a government levied tax). If service charge is a part of the bill then you may not pay any extra tip at the restaurant and hotels. However a better way is to look at the amount of the service charge or percentage of the service charge and see whether that is much lesser than the amount that you had in mind as the tip. If the amount is much lesser than what you wanted to give then you can pay the difference as rupee notes.
The thumb rule in most of the hotels , restaurants and roadside cafes is that you can pay 10% of the bill amount as the tip if there is no service charge. Please note that you have to tip in rupees and not in your currency and dont compare tips in India to the absolute value of the tip that you may give in dollars , euros or pounds.
There are also some hotels, restaurants in India where the tips are not accepted or provided to charity through a collection box near the reception. If you have a meal at a place like that please be assured that the tips will be actually going for the charity for which they are volunteering for.
Hotel Housekeeping – How much do you tip in Kerala
Tipping at hotels in Kerala may be demanding, slightly confusing at times. However the general rule is to pay 10% of the actual payment that you made for the service availed.
In Indian hotels and home stays, room staff and lift boys carry your luggage, the try to give them get Rs. 20 per bag on the first day of the arrival. If you are tipping on the first day of the arrival, expect a pleasing and friendly demeanor from the hotel staff during the course of your stay or more appropriately to prevent bad service later.
In luxury or high end hotels , if more than three people stay in a suite or room, pay a higher amount per night. You can leave the tip on a pillow or in a similarly obvious place with a note saying Thank You.
Tipping Tour Guides, Kerala Houseboat Staff and Taxi drivers in Kerala
When you take any vehicle on rent, and you received the service above your expectations you can give a tip of around Rs.300 for day . If the driver took you to the kind of shops and places that you wanted and not the usual places where he may get commission anyway, ensure that you are tipping the person handsomely. Same applies for the local tour guides as well and if you are availing the services for multiple day then you can pay Rs.300 multiplied by number of days of service depending on happy you were with their services.
When you avail the services of houseboats in Kerala as well you can follow the same rule and you can give a tip of around Rs.300 for day for staff or anyone who was serving you. However please increase the amount if there are more people who helped you to make your day memorable. Usually in Kerala Houseboats , there will be three crew members comprising of two oarsmen and a cook and a tip of Rs.750 for a single day is a good tip. You can hand it over face to face when you are checking out with a Thank You message.
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Porter Tipping in Kerala.
Most of the porters in airport and train stations will negotiate the charges before hand even before lifting your bags. A thumb rule is that porters should be tipped approximately Rs 20 for a medium sized bag asuuming that they get it loaded on a trolley operated by them and keep you company until you are inside the area designated for travelers.
You can also tip Travel Agency Representative who meets you at the airport, Tuk Tuk/Cycle Rickshaw, Street Vendors of food and handicrafts, Shoe Handlers at Temples/Mosques, barber and masseur etc if you feel so. You should also remember that you can tip anyone who does a service for you without a hint of asking anything in return and tipping in India is not mandatory, you may not leave a tip if you don’t want to .