Wondering if you should tip in restaurants and hotels in India? While there is no obligation to tip, we would highly recommend it.

Tipping in India is a way of showing appreciation for hard work and low wages. The average wage for factory work is 300 rupees for a 12-hour shift. That’s £3 or $6. Can you imagine working 9am-9pm for that?

Women working in the tea plantations in Munnar - PHOTO - Fabulous Travel Guide

Hard labour

Many restaurant workers and rickshaw drivers earn much less than that. So while you’re expected to haggle for a fair price (and should), it’s always nice to tip when you’ve received a good service.

We tipped a rickshaw driver in Varanasi 100 rupees for getting us safely to our hostel. The reason? He picked up a backpacker who was walking in a dangerous area for FREE and dropped him at his hotel. What a legend.

Another way to show your appreciation is to buy from local shops or hawkers. You may not want a bracelet or masala chai, but that extra 30 rupees, goes to a good cause!

So, while you’re not expected to tip (and most likely on a super-tight budget), we urge you to be generous with your money in India. These people have a hard life and your generous tips and buying habits keep people in business.

Happy travels x

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