To Tip or Not to Tip: The Eternal Mystery Solved for Indian Luxury Train Tours
The perennial question still concerns most international visitors when they are touring India, or any foreign locale, for that matter. This is something that confounds even the most seasoned of all travelers. Indians are generally a little less generous in tipping than guests from other hemispheres. When traveling on Indian luxury trains, it is imperative for guests to know about the norms of tipping in India. Here are a few factors ascertaining when and how much to tip when touring on Indian luxury trains:
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1- Your cabin says a lot about you. So, a certain guest traveling in a Presidential Suite is obviously expected to pay a lot more gratuity that someone in a deluxe cabin. Please remember that this implies absolutely no disrespect to the latter. The tip is proportionate to the rentals borne by the guest. It’s a simple case of apples and oranges. Here, it should range between INR 200-500/day for the cabin steward.
2- The quality and quantity of the luggage you’re carrying is another determinant of the tip you can pay. Of course, the more the luggage, the higher the top. It must be also noted if the luggage is being carried by more than one person, because the tip then should be split evenly. Suggested tip: Rs. 100/Attendant
3- The type of service is a huge factor in determining the amount of tip to be handed out. For example, if you are at a bar and want to compliment the bartender, a tip equivalent to 10% of the total bill is suffice. However, while dining out, a 12% tip is more gentleman-like.  Similarly, the cleaning staff should be paid a gratuity of INR 50-100/Day but the same is not enough for your man at the Concierge.
4- Please bear in mind the duration of your stay. For a 4 day journey, you can be a little more generous with your tips. However, there is no need to tip a lot for longer stays of 8 days and more.
Tipping is a matter of personal discretion. Like any authority, Indian Railways does not encourage or disprove tipping. It is advisable for guests to stay on neutral grounds when handing out tips. That should see you through your stay. More on this in the coming posts.