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Tipping is customary in most countries around the world, and is especially important in countries like Mexico where staff generally earn more from gratuities than from their basic wage. As such, income from tips is essential for many service industry workers in Mexico. Good tipping not only rewards good service but is also a healthy interaction between you and the individuals that provide you with services while on vacation.
Dollars or pesos?
In most tourist areas in Mexico, it is acceptable to tip in either pesos or dollars, though pesos are more practical for the person being tipped. If you do tip in dollars, be sure to only tip using notes and not coins as coins cannot be exchanged.
How much should you tip?
It’s up to you how much you tip, but the recommended amount in Mexico is between 10% – 20% (15% is a good standard in tourist areas) of the bill or ticket price.
In restaurants, 15% of a check is a good rule of thumb to follow; if you’re in a big group you may find that a service fee is automatically added to the check (look out for that). If you feel you have been given particularly great service, 20% will be greatly appreciated.
Hotels and resorts
When staying in hotels, there are a few different people you might want to tip. Firstly, if a bellhop assists you to or from your room with luggage you should tip them 2 or 3 dollars (around 40 to 60 pesos) for their help or more. Likewise the housekeeping staff should be tipped 2 to 3 dollars (40 to 60 pesos) daily. It is a good idea to make sure you tip housekeeping staff daily rather than at the end of your stay as you may not have the same housekeeper each day!
When you go on tours in a group you should consider tipping the guide 10% to 20% of the ticket price (if you were pleased with them), or 3 to 5 dollars per day if it’s a multi-day affair (10 dollars a day if you have taken a private tour). You should also tip bus drivers 2 dollars per day for their services.
Grocery stores in Mexico will often have seniors or teenagers helping customers to pack their groceries. If you are helped by such a person it is key that you tip them as they will receive no other payment for their work – they work solely for tips. 1 or 2 pesos per bag they pack is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Mexican gas stations are full service, so you will be attended by an employee who you should tip between 5 to 10 pesos. If they clean your windshield, check your tires, or top up your oil as well you should give them a little more.
Please note that the information here is for guidance only. Tipping is not compulsory and you can give more or less as you wish.