When you are taking a Mexico vacation, tipping is expected in many situations, some that you will be used to, and some that you might not be. A large proportion of those people who work in the service industry across Mexico make minimum wage and so rely on tips to make ends meet. As in most countries, tipping is at your discretion, although there are certain standards, as you will see below.
How much and to whom should you tip while on a Mexico vacation?
At the most basic level it’s up to you what, when, and how you tip, but there’s a basic etiquette in Mexico that you may wish to consider following. Firstly, a tip of between 10% - 20% of the bill or ticket is acceptable, and 15% is a good rule of thumb, and you can tip in either dollars or pesos. If you are planning to tip in dollars, only tip in dollar bills rather than coins as you cannot exchange foreign coins in Mexico. Other currencies such as Euros and Canadian dollars are less commonly used for tipping, but if that is all you have, foreign currency is better than nothing. Remember, too, that when paying with a credit or debit card, you can ask for the tip to be included.
In high end Mexican restaurants you might find that a service fee has been added to the bill automatically, especially if you are a big group. You can choose whether to leave an additional tip. Otherwise, in most cases a 10% - 20% tip on top of the bill is customary.
Hotels and Resorts
When you are staying in a hotel or resort on your Mexico vacation, there are a few people you might consider tipping. Besides tipping in the restaurants, it is customary to tip the bellhops and housekeeping staff. When a bellhop helps you with your luggage you might consider tipping them 2 to 3 dollars, that’s about 20 to 50 pesos or more and it is customary to tip your maid the same amount per day or more. When it comes to housekeeping, tipping each day rather than at the end of your stay is better if your maid is different each day.
Tours and guides
When you are on a group tour during your Mexico vacation you should tip the bus driver around 2 dollars or more, and do so each day if it’s a multi-day tour. The tour guide should be tipped either 3 to 5 dollars per day, or 10 if it’s a private tour for a multi-day tour, or 10% to 20% of the ticket price if it’s a day trip.
Taxis and public transport
In general you are not expected to tip taxi drivers but may wish to round up your change. However, if they help you with your luggage you should tip around 5 or 10 pesos per case.
Grocery packers in stores and supermarkets
When you enter Mexican grocery stores you will notice that there are often young people or seniors packing bags; if you get help from these people be sure to tip them as they receive no other compensation for their work. 1 or 2 pesos per bag plus a smile is customary.
Gas stations in Mexico are full service, and so the attendants will deal with anything you need carried out. Be sure to tip them 5 to 10 pesos for their help.
Please note that the information here is for guidance only. Tipping is not compulsory and you can give more or less as you wish.