Five things you should know about tipping in Mexico
To prepare for upcoming trips and to avoid the risk of bad etiquette, travelers are being advised on how to tip in Mexico.
The team behind online remittance service Remitly, who specializes in sending money to Mexico, have provided guidelines on tipping in Mexican restaurants, bars, hotels, tours, spas and transportation.
Understanding when and where to tip in a new country, as a traveler or new resident, can be difficult. In the U.S., it is common practice to tip for most products and services, at around 20% (Discover). By contrast, in some countries, tipping isn’t expected at all. So, it’s important to know what the norm is before venturing to a new destination.
Tipping in Mexico is customary in many situations, with tips being accepted in either U.S. dollars or pesos, although pesos are generally more practical. Depending on the service, the percentage tip may vary.
A spokesperson for Remitly said: “Tipping in Mexico, especially within the tourism industry, is very common. In general, most Mexicans tip around 10% at restaurants and service charges are sometimes already included.
“Known as ‘la propina’ in Mexico, ‘tips’ are employed in all kinds of situations, including eating and drinking out, taxi rides, hotel stays, valets, and home deliveries, to name a few.”
Five things you should know about tipping in Mexico:
Restaurants and bars
Whether its street stalls, small eateries, or fine dining establishments, Mexico is renowned for its delicious food. But when it comes to these different establishments, how should you tip?
If a waiter provides you with good service at a restaurant, it is generally expected they will be tipped. As a baseline 10-15% of the total bill is typical. At fondas and cocinas economicas, or low-cost food places, most people don’t leave tips, but if you want to, it will be appreciated.
If you are drinking at a bar, the norm is to leave a 20 pesos (around $1) tip per drink. It is worth noting that in some bills there will be a service charge included, so check that before paying.
Taking taxis is common across Mexico, with an array of options available including Uber, Cabify and local drivers. If you are riding a regular taxi, consider rounding up the fare to the nearest 5 or 10 pesos. If you are using a taxi app, most have the option to add a tip at the end of your journey, or you can tip in cash.
At gas stations, there are typically attendants working who will provide extra services such as cleaning your windshield or filling up your tank. Tipping for this type of service would usually be around 5 to 10 pesos (25¢ to 50¢).
In most hotels, it is customary to leave a tip. Depending on the service being provided, the tip will likely vary. For instance, for the bellhop, the standard tip for helping you with your luggage is around 25-50 pesos ($1.25-$2.50). For the cleaners, a sum of around 20-100 pesos ($1-$5) is estimated for each day you are staying there. If you are staying multiple nights, it can be a good idea to leave the tip daily in case the maids change rotation.
If you wish, it will be greatly appreciated if you tip the concierge should they assist you with any bookings or recommendations - 50-150 pesos is a recommended amount.
With so many incredible places to visit across Mexico, it’s no surprise there are endless options of great tours to experience and enjoy. At the end of your tour, it’s likely the tour guide will expect a tip, particularly if it’s a long or multi-day one.
For a day-tour, a 10 to 20 percent tip of the total cost of your tour is common. And for a multi-day tour, the standard is around 60 to 100 pesos ($3-$5) for each day. If you are opting for a private tour, tipping goes up slightly to around 200 pesos or $10 per day.
If you also have a driver accompanying you on your tour, you should consider tipping them around 40 pesos or $2 per day.
Spas and salons
While in Mexico, there are plenty of spas and salons to check out, especially at the many luxury resorts on offer. If you are interested in venturing to one, it is customary to tip spa service providers 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of the spa treatment. For hair stylists, a tip of around 15 percent is typical.
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