It is customary in Mexico, as in many countries, to tip in a number of different situations, whether that be in a restaurant, to the bellhop, to the maid and so on. Though you won’t get into “trouble” for not tipping, it is only polite and a sign of your gratitude and appreciation! Tipping not only rewards good service but is a great motivator to ensure amazing service in the future.
Paper money tipping
In Mexico it is acceptable to tip in either pesos or dollars, and it is customary to avoid tipping with coins unless you are tipping the bag packers in a supermarket or someone who washes your windshield at traffic lights etc., in which case, only use peso coins. Bills are preferable, and pesos rather than dollars are generally more practical for the recipient (although the exchange rate might make dollars more valuable overall). Between 15% and 20% is the standard tip in tourist areas, but anywhere between 10% and 20% is perfectly acceptable.
In some restaurants in Mexico a service fee is already included on your bill, especially if you arrive as a big group, but this is not always the case so do check. If a service fee is already included, leaving an additional 10% tip is good karma but not essential.
When staying in a hotel it is best to tip daily and not at the end of your stay as it may not always be the same maid or bellhop you deal with. It is customary for a bellhop to be given around 2 or 3 dollars (that’s around 20 to 50 pesos) per case, and the housekeeping staff 2 to 3 dollars (20 to 50 pesos) per night; although more is always welcome.
If you are pleased with the tour and your tour guide, it is generally the standard to tip around 10% – 20% of the overall cost of your tickets. If your tour continues over a few days, it is seen as the norm to tip the tour guide 3 to 5 dollars per day if you are in a big group, and 10 dollars per day if you are enjoying a private tour. Bus drivers should be given around 2 dollars per day. It is generally not the norm to tip taxi drivers unless they help you with your luggage. If they do, 10 pesos per case is a good rule to go by.
In grocery stores you will find there are usually teens or seniors to help you pack your bags should you wish, and it is key that you tip such people for their help as they will not receive any other payment for their services. 1 or 2 pesos per shopping bag is a good rule of thumb.
Mexican gas stations are full service, and so you can ask the attendant to clean your windshield, check your tires, and top up your oil if you wish. A tip of 5 to 10 pesos is customary, but should be upped if they do more than pump gas for you.
Please note that the information here is for guidance only. Tipping is not compulsory and you can give more or less as you wish.