Whenever you’re traveling, you’ll always find someone who will help or assist you with your needs. In some countries, a simple thank you is enough to appreciate their help, but a small tip will always be appreciated. So, if you’re visiting Mexico City, you may wonder how tipping works around. Further, you may wonder how much money is appropriate for a tip.
The tip you leave depends on the service and is up to you. While tips are often expected, knowing how much to tip and to whom is good. Around 2-5 USD is enough for small services. If you’re spending a lot of money, you can tip 10 to 20% depending on the service.
For this reason, we made this article to guide you about tipping in Mexico City. This way, you’ll know how much is enough for a tip and understand how to take the extra mile to appreciate the service made to make your trip more enjoyable and comfortable.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Is It Rude Not To Tip in Mexico City?
It depends on the situation whether or not it’s rude not to tip in Mexico City. Generally, the tipping culture in the city and the country is casual and random.
Although tipping never has to be mandatory, you will be appreciated for the little token of your gratitude if you give it to those who serve you.
It is polite if you don’t tip in the city. However, some Mexican workers in the industry who are used to receiving tips may call you ‘Codo’ behind your back. It’s a slang term for cheap that means “elbow” if you fail to tip.
Besides rewarding the excellent service you’ve received, tipping may also ensure that you receive special treatment throughout your stay at the hotel, resort, or restaurant where you intend to return.
Mexicans who work in the service industry earn modest wages and depend on tips for a living. As a result, if you receive excellent service, show your appreciation by giving a smile and a thank you.
How Much to Tip in Mexico City?
If you’re not used to giving tips, you might wonder how much you should give. After all, we don’t want to give a tip that’s too small or too much.
Generally, there’s no regulation on how much tip is enough. However, if you’re different from some wealthy travelers and tourists who can give as much as they want, you can always base it on how much you spend. Below is a guide to how much you can tip in the city:
Tipping in Hotels
Since hotels frequently host American travelers, tipping practices are similar to those in the U.S. While many resorts have no-tipping policies, these are rarely enforced due to low salaries.
Bellhops assisting with your bags and directing you to your room should be compensated between 25 and 50 MXN.
Each night, you should tip the hotel’s cleaning staff between 20 and 50 MXN, depending on the hotel’s class and service level. You should tip more if you have a very disorganized room.
The person who cleans your room might sometimes be different, so daily tips would be more beneficial than tipping on the last day.
Generally, it’s best to give tips in the local currency, the Mexican peso. This way, the servers won’t have to exchange and use the bills soon. To know the best places to get local currency, read our article about Money Exchange in Mexico City.
Tipping in Bars and Restaurants
If you are eating out in Mexico City, you must make a hand gesture like you are writing in the air or ask the server for the bill in Spanish. To avoid waiting after eating, you may request the bill before you finish eating if you’re pressed for time.
Generally, restaurant tips range from 10 to 20 percent of the final bill. The service charge may be automatically included if you’re in a big group.
However, this only happens sometimes, so double-check your bill. Although a service charge will be included, you may leave a larger tip for exceptional service.
Most customers do not leave tips at food stands and inexpensive restaurants, but it is greatly appreciated if you do.
Tipping the bartender when you go to bars in the city or at all-inclusive resorts would be best. A good amount will be around 20 MXN or 1 USD for every drink.
If you want to know more about how much you might spend in the city for food and drinks, read our article about the Food and Drink Prices in Mexico City.
Tipping in Travel or Transportation
If you hire a car or take a taxi in Mexico, you should know various tipping traditions. However, tipping taxi drivers only if they assist you with luggage is not customary, so 10 MXN per bag is a decent guideline.
Most gas station employees only receive tips if they offer an extra service, like wiping your windshield; in that case, 5 to 10 MXN would be appropriate. Extra tips are appropriate if they check your tires’ oil or air pressure.
Tipping Tour Guides
When you complete the trip in Mexico, your tour guide will probably request a tip, especially if it is a multi-day trip. The guide should receive between 10% and 20% of the excursion’s total cost when it’s a day trip or a short excursion.
Leaving the tour guide a daily tip of 60 to 100 MXN is a good idea on multi-day group tours.
When you take a private tour, you should tip 200 MXN daily. If there is a driver other than a tour guide, you should provide him with 40 MXN each day.
Tipping in Spas
The standard tip for spa service providers is between 15% and 20% of the price of the spa experience. It is usually placed in an envelope labeled “your attendant” and dropped at the desk.
Tipping in Grocery Stores
Teens or older people may volunteer to assist you in bagging your items at Mexican grocery stores. However, these individuals have no compensation besides what they earn in tips.
As such, you should give them ten to 20 MXN if the person assists you in carrying the bags to your vehicle. You can pay between one and 2 MXN for each item you purchase.
Is $5 a Good Tip in Mexico City?
Generally, 5 USD is a good amount for a tip in Mexico City. However, it still depends on the service they give you.
It’s a good tip for people who assist you with simple chores such as helping you carry your bags, waiting for you at restaurants, or even assisting you with anything you need.
However, if you tip someone who does a lot of work for you, you should increase the tip. It all depends on the type of service and effort they exert.
Another common concern is whether to give tips in U.S. dollars or Mexican pesos when tipping. In general, you can always give either, but it will be better to tip in local currency, the Mexican peso. This way, you save them from the hassle of exchanging money, especially if it’s only a few dollars.
To know more about using the foreign or local currency in the city, read our article: Mexico City – Cash (Pesos or USD) or Card?
Tipping is a way to show gratitude to people who work to make your trip comfortable and enjoyable. As such, while it’s always optional in Mexico City, a small tip will always be appreciated.
As always, these people earn a minimum wage, which means even the small amount they receive from tips goes a long way. As mentioned, tipping is spontaneous; you’ll know it in Mexico City. After receiving friendly and helpful assistance, you’ll always find it best to give tips to let them know you appreciate the service they give.