Tipping is a common and customary activity in Mexico. The people in general are very conscientious and hard working, they typically provide excellent customer service and are very grateful for the tips that they receive.
Many Mexican people rely on the extra income they receive from tourists
as an essential extension of their basic rates of pay.
It can be seem quite strange at first, if you arrive from the UK and are expected to offer tips for services for which you would not do so back home.
However you just have to adjust to the cultural routines and traditions. When you really think about it though, why do we tip in restaurants throughout Europe and not in coffee shops? Why do we tip taxi drivers but not bus drivers? These are all basically unwritten rules and habits which we have learnt growing up, the rules for tipping in Mexico though are just slightly different.
Many Mexico holidays are based on all-inclusive packages, so in these circumstances tipping is not always expected.
However the amounts paid
in tips are relatively low, so it is always
a good idea to keep loose change and an available supply of spare Mexican pesos so that you can offer tips when you feel that it is appropriate.
Unlike in England, when visiting a hotel bar or coffee shop in Mexico, the common activity is to sit at a table and wait to be served. It is generally a good idea to offer a small tip after receiving your order.
The waiter or waitress will then return to you again and check if you require any subsequent orders when required.
Tipping in restaurants usually consists
of around ten percent of the price.
For room service and hotel maids people would usually offer one or two US Dollars (or the equivalent amount in pesos).
It is often the case that when paying in Mexican pesos that you will round up to the nearest whole number. For example if you pay for some goods in a shop or service station, it is common to say to the shopkeeper, 'keep the change!'
One piece of advice to to keep in mind regarding the subject of tipping in Mexico, is to always try and apply your common sense and judgement. Never feel obliged to offer tips when you feel that you have received bad service.
Also, do not get pushed into using services and buying products when you do not want to. The majority of local Mexican people that I have come into contact with have been really friendly and welcoming.
However there are people (no matter where you are) that will simply take advantage of your good nature. If you visit a market, then feel free to bargain and barter for the price of products. Bargaining is common in the country and you can usually pay less for a product simply by asking. If you try to converse in Spanish you will often stand a better chance of getting a good deal.