A SMART WAY TO TRAVEL
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You travel south of the border to enjoy the warm white sands of Mexico beaches but when it comes to tipping, you’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. Despite the fact that the Mexican hospitality is very warm, there are some slight tipping cultural differences to keep in mind that will prevent misconceptions among tourist and locals.
Regardless if you opt for an all-inclusive or not, if you are the type of tourist that likes to get out and get a taste of the local flavor, there are some fundamental tipping etiquette differences between the United States and Mexico that you should keep in mind.
A) It is the American instinct to tip the taxi drivers but when in Mexico, it is not necessary. This is especially the case in resort areas with high tourist traffic. Only tip if the taxi driver did something extra special. Standard taxi rates in places like Cancun or the Riviera Maya are pre-determined and already include the tip.
B) Allow baggers to bag your groceries and then tip them. Most of the baggers are either high school teens or retirees working purely for tips. Standard tipping rates depending on amount of purchases and range from 5 to 10 pesos. This is equivalent to 50 cents to a dollar.
C) It is customary to tip tour and activity guides in Mexico. If you take a dinner cruise or swim with the whale sharks, it is customary to tip the captain of the cruise yacht or tour boat. If you are touring the Yucatan jungle on horseback, don’t forget to tip your guide at the end of the trip. Just like dining in a restaurant 15% to 20% of the over all tour price is an appropriate tip.
D) If you rent a car in Mexico, remember that self service gas stations don’t exist. Regardless of where you roam, there will always be a gas attendant waiting to fill your gas tank, check fluid levels, wash the windshield and clean the tires. If they simply fill the gas tank, most locals don’t tip. Regardless, for the workers that are working under the hot Mexican sun, a tip is always appreciated. An appropriate tip for a gas attendant in Mexico is 5 to 10 pesos.
About the Author
Kristin McCollum is a travel writer that has spent the past year traveling and working throughout Europe and Mexico. Now settled on the Yucatan Peninsula, she finds inspiration in every person she meets and in the natural beauty which surrounds her. Follow Kristin on Twitter.