Tired of winter? Need a warm tropical vacation right about now? Planning a trip to Mexico for Spring Break? Check out my Tips for Tipping In Mexico… 

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You’re gonna be hearing A LOT about Mexico from me in the coming months–It’s my happy place! And after a few weeks with all snow and no sunshine here in Colorado, I’m about ready to pack my bags and escape for some much needed vitamin sea with some sand and sun mixed in! 

Sadly my Mexican vacation will have to wait. Instead, I decided to start the Mexico themed blogs with one of the topics that I consider to be most important. Because I travel to Mexico a lot and I eat out in Mexico a lot, there’s something that I think we all need to understand about Tipping in Mexico: DO IT!

ESPECIALLY if you are staying in an all inclusive resort… 


What you need to know about Tipping In Mexico

Back in the day when Mexico was one of the cheapest places to vacation (and live) tipping small amounts was the norm. Today however, tourism is king in many parts of Mexico and as a result, costs have gone up for everyone, including the locals who are trying to live in areas where the rest of us have managed to help drive up their cost of living.

The difference is Mexican’s are still making on average less than $8-10 dollars a day (in resort areas). That’s right folks, per DAY not per hour! And that’s the high end! In fact, the official Mexican minimum wage was raised last year to a whopping $5 PER DAY. (See this article from the Mexico Gulf Reporter.)

Because of this, I’d like to give you a little education on Tipping in Mexico and how servers get paid. At least in the parts of Mexico where I travel to often—Cancun and Isla Mujeres

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Based on my conversations with servers in Cancun and Isla Mujeres; servers in locally owned restaurants often do not make a base wage. The only way they get paid is through tips and many restaurants take the first 10% of tips before the server sees anything. That means if you tip only 10%, your server sees none of it. In order for the server to get paid you would need to tip more than 10%. And if you only tip 15%, your server is now sharing his or her 5% with other restaurant staff. That’s why when it comes to Tipping in Mexico, I’m going to recommend tipping at least 20%, regardless of where you are from. Why?

Here in the US, the average tip is now 18-20% (up from 15% a few years back). Most often people will tip on the before tax amount—which is acceptable. I tip on the after tax amount because I like the Good Karma points. BTW, if you’re still tipping 15% in the US, it’s time to ante up!

Europeans (and others) do not usually tip at all because in Europe, servers make a livable wage. What a concept! Americans tip—in fact many of us tip very well—because in the US we realize that most server’s wages are only a small fraction of the minimum wage, and the only way they can hope to get to minimum wage is through our generosity.  (This is not the case for all US states, some pay more, some less. If you want the US wage details click here.) That said, I’d like you to apply a similar principle and level of generosity to Tipping in Mexico. 

If your Mexican server does make a base wage it is minimal! Keep in mind, many still have to pay rent, bus fare and buy food for more than they make in a day or a month! Thus, the rule of thumb, if you want to be a good vacationer, is to tip at least %20 percent for good service! More for amazeballs service if you’re willing, because consider that even at 20% your server is only going to see 5-10% of the final tip. And before you balk at the suggestion to leave a little extra, I just want you to consider what a dollar is worth to you? Seriously, how quickly and easily do you spend a dollar at home without even thinking about it? One dollar in Mexico at the current exchange rate is worth roughly 15 pesos. It costs 19 pesos for your server to get to and from work on the bus every day. So if 1 US Dollar in Mexico is 1/5 th of the minimum daily wage a person earns, and they have to spend more than that to get to and from work, it’s almost a losing battle. And yet, most Mexican’s do it with a smile on their face and kind word for you. PLEASE consider this when Tipping in Mexico!

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Our very attentive pool side bartender, Carlos from Mia Reef, Isla Mujeres.

Now, I’m not telling you to tip well for crappy service.  There is still a standard that I expect (see my Cinners Guide to Great Service). I’m just saying, if you get good to great service, please tip accordingly! 

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Our server at La Parrilla – One of my favorite restaurants in Cancun for service and food!

Which leads me to my earlier comment about tipping well if you are at an ALL INCLUSIVE resort. Based on my conversations, servers at all inclusive resorts make some of the lowest server wages! They also get the least in tips! Typically, vacationers paying for all inclusive resorts don’t tip because 1) they assume “all inclusive” should include tips, 2) because they’re cheap or 3) they don’t know any better. I’m going to assume if you haven’t been tipping at your all inclusive resort it’s because of number 3. 🙂

All servers, and especially those at all inclusives need your tips to survive. It’s not the difference between choosing an Iphone or a cheaper Android for these folks. It’s the difference between feeding their kids or not!  If you’re going to go on vacation, even if you are vacationing on a budget and/or at an all inclusive, please factor TIPS into your daily allowance.

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Side Note: US buffet servers get paid servers wages too (not full minimum wage). Don’t just drop a dollar on the table and call it good. Pay the full 20% of your bill! Every time.

Something else you will find when Tipping in Mexico (at the resorts especially) is that if you tip well, you will often be treated like a King or Queen! Servers, bag handlers, bartenders, beach boys and others who rely on tips remember the people who tip well! They will keep you in their sites and make sure you have everything you need from speedy service to towels to the best beach chairs, the best drinks, attentive service and great views. The restaurants we frequent in Mexico where the servers know us; they always make sure to go that extra mile to take care of us and I for one appreciate that kind of attention. 😉

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Tips for Tipping in Mexico:

Most of this post has focused on tipping servers, but there are all kinds of activities and people to consider tipping when you’re on vacation. I’m sure I haven’t covered all the bases but below is a fairly good list of general Tips for Tipping In Mexico!

  • If you are using Mexican Pesos at today’s exchange rate:
    • 20 pesos = $1.31 US Dollars
    • 50 pesos = $3.29 US Dollars
    • 100 pesos = $6.58 US Dollars
  • Tip about $1-2 for each round of drinks if you are paying as you go.
  • If you are drinking on happy hour prices or using coupons, remember to tip on the non-discounted amount.
  • I recommend 20% of the total bill for Servers, Bartenders and Spa Service Providers.
  • Tip in Cash (not on your credit card) when you can.
  • In many places in Mexico you can use US Dollars. Be aware if you are using US Dollars (not pesos) to pay for your meals (not just for tipping) the exchange rate at restaurants can be very poor. Often it’s 1:1, which will cost you more!  We have found using our debit card at ATM’s to get pesos gives us the best exchange rate–check your bank for fees before you go.
  • Tip in US Dollars when you can because it is worth more.
  • If using coins to tip, DO NOT USE US COINS—they are useless to Mexicans and cannot be exchanged for pesos. It’s worse than leaving someone pennies in the US.
  • Tip the bellman and the cab driver just like you would in the US – a good rule is $1-2 US per bag and 5-10% for a cab driver if he helps with luggage or groceries and opens doors for you.
  • Trip Advisor and other travel blogs say that bagging clerks in grocery stores don’t get any wages so they rely 100% on your tips! Imagine working all day on your feet for NO Dinero ($)!
  • Musician’s tips vary. A tip of 50 pesos or $3-5 US is recommended for musicians playing in restaurants, if you make a song request. On the Ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres 20 pesos or $1 US or more is acceptable for your entertainer, as are Mexican coins if you’ve got them.
  • Tip your housekeeper! $3-5 US for each visit is appropriate. If you are a slob, tip more! We often stay in timeshares which have once per week only housekeeping; so we usually tip around $10 US for the week.
  • We don’t do too many tours but when we do we tip! At least $5 US if your on a tour with quite a few others. If you’re doing a smaller group tour, we usually tip about $20-30 US total for two of us.  Sometimes more. This also depends on the skill, knowledge and fun-factor of your guide of course!
  • Photographers. I had not encountered this one before my last trip to Cancun. Some restaurants have photographers that take patron’s photos. The photographer does not earn a wage. They do have to give a cut of what they earn to the restaurant. Thus, they will take your pic and try to sell you trinkets with your photo in it. We opted not to buy the trinket but I did tip the photographer.
  • One other important thing to note is that some restaurants in Mexico (especially in Isla Mujeres) do not accept credit cards. Be sure to have enough cash with you for your meal and your tip!
  • If you are paying by credit card, check with your card company to know whether you are incurring international fees (many cards like the United Explorer Card I use, do not charge fees). It’s also good to let your credit card company know that you will be traveling out of the country before you go.

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I met a couple on my last trip to Mexico who said they bring 100 US $1 dollar bills with them on every trip for tipping. I think this is an awesome idea that I’ll be stealing for my next trip! 🙂

Pay Attention: Recently, we have come across some restaurants in Cancun and Isla Mujeres that automatically add a 10% tip to your bill. They’ve started this practice partly because of the foreigners whose cultures do not include tips. Can you blame them? In most cases you will be informed of by your server if a gratuity is already added but you should still always look at your bill! If the 10% tip is already added and you’ve had good service, be kind and add another 10% for your server’s benefit! He or she will be very grateful. 

Here’s a little trivia for you. In Mexico, your server will not bring you the check until you ask for it. Meals in Mexico are a social event so they want you to feel comfortable to stay and enjoy!

Tipping in Mexico Spanish Lesson:

  • To find out if someone speaks English, say: Se habla Inglés? (pronounced: Say ahb-la Ing-glais)
  • To find out how much, ask: Cuanto cuesta? (pronounced: Qwan-toe qwes-tah)
  • To ask for the check/bill, say: La cuenta, por favor. (pronounced: la qwen-tah poor fah-vohr)
  • Thank you is: Gracias. (pronounced: Grah-see-ahs)
  • Your Welcome is: De nada. (pronounced: Day nah-da)
  • When asked how much tip to add to your check when paying by credit card, say: Veinte por ciento. (pronounced: Ben-een-tay poor see-en-toe)—Which means 20% 🙂

For the record, vacationing in Mexico is still cheaper than vacationing to Hawaii or some other tropical destinations; so plan and budget accordingly and make sure that Tips are a part of your planning! Viajes Seguros! (Safe travels.)


Super foodie sidekick to #DrDP; digital storyteller, part time ginger and queen of convenience with more ideas than time. I go by #CC #CinfulCindy #CinfullySimple


Brenda Jenkins · 10/08/2017 at 12:56 PM

Hi, I’m currently staying at Sandos for 7 days. Today I have $2 for housekeeping (using your tip) we plan on giving them at least that every day which would be more than you suggested. After giving them that I heard laughter and just assumed it was about something else. We came back to room and the swan was gone and the room was hardly touched. The bed was made though but the quilt was left of and folded. Would you recommend we give half at beginning and rest at end? Just trying to figure things out. Thanks. Any suggestions would be great.

    CC · 10/09/2017 at 8:17 AM

    Hi Brenda! Please note that we suggest $3-5 US per housekeeping visit if they come in more than once a week. For a week of daily visits that is a minimum of $21 US. The reference to $10 for a week you reference is if you only have one housekeeping visit in the week you are there – as is customary in a timeshare. More if you are messy or have a big group. If you are concerned, check with your hotel and ask their advice. Now that you’ve started leaving it daily, Waiting until the end of the trip to leave the rest now might make them think you aren’t tipping st all. And, Some will always be more gracious than others. Hope this helps!

Donald · 07/05/2017 at 12:51 PM

I’ve been traveling to Mexico for more than 20 years, exclusively to Cancun, Cozumel, or Playa del Carmen. NONE of the international travelers (Non – US) tip in Mexico as they do not tip at home. I find it unfortunate that tipping practices in Mexico are beginning to match those found in the US.
I refer to the US play “The Ugly American” circa 1960’s or 1970’s for the unfortunate consequences of exporting US customs on other countries.

    CC · 07/07/2017 at 8:45 AM

    Hi Donald. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I think it’s always important to share both sides of a topic! DrDP and I tend to adopt the “When in Rome practice” when traveling to other countries (when in Europe we tip like they do) with respect to different cultures but I realize not all people share that perspective. In Europe nor in the US, people do not make $5 per day (not hour). The cost of things in Mexico have risen exponentially with the rise in tourism (that we [Americans] could take some blame for) so the wage does not come close to supporting the cost of living especially in resort towns. People can’t feed their children. We see first hand what an extra few dollars can do to help our Mexican friends, so this is where I say we can agree to disagree and hope that you will continue to read and comment on our posts! 🙂

rc · 11/09/2016 at 10:23 PM

Hello Cindy,
I love your blogs, very helpful and informative. Our family is going to Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo and staying in an AI resort next week leaving sunny CA on Wednesday and coming back Friday, the following week. First time for all of us. Have you been? Any tips you and/or Dr DP could share with us on places to see outside the resort, special restaurants (again outside the resort), etc. I was a little bit disappointed that Chichen Itza is not that close from where we’re staying. I was hoping to tour that historical ruins because I studied them in college and wanted to see them up close and personal. Oh well, next trip and that time we’ll schedule a Cancun trip much closer to the ruins.
I’ve been told by friends to tip in US dollars; hubby will bring Mexican pesos though. Your thoughts on this? Yesterday, the exchange rate is 18 Mexican pesos to a dollar; however, with Trump Day, it went up to 19.77 Mexican pesos to a dollar. Guess what? Hubby got the pesos today. With your experience and communications with the locals, do they prefer pesos over US dollars or vice versa?
Thank you for this site. I really appreciate the insights, comments, suggestions, etc from you and the others.

    CC · 11/10/2016 at 10:53 AM

    Hi there! Thanks for the compliment on the blog! 🙂 We sure do appreciate the love. Speaking of love, gotta love that exchange rate! 🙂 Good for American’s traveling to Mexico now. Not so great for Mexico’s economy so please be nice and tip well when you get great service! 😉 I don’t spend a lot of time in that part of Mexico, but anytime you use Pesos that should be bueno (good). Today 50 pesos is = to $2.43. Enjoy your trip!

Lee · 10/11/2016 at 11:27 AM

Very interesting debate here with many valid points made. Most people here seem to be in favor of tipping even at all-inclusive resorts. However, at the risk of being shamed, I’d like to play devil’s advocate. If everything people are saying about the workers making unlivable wages is true, then all-inclusive resorts do their workers a great injustice in the way they promote their resorts to tourists. That is, every AI I’ve ever been to says right there on the web site / brochure that EVERYTHING is included, and they specifically mention “all gratuities” are included. To me, that clearly says “you do not need to tip,” and it implies that some of the extra cost you’re paying for “all-inclusive” is going to the workers who (in non-all-inclusive places) would normally work for tips. In fact, the resorts enthusiastically promote that one of the greatest benefits of the all-inclusive experience is that “you don’t need to carry cash around with you.”

So, I will defend all of the people at AI resorts who don’t tip. They’re not cheap or heartless. They are simply doing what the resort has told them to do, which is not tip! As tourists from another country, they should not be expected to understand the local wage structure and how their money is (or is not) divided among employees. They also should not be expected to “read between the lines” and draw the conclusion that when the resort says “tips are included,” they’re really just lying and guests should tip anyway. Ostensibly, the premium prices tourists are paying to stay at lavish resorts is making a contribution to the local economy, which ultimately (presumably) trickles down to support a higher quality of life for people in those communities. But who knows … maybe it’s just making the rich resort-company executives richer and no one else.

Bottom line: Would it kill me to spread a few extra bucks around for tips and help these people feed their families? No it would not, and next time I probably will. BUT, when you see people not tipping at an “all-inclusive” resort, don’t blame the tourists for being cheap — blame the resorts who promote “no tipping.”

    CC · 11/01/2016 at 9:24 AM

    You make a valid point and one that supports our intention with this post–which was in great part to educate those who may not understand how things work in a culture that varies from what we may be used to. Thank you for sharing your perspective in such a diplomatic and articulate fashion!

Worldwide · 09/09/2016 at 4:36 PM

Great write up and I agree with all of it but one part. It is not your responsibility to take up the slack or pay these wages. It is the industry’s and the establishment’s. I’ve been to 67 countries and worked all over the world and Americans are uniquely tip happy. Its part of the culture and our DNA. We’re born into it and don’t know any different unless afforded the luxury of extended travel. Tip for good service but even in the USA don’t be shy about stiffing lousy service with a goose egg and writing a note explaining why. They will learn or quit and open a position for someone better.

    CC · 09/22/2016 at 3:52 PM

    Thank you for your comments. I can appreciate your differing perspective and I wish that all of the “establishments” operated as those in Europe where servers make a livable wage + benefits. Sadly that is not the case in the US or in Mexico–We have different norms. For the record I don’t feel it’s as much my responsibility as it is my privilege to reward great service–and I feel I get a lot in return–I also do not condone over-tipping for poor service. I do suggest however that customers be certain it is the sole fault of the server and not the kitchen or someone else involved in the process of your service, before “stiffing” on a tip. I also agree that it’s important to share your experiences (good and bad) with staff.

Sara Hansen · 09/06/2016 at 8:37 PM

This article is amazing and so helpful. I’m going to Cozumel in October for my honeymoon and knew that the all inclusive resort probably wasn’t paying a very good wage and wanted to make sure I was playing my part in tipping!

With that said, I’ve read various articles that said and stressed not to tip in the US dollar because their banks won’t accept them. I honestly just want what’s best for the workers so I’m curios if your familiar with Cozumel Mexico and if I should just pay with pesos or get those $1’s and $5’s in US dollars?!?

Also, when your traveling around or just relaxing in the resort do you only carry a small amount of money with you to avoid theft or do you bring the majority of your tip money? This seems a bit silly, but I’m curious. I’m thinking about just carrying around my venture card and the estimated tips I expect for the day but didn’t know how common it was for money to be snagged without knowing while swimming in the pool :/

Thank you for your help and wisdom!

    CC · 09/07/2016 at 1:57 PM

    Hi Sara! You’re trip sounds exciting! Congratulations on your impending marriage! I’m super jelly as I won’t be going back to Mexico until November, myself. I have never heard of a tourist area in the Yucatan not taking USD. If you are at all concerned I would recommend calling your resort and asking if tipping in USD or Pesos is preferred. They should know how to advise you best. If pesos, go for 20’s and 50’s. They are just as easy (be sure to check out our tips on getting the best exchange rate in this post). On the resort property, I would say you should leave the majority of your $ (and credit cards) in the room safe unless you need them (especially the big bills). You can also tuck a few bills in your swimsuit in the tight spaces–always a fun honeymooner thing to do! 😉 The resort staff in Mexico don’t usually mind wet money! Since there will be two in your party, you and your new spouse-in-the-house can divide up the 1’s/5’s between you. You can always go back to the room for more if you need it. Plus, there is also the idea of tipping up front for the full day of poolside sipping–Just make sure you let your server know what you are doing up front. As to your card, board shorts are great for stashing a card with their zip velcro pockets. There are also hats, shirts and flip flops made for this sort of thing–Like Slot Flops or Reef Sandals. Short of that just make sure you keep it on you at all times–they are highly waterproof–even with an RFID chip. But if you’re worried, stash it in a little snack Ziplock baggie or use a waterproof case. There are lots of options on Amazon too. (FYI that is an affiliate link). I hope your questions are answered and that you have a fabulous honeymoon! Have a cerveza for me! Salud!

      cara · 09/13/2016 at 3:10 PM

      We ate also going back in Oct. And heard that maybe they weren’t accepting usd. We took $100 in one dollar bills the 1st time and it made it so easy. I am dreading trying g to figure out the pesos at the markets and every time I tip. If anyone has been recently please let us know. I was told the 1st time we went they like getting usd but since then I have heard different.

        CC · 09/22/2016 at 3:59 PM

        Hi Cara! First, I did some research on this recently and I haven’t found any evidence to suggest that you cannot still tip in USD – at least on the Cancun and surrounding areas of Mexico. I am also heading down in November and will see what I can find out then. If there is an update I will put it in this post. Or, if you can point me to an article of reference I am happy to look into it further. This could also be a “resort” thing. So, I suggest calling your specific resort in the location you will be in and see if they recommend Pesos or USD. If they suggest Pesos then get yourself some 20’s, 50’s and 100’s (in Pesos). Given today’s exchange rate on Google a 20 pesos note is equal to about $1.13 US and a 50 pesos note is equal to about $2.53 US, making the 100 pesos note worth a little over $5 US. Hope this helps! Enjoy your trip!

      Paul Shearwood · 09/18/2016 at 5:30 PM

      of to cancum on Thursday travelling from the UK. first time going to Mexico. since reading up I have now got a stash of 20 mexican pesos for tipping. which is roughly at the moment around .95pence which is a very small price to pay for the little extra.
      I can not believe they earn so little.I must admit that tipping is a bit alien to us as it tends to be included in the bill.
      only 2 days to go then a 10hr flight then 2 weeks of relaxing. I will be tipping
      thanks for all the info

        CC · 09/22/2016 at 3:47 PM

        Paul! I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment and reply sooner! I hope you have a most fabulous Mexican vacation and THANK YOU for tipping! If you feel the .95pence/20 pesos too little, feel free to give 40 pesos! I’m sure the Mexican’s will not mind! Cheers!

Kelli · 07/11/2016 at 7:42 PM

Our family loves traveling to Mexico and we usually stay in all-inclusive resorts. We have always made it a habit to bring at least $100 in one dollar bills and dune singe other smaller bills $5s for other tips.

On another note, even if you pay with credit card in Cancun, always ask to pay in pesos. That way you get the bank exchange rate instead of the rate the stores use. It can save you from 1-3 pesos on the dollar depending on the rate the establishment is paying.

    Kelli · 07/11/2016 at 7:43 PM

    sorry for swype typo. “also some smaller bills”

    CC · 07/12/2016 at 9:10 AM

    Great Tips Kelli! Thank you!

Billy · 05/20/2016 at 2:34 PM

Great read! I actually just booked a trip to Cancun with my significant other next month and this was super informative! I will be stealing the idea of bringing a stack of $1 and $5 for tipping. I want to ask if its acceptable to pay for cab fares with usd from the airport to the resort and vice versa?

    CC · 05/21/2016 at 3:02 PM

    Hi Billy! Great question! Easy answer is yes but you will always pay more when using US $. Better yet, book a ride through Best Day Travel (BD Travel) online before you go! http://www.bestday.com.mx/cancun (This is who we use) and you can pay in advance. When you exit the airport go through the crowds to the end stalls (look for BD travel signs in red white and blue) — they are close to the end of the line of transport vans and shuttles. Give them your name and they will take care if of you! Be sure to bring a printed copy of your paperwork with you! You can also schedule your return trip with them online at th same time and they will pick you up at your hotel!

Alice · 05/18/2016 at 9:38 PM

Great article..Quick question today is our last day. I decided to personally give the maid cash ( lil more than $5 a day and we are not messy nor do we have small kids) she was just good BUT the card in my room when I looked later had another girl’s name and they all wear name badges. I know I tipped the right girl she was in my room.. Not sure who this other person is. Confused????

    CC · 05/19/2016 at 5:27 AM

    Hi Alice! I hope my timing is OK. I am currently in a different time zone in Italy. 🙂 I would guess that if you tip the person whom you know did your service you are good to go. All of the housekeepers may share their tips. Safe travels home!

Tony · 05/01/2016 at 2:56 PM

Hi. My wife and I are finally traveling after years of raising the kids. We are going to Puerto Vallarta for an all-inclusive for five nights. It sounds like $150 US dollars should do us good for tips. Does that seem right or even too much? We are budget travelers too.

    Tony · 05/01/2016 at 3:02 PM

    I also forgot, it is our first time to Mexico. And we also live in Colorado near Denver

    CC · 05/01/2016 at 3:58 PM

    Hi Tony! Thanks for writing. Good for you that you are getting to take a vacation and enjoy spending time together! 🙂 Your estimate of $150 should be fine–If you don’t spend it all you can always come back with a little cash in your pocket. 🙂 Have a great time!

Caryl N. · 04/10/2016 at 5:45 AM


Very helpful information! My husband and I will be traveling to Mexico very soon with our two children ~ ages 14 & 11. We are staying at an all-inclusive in Riviera Maya. This is our first time to Mexico and at an all-inclusive resort.

We do plan to bring 1’s & 5’s for tipping as friends have suggested… we are just more curious how much other spending money we will need. We don’t know if we will be leaving the resort. We don’t know if we need to or will want to.

Do you have any advice? We are only going for 5 days so I feel like there won’t be a need to leave the resort, but what do I know!? 🙂

We heard that there may be fun shopping areas to visit. Should we be concerned about safety taking our kids off the resort property? Will we need pesos if we leave and should we bring them from the US or exchange at our hotel?

We don’t travel often so this trip is a BIG deal to us!! We are super excited!!!!

    CC · 04/11/2016 at 11:14 AM

    Hi Carly!
    $Money$: Without knowing what activities you might want to do or where you are staying in Riviera Maya it’s hard for me to advise on the amount of cash you should have on hand–I will say Chichen Itza is worth the tour. I can tell you that if you are in more populated areas like Playa Del Carmen or Cancun, you can often use your credit card instead of cash (be sure to tell your cc company you are traveling AND make sure they don’t charge you international fees). Also, it’s usually very easy to get pesos from ATM’s with your debit card –just be sure to use ATM’s in a bank when you can to avoid skimming (see my article here: http://www.cinfullysimple.com/be-aware-of-atm-skimmers-when-traveling/) If you start out with some American cash, your resort should be able to exchange it for you, but ATMs usually offer the best exchange rate. Finally, if you have credit cards or passports with RFID chips, buy the cheap sleeves to put them in for protection from thieves carrying RFID readers – See here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/179-4025948-3050344?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=RFID+sleeve

    Safety: We’ve never had issues in this part of Mexico – this goes for use of cabs, tours and buses. There is probably a higher likelihood of theft than anything else. Of course there is never a guarantee of safety in any location (not even in the US) but there are currently no US government travel warnings for the Riviera Maya or surrounding areas. Be smart and keep an eye on your kiddos and you should be fine and have a great vacation. You can sign up for up to date travel/safety bulletins at the government Smart Traveler Enrollment Program here: https://step.state.gov/step/

    That said, We always take reasonable travel precautions wherever we go, such as not leaving valuables in cars or lying around your hotel room (use the safe)–this includes for passports and computers–not carelessly flashing cash (or expensive cell phones) around or wearing too much bling (leave the diamond tennis bracelet at home and buy a cheap silver one from a beach vendor instead). Don’t leave your credit card sitting number-up on your restaurant table. We also lock doors and don’t walk late at night on the beaches or in dark, less populated areas. We always make a color copy of our passports and carry the paper copy with us while our originals stay in our hotel safe–when out and about carry your drivers license for credit card ID instead of your passport. We also make sure an immediate family member has a copy (or a photo of the passport) just in case there is an emergency.

    Hope this helps and above all, ENJOY your vacation! It’s a beautiful part of the world. I hope it’s everything you want it to be! Have a Margarita for me!:-)

      Tamasin Artru · 06/28/2016 at 3:17 PM

      Your information was exactly what I was searching for. My wife and I are going to be traveling to Cabo for our first international trip together in July. I contacted our AAA contact, looked on-line and asked others for advice about tipping, cash amounts, etc. I wasn’t able to get what I wanted until I came across your page. Thank You! Thank You! for the detailed explanations and recommendations about tipping and how to keep our information and possessions safe from skimming, etc. I had no idea! I feel much more prepared and have taken steps to get our cards protected with RFID blocking sleeves. We will definitely enjoy a Margarita for you and your partner!
      😉 Tamasin

        CC · 06/28/2016 at 3:30 PM

        Thank you Tamasin (cool name) for your kindness! And yes, please enjoy Mexico and the Margaritas! SALUD!

Ashlynne · 04/05/2016 at 1:35 PM

Hi! My husband and I are planning a trip to Cancun at an all inclusive resort this August. For myself, being a waitress, tipping is huge to me so I have been trying to figure out how much to tip who, and with what currency. So I just wanted to clarify… for waitresses at the restaurants, $5-$10 USD is a good tip. $1-$2 USD per every round of drinks. $2-$5 USD for breakfast and lunch places like Delis and Pizza bars. And $3-$5 USD for housekeeping? Another question is with all inclusive meals, will we be able to see the total cost of the bill so we can tip accordingly even though we aren’t paying for it right there? Or will we just need to leave $5-$10 based on service?

Thank you!

    CC · 04/05/2016 at 4:43 PM

    Hi Ashlynne! Glad to know you see the value in tipping well!
    I would say not less than $5 for two of you for a full breakfast at your all inclusive. (It’s the cheapest meal of the day but the staff works just as hard).
    Unfortunately you will probably not know the amount of your meal bill if you are staying at an all inclusive. But I encourage you to tip like you would at home. For example, you might tip more than $10 for dinner if you eat and drink a lot at dinner and the restaurant is fancier.
    Your other numbers look good!

    I encourage you to read through the other comments on this post to see what others are doing as well. Readers have provided some great information!

    Have a great trip!

Andrea · 03/26/2016 at 9:52 PM

Thank you for providing this site, it is very helpful. We will be visiting an all-inclusive resort in Cancun and have all the info on what amounts are good and great tips.

My question is this:
I have read that some visitors tip the maid at the end of the trip instead of daily. Because staff may be changing during our stay (everyone gets a day off, right?) I intend to tip daily. There are those who wait til the end so they can tip based on the service they received. Others tip for the whole trip up front, to ensure great service. When I raised my concern that with staff changing, the excellent maid service that was provided for the first 4 days will not go to that employee, but to the one who finished out the week. Someone told us not to worry about it, that the tips all go into one pot and then the resort shares them equally. I doubt that is the same at every resort.

In any case, we will tip each employee at point of service, to be sure we are doing our best to take care of those who are taking care of us. I am just curious what happens when 2 different maids split the weeks work and someone just tips at the beginning or the end of their vacation?

    CC · 03/31/2016 at 12:27 PM

    Hi! thanks so much for posting this comment, Andrea. There are merits to both ways – tipping daily and weekly. If it’s more comfortable for you to tip daily, go ahead. Please note Lauren’s comments as her experience was that someone else – not housekeeping – was taking her housekeeper’s tips. My best advice to you is to check with your resort staff and ask the best method for that hotel. It may differ by resort. It used to be there was an envelope for a weekly tips (at least in timeshares) but those days are mostly gone. You can also find out from the resort who your housekeepers are for that week and provide a tip in an envelope to each person via the front desk staff if you feel more comfortable with this method. Most Mexican workers only get one day off a week so it is likely that your housekeeper may be the same each day for at least 6 days. Another alternative is to hand the tip directly to your housekeeper – though that would require hanging out in your room and not at the pool! My guess is that there is some type of tip sharing system for multiple housekeepers – but that is also not a guarantee – again, the resort could advise you best. Regardless, if you want to tip daily, I think that is fine.

Barb · 03/15/2016 at 6:55 PM

We alway tip when we go to Mexico as a matter of fact we just got back a week ago. We never really knew everything that you state here but I am sure glad we are generous with our tipping when we are there. I assumed they made very little and makes me feel so sad because they are always so gracious and wonderful when we are at the resorts we go to. Thank you for your post and I will share!!!

    CC · 03/15/2016 at 8:19 PM

    Thanks so much for your comments Barb! I’m sure the Mexican service staff appreciate your tips very much. Thanks for sharing.

Steve Sauvain · 02/23/2016 at 4:56 PM

Cindy…love reading your blog. My wife, my 16 year old daughter, my 15 year old son are traveling to Akumal. We are arriving the 23rd of April, and coming home the 30th. We have a lovely villa Konomi…we have a maid, and a groundskeeper coming everyday but Sunday.
Ok…looking to make sure this is a trip of a lifetime for us ALL. We are an active family (even though mom and dad are in their 50’s) looking forward to hitting some ruins perhaps 2 times, snorkeling (a lot), daughter and son want to parasail, wife wants daily massage, and we will partake in the Mexican cocktails.

We are going to bring a $100 worth of $2 bills, our landlord suggested using those for tips. We were told about a $100 for the maid, and $100 for the groundskeeper would be sufficient. The maid will cook for a fee of $9 a meal plus groceries and a fee…I am thinking we should take advantage of this…your thoughts?

We will be using our debit card to get some cash while we are there. Our landlord said we should rent a car from Easyway Car Rental at Cancun airport. Do you think we really need a car? I am a bit afraid of horror stories I hear of police pulling your over, etc. They assure me it is stress-free. I do realize if we have a car we can save on some bus cost to say Chichen Itza, and Tulum.

We are trying to get our head around how much this trip is going to cost us. Plane tickets (round trip out Minneapolis..non-stop) paid, Villa paid. I am thinking to have a wonderful time and experience all we want I was thinking around $3500. Is this too much? Is it not enough? I don’t know what to think, I tend to over analyze…:)

Any suggestions on things to do with our kids I would appreciate it. We want them to experience the culture, eat with the locals, see poverty up close, and see how others in this wonderful world live. Thanks again…look forward to your reply!

    Steve Sauvain · 02/23/2016 at 4:58 PM

    Sorry I am going too!!!!

      CC · 02/24/2016 at 12:45 PM

      We figured you were spearheading the trip and you’ll be the first in line for the limbo bar too, right?

    CC · 02/24/2016 at 12:44 PM

    Hi Steve! Thanks so much for the compliments on the blog! We love it when our “cinners” tell us how much they like the work we do! And because we aim to please, I’m sending you over to the expert and resident “Julie McCoy” aka Double Portions (DrDP) for this one. She’s truly the travel expert in this family…

    Hello Steve and adventurous family! Thank you for your questions. This is DrDP responding, also known as VP of travel and entertainment. I’m in Mexico right now, enjoying the massages and daily cocktails you speak of. I am now officially in the ranks of the 50 year olds as of a couple days ago, so I’m happy set my beer down long enough to cover your questions so help you have the trip of a lifetime. This is a long response so I’ll try to break it up in relevant sections based on your questions:

    Car Rental & Driving in Mexico
    There are lots of stories, mostly folklore, that we’ve been told is to encourage tourists to get on the tours, some of it may be reality—but mostly it’s old news—Mexico is not the same country as it once was and tourism is too important in Quintana Roo for the policia to be harassing the tourists…

    Yes, years ago the cops had a good gig going. What they would do is spot the cars that were fully loaded with luggage heading to the airport. At one of the check stations they would scope out the ‘tourist cars’ loaded with luggage. Then, a few kilometers down the road a cop would pull this car over and say: “you can go with me to the station or just pay your ‘speeding fee’ right here.” Charging anywhere from $20 to $100. I just hope they sent their kids to college on what they made. 🙂 This doesn’t happen much anymore—I haven’t heard of it in years, but one never knows. If you’re the lottery winner that day, don’t panic, it will make a good story for the kids to tell for years to come. Seriously, though, these days people tell us they have no problems on the roads in and near cancun/Quintana Roo. We have made the trek from Cancun to Tulum with no incident and the roads are good highways. Some expats tell us they still travel with the telltale $100 US bill in the glove compartment, “just in case” they have to “tip” the local authorities – but it never happens.

    That said, we just heard about this other great tip for CAR RENTAL: Go to EXPEDIA.COM and rent a car from the cancun airport. You will find them for $1 to $5 a day+ tax and another $10-$20 for insurance per day. Pay for the insurance and you still have a sweet deal. For instance, Cindy ran your dates from April 23rd to the 30th and came up with cars for $1 a day + $11 a day in insurance. At $12 a day + tax, you almost can’t go wrong!

    And, if you’re going to venture into Belize, send me another note…that’s a different piece of advice.

    Shuttle – If you opt not to do the car, check into taxi service in the area you are visiting (does it exist?), so you can get around. To and from the airport we use BEST DAY shuttle service, since most of our time is spent on an island where golf carts are King!

    Massages – I pay $35 an hour (per person) + tip. I tip $10 to $15 each time and my massages seem to get a little longer each time as a result.

    Beer – $30 to $35 pesos each is my preferred ‘unlimited’ rate. When I see them on a menu for $50P I know it’s a pricy place and don’t drink or eat as much.

    Ruins – Chichen Itzá is a must!!! I call it ‘chicken pizza’ cause it’s easier to remember. I HATE museums, may have to do with the fact that my father has personally visited every single one of them he can find and drug us all along as kids, but ‘chicken pizza’ is different. It is a must do on everyone’s travel list and you MUST DO the guided tour while you’re there. It’s the only way you will know and understand the carvings and buildings and the magic behind them. If you do the bus trip—this is one of the only side trips I’d tell you to SPEND THE MONEY AND TAKE THE BUS! It’s a nice motor coach and it’s a long day, plus the booze is free and free flowing. You will start early morning, drive 3+ hours with pastries and unlimited cerveza, do the tour, stop at a cenote (very cool swimming hole/cave) on the way back, have lunch and more drinks and arrive back after dinner/dark. It runs between $100-125 US per person. If you decide to drive it, the roads are good these days – much better than 25 years ago and we’re told, safe. Once at ‘chicken pizza’ do the guided tour (I believe you can buy it at the ticket counter vs through the bus option). If they offer you large umbrellas – TAKE THEM. Not for the rain, but you will welcome the personal, portable shade tree as you are standing in the sun a lot.

    Tulum – VERY SMALL version of chicken pizza, the only appeal is it’s on the water. So the pictures with the ruins and the water behind them are beautiful. There is a little ‘sales stand’ in the Tulum parking lot, they will want to sell you a snorkel tour and boat view of Tulum ruins from the water. I don’t recommend that part, We didn’t get that close to the ruins, water was rough the snorkeling was poor and very quick.

    That said, if you want good snorkeling, you will be right by Akumal Bay, where you can swim with the turtles. The water can get a bit cloudy on the edges. Swim toward the boat anchored off shore (small catamaran if it’s there) and you’ll find the turtles. It’s gotten more crowded in recent years but is still worth it. Remember to give the turtles a good distance between you and please just look, don’t touch!

    Xel-ha has some good snorkeling but they turned it into an amusement park over the years. About $100 per person to get in, but lots of things to do, rides, etc. Depends on how much “kid” there is in each of you!

    Money/Tips – We recommend taking at least $100 in $1’s (we don’t use $2 bills and don’t endorse that method—never seen a $2 bill here—but if you’ve already gotten them then go with it and let us know how it works.) Also add another $50 or so in $5’s. Biggest thing to remember is you won’t get change back in US dollars and it’s easier to tip with smaller bills. $100 each for housekeeper and grounds keeper is about right. YES to the cook, how could you go wrong for that rate? And as I well know, you should always take care of the cook, be it on vacation or at home. I think you know what I mean!

    The housekeeper, grounds keeper and cook will probably not know English. Create a Spanish cheat sheet with any food allergies or dislikes to hand to the cook. (ex. no cebolla for favor – no onion please.) You can use Google Translate for this.

    Credit cards…in the smaller towns, cash is king. Pesos always get the best rate. Watch the exchange rates at each place – some places provide much better rates when using USD then others (see the rest of the above post for that). Use your Credit Card where you can – one that does NOT charge ANY international exchange fees (typically 3%-4% of every transaction). Many credit cards don’t charge this fee, but find out because that can add up when you’re paying $400+ for each excursion. We have an ATM card that does not charge any fees (Charles Schwab ATM card). You can also bring USD and stop at a bank to get the best rate to exchange to pesos. If you do that, please be aware and read Cindy’s article on ATM skimming before you do. Always try to use a reliable bank ATM and in a branch if you can. http://www.cinfullysimple.com/be-aware-of-atm-skimmers-when-traveling/ You can also get pesos from your bank before you go.

    If you want a real excursion, drive just north of Cancun, find the Puerto Juarez Ferry and do a day trip to Isla Mujeres. Playa Norte – the beach there is included in the top 5/10 in the world! And there’s always parasailing and jet skiing to get your adrenaline up! If you were here in July I’d say go see the Whale Sharks, but you can save that for next time! 😉

    Based on what I’ve suggested, here’s your vacation budget/not including your airfare and accommodations of course:

    Vacation invoice:
    $500 – Chichen Itza bus tour or $150 if you drive
    $500 – Xel-ha – if you go
    $50 – Tulum (approx $12 each)
    $50 – snorkel rental at Akumal
    $200 rental car
    $250 – gas – gas is expensive
    $250 – 5 days of massages
    $200 – housekeeper/grounds keeper tips
    $500 – meals/food/cook
    and the most important of all…
    $1500 USD – enough Mexican Cocktails for you, Steve. 🙂

    And, remember to plan one day where you all do nothing! The only choice of the day is should I have another or not. I think I’ve completely dried out with this response, so I’m going to find another cold cerveza. Happy travels (Buen viaje)!

Deb L · 02/20/2016 at 6:29 PM

Hi Cindy,

I go to Cancun yearly and stay at a timeshare that has daily housekeeping 6 days a week and I always tip my housekeeper $25.00 up front whether I need daily service or not. I also let them know what time of day I will normally be out of the unit. by doing that, I find they are very happy to accommodate my schedule.

I also tip at least 20% to my meal servers and drink servers.

If I am at the resort beach or the pool, I will tip the drink server the first $1.00 up front with my drink order and I never have to worry about looking for a server for a refill if desired.

    CC · 02/21/2016 at 11:01 AM

    Thanks for your comments Deb! Very helpful.

CC · 02/16/2016 at 9:32 AM

I got this message via email from K:
“Thank you so much for your article! I’m going on my first all-inclusive trip and first trip to Mexico in two weeks. We are excited to tip and are planning to tip for the maid service ($5/day), mini bar ($1/day), and drinks ($1/drink) and we are thinking this is about the right amount. Does it sound right? We’re also wondering how you calculate what to tip (and who/how) for meals. At a restaurant with listed prices, it’d be easy to figure out, but since the meals are included, we’re just not sure. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!”

Congrats on your upcoming trip and Thanks for writing!
What you have laid out to tip sounds fine. $5 per day for housekeeping is great. If you’re really messy or if they have to clean up after kids (if you’ve got em), sometimes a little extra can go a long way.
The $1 a drink rule is a good one. If you find a waiter you really like, there are a couple of things to consider: throw him a little extra at the beginning of the week and they will usually go all out for you—You can tell him/her that’s why you’re doing it! 🙂 Or, give them a little extra from time to time.
The eating out at the all inclusive restaurant without prices is a tough one. Here’s a rule of thumb we go by based on two people:

Breakfast $5 (total for both of you)
Buffet $5 (more if your server is really workin’ it)
Dinner $10 for a regular restaurant on property and higher ($15-30+) for the fancy ones especially if you are having drinks and multiple courses. If you like your server, always make them feel good. If you visit the restaurant again, they might fight over you!

Some restaurants, even though all inclusive do take in diners from outside, which means they have a menu with prices for those folks. You can always ask. Also, these days some all inclusive restaurants (the nicer ones) often have an all inclusive menu with add-ons—extras you can add for a fee. These were great questions so I’ll include my responses out on the comments section of the blog. Let me know if you have any other questions and HAVE A GREAT TIME!

Bruce · 02/04/2016 at 11:48 AM

Thank you for posting this article, I have already been to Cancun twice and am learning each time.

My question is more about the weather and March break. I have been down in
Beginning of Sept. (Only rained twice)
Mid – April (Never Rained)
Now, I am going late March, weather predictions, as well as likely hood of spring breakers still being there?


CC · 01/14/2016 at 7:08 PM

My Pleasure! Have a great time. Who knows, we may be crossing paths! 🙂

Monica · 01/12/2016 at 6:30 PM

Quick questions on getting pesos from an ATM. What denomination do the ATMs give out? How do you get lower denominations for tipping? I believe I read somewhere that our resort won’t do same-currency exchanges (something about money laundering?). We don’t plan to shop much, so may have issues getting smaller denominations. Thanks in advance for your help!

    CC · 01/13/2016 at 10:28 AM

    Usually the ATM’s do give out larger denominations. Here are some suggestions:

    1) We have larger chain grocery stores where we go in Mexico that let us pay with larger denominations ($500 pesos bills) and get change even for small purchases.

    2) Check with your specific resort before you go, they are all a little different.

    3) You could exchange your country’s currency (ex. USD to Pesos) for the pesos at the hotel or resort instead of trying to exchange larger pesos for smaller pesos denominations.

    4) You can get pesos from your bank before you leave your country. Banks regularly provide foreign currency and you can ask for smaller denomination bills (lots of $20s and $50s in pesos). Be aware that sometimes the exchange rate won’t be quite as good and be sure to check if there are extra fees to determine if it’s worth the convenience.

    5) If you are from the US, consider this: We usually take $1’s and $5’s in US dollars just for tipping. See in the post above my reference to taking $100 in $1’s for tips. We are heading to Mexico again soon for 5 days, and I’m taking $50 USD in $1’s.

    Above all, enjoy your trip!!!

      Monica · 01/14/2016 at 6:36 PM

      Thank you! I have found out that the resort exchanges our Canadian dollars for pesos, so we will do that (but have some US dollars on hand to use before we do the exchange). We leave in 2 days! So excited 🙂 Thanks for your help!

Rob · 01/08/2016 at 3:38 AM

Hi Candace,
Great advice in your blog but i feel that your comment on Europeans not tipping is incorrect.

“Europeans (and others) do not usually tip at all because in Europe, servers make a livable wage”.

When we travel from Scotland to anywhere overseas we always tip well as we feel you do get better service. In my experience Europeans tip well but you may have experienced otherwise.

Enjoyed reading your blog though.


    CC · 01/08/2016 at 6:13 PM

    Thank you for sharing your perspective, Rob! You are correct that we have all had different experiences. I’m glad to hear that you take the “When in Rome” approach, so to speak! Thank you also for your readership of the blog! We love our #Cinners! 😉

CC · 01/08/2016 at 12:26 AM

Candace: Just realized I may have misread your message. If you are not from the US, please use the Google converter reference from my previous reply: https://www.google.com/finance/converter You can choose any country’s currency and find out the Mexican Peso equivalent. Cheers!

Candace · 01/06/2016 at 9:15 AM

Hello, thanks for a great article. Any chance you can update it to include the equivalent peso amounts for those of us that aren’t front the USA?

    CC · 01/06/2016 at 10:30 AM

    Hi Candace! So glad the article was helpful. Because the exchange rate is always changing, I recommend using Google converter before you go on your trip. You can find it here: https://www.google.com/finance/converter For example, Todays exchange rate is $1 US Dollar = $17.44 mx pesos, which means that if you give a $20 mx pesos tip, you are tipping just over $1 US. $100 mx pesos is about $5.75 US based on today’s exchange rate. Hope that helps.

    Right now, the US dollar is strong in Mexico which means that you will get more for your money! But be sure to pay for things in pesos (You can get these from your bank before you go or use your debit card at a reliable bank ATM in Mexico — See my post on ATM skimming here: http://www.cinfullysimple.com/be-aware-of-atm-skimmers-when-traveling/) or pay by credit card to take advantage of the best rates. One final note, check to be sure your credit card company does not charge international exchange fees AND be sure to let them know you are travleing so they don’t turn your card off (for suspected fraud) mid trip! Buen Viaje! (Good trip)

Nicole Riebe · 01/03/2016 at 10:37 AM

I am planning a trip to Tulum Mexico in about a months time with 10 other people. We are renting a house and will have 2 people there that live on site to help take care of us with house keeping and cooking. They will also go to the grocery store and shop for us. We were wondering what kind of tip to leave them. What is acceptable for this kind of situation? I’m sure it will be a lot of work for that many people and we don’t want to be rude by not leaving them a good tip for their service. Any help would be appreciated.

    CC · 01/04/2016 at 12:05 PM

    Hi Nicole!
    I can only share from my experience and I would also recommend asking your landlord their thoughts about tipping your caretakers. We own a condo near Cancun and the entire complex has 8 full-time staff. We pay HOA dues that cover most expenses/salaries but some other expenses we pay are as follows: Since we do not live there full-time we pay our property manager about $100 US per month to manage all aspects of our apartment, we pay about $40 US for each housekeeping visit that occurs before we arrive and after we leave. If we outsource laundry/clothing it’s about $10-20 US. When we arrive/leave if the staff helps us with bags or groceries we tip about $5 for each occurrence.
    Sometimes, and depending on expectations, it can be much easier to tip all at once at the end of your trip and if you do so, leave an envelope for each caretaker separately. You will have to use your best judgement here: Taking into consideration the suggestions in this post, what you can afford, the large number of people in your party as well as how you were treated by your caretakers, decide what you think is fair for the service you have received. I always tip more if cooking and shopping is involved–it’s a lot of work! If you’re there a week and you are able to afford it, I don’t think $200-250 per caretaker is too much for all they will be doing (this only equates to $40/50 from each person in your party). If your landlord recommends more, go with his/her suggestion! Have a wonderful trip! Tulum is beautiful and the weather this time of year is perfecto!

K · 12/20/2015 at 3:55 AM

Thanks so much. This was helpful!

    CC · 12/21/2015 at 12:42 PM

    My pleasure! 🙂 Enjoy Mexico!

Stephanie Smith · 11/06/2015 at 7:08 AM

We heard that we should tip in pesos so people in Mexico don’t
have to exchange money.

How much should my husband and I tip Thomas Moore Travel (airport transportation)
in pesos one way with 3 bags total?

    CC · 11/06/2015 at 11:15 AM

    Hi Stephanie:
    I suppose it depends on where you are going in Mexico–most touristy areas, like Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Puerta Vallarta, Cabo, Mazatlan all take American dollars as well as Pesos. Plus, right now, the US dollar is very strong against the peso, so if you are tipping un US dollars, you’re actually giving more, which is a nice benefit for the person you’re tipping. I know in Cancun and Isla Mujeres, many prefer US tips for this very reason.

    If you’re shopping or dining out, use pesos so you get the most bang for your buck!

    As to how much to tip the transport company, there is usually one driver who will load up your bags and drive you to your destination. I wouldn’t tip less than $5 US. You can decide if you’d like to be generous above that amount.

    Hope these tips were helpful! Please keep visiting the blog to read more as we eat our way around the world! 🙂

    Enjoy your trip!

Mark · 10/09/2015 at 3:00 PM

Hey! Thanks for the great article. I’m from the UK where we don’t tip hardly at all as servers make minimum wage and often restaurants add it on anyway.

We’re staying at a all inclusive resort and we were going to take dollars for tipping anyway, but we’ve decided to take more. $100 in $1’s for drinks and maids etc and $150 in $5’s for dinners.

A lot of Brits think as its all inclusive and even our resort says tips are included, that they “should get a good service anyway”
But if I was serving 10 people and I knew 8 of them were good tippers, I’d make absolutely sure I got their drinks to them pronto! Maybe it’s wrong,m to think like that, but these guys need a living, and people always see it through their own eyes rather than stepping into the shoes of the poorer for a moment.

We want fantastic service and a good time, so maybe a good juicy tip early on will bring a bigger smile to the already smiling faces of the Mexicans senors and senoritas?

Thank you for the advice!!

Hasta la vista…or something like that!

    CC · 10/09/2015 at 3:08 PM

    Hi Mark! Thanks so much for this comment and for being willing to take care of your servers, maids, etc. I agree, a “juicy” tip up front can go a long way with the right people! Folks working at the all inclusives get paid the least so your generosity will not go unnoticed. I’m happy the article was helpful for you. Have a great time: Felices vacaciones!

Priscilla · 10/04/2015 at 6:25 PM

Thank you for this article! My husband and I are traveling to Mexico for the first time this coming Friday and I’ve been trying to get a solid grasp on what to tip various roles. This was incredibly helpful.

    CC · 10/04/2015 at 7:29 PM

    Thanks for writing Priscilla! I’m glad this article helped. You are going to Mexico at a great time! The US Dollar to Pesos exchange rate is at an all time high–higher than when I wrote this post! You can check current exchange rates here: https://www.google.com/finance/converter I hope you have a WONDERFUL TIME on your trip! 🙂 Salud!

CC · 07/16/2015 at 10:20 AM

Hi Cj! Thanks for your comments! I love your perspective on paying it forward! I just returned from a trip to Mexico (Isla Mujeres) and although the wage there is higher than the national average because it’s a tourist destination, you can see how much difference just an extra dollar or two can make in the life of someone who lives there. Thanks for your kindness and being willing to share this post with others!

CJ · 07/15/2015 at 2:18 PM

Thank you so, so much for your article.!! Very enlightening. We haven’t been on vacation for a long time , so we wanted to make sure we will be tipping properly as both myself and husband have been in the service industry. IT IS IMPORTANT! We are safe, warm, fed, & have a roof over my head……so I say pay it forward! even in the states. I think that people have lost sight of the almighty dollar (no matter where you live) & need to realize how much money they actually spend on videos, coffee, cigarettes ($10 a pack in WA.) Can’t wait to read all you other articles & I will be forwarding you link to my friends that will be visiting in Dec.


CC · 05/31/2015 at 4:34 PM

Hi Horst. Thanks for you comments. I can appreciate your perspective, and I am in complete agreement that you should NEVER tip top dollar unless you are totally satisfied with your service! I also remember having a similar concern about employees being slighted when I first discovered how things work, but soon came to realize that this is a cultural norm in Mexico that is likely not to change soon–when it does, prices will likely reflect it. I’m sure that plenty of servers in the US would like to see our system change too–since in so many other countries, servers are paid a full wage–vs. a partial wage with tips making up the difference. The 15-20% that I pay and recommend is based on my own American cultural norm–and it is highly dependent on service-level. You are certainly welcome to a different approach. These days, I spend most of my time in Mexico near and around Cancun, Riviera Maya and Isla Mujeres where yes, the prices have gotten higher over the years, but still do not compare with those of say Hawaii–thus I still consider it a “cheap vacation.” It’s very nice of you to share what you have with others–I’m sure the “beggar” population appreciates your generosity!

Horst Schaber · 05/31/2015 at 2:49 PM

Iam presently in Mexico City doing day trips and I have a problem with your recommendet tipping. Why do I have to tip if they get cheated by the employer? It’s not that it is cheaper in Mexico or USA then anywhere else in the world they have to fix their problem I do give a lot of money away to disabled beggars but can’t see the point in tipping unless I’m totally satisfied

    Lauren Zotto · 02/18/2016 at 8:58 AM

    They are not being cheated by their employer… It is normal for the service industry to pay lower wages and have the majority of their income come from tips. If you dont like it you can eat a a fast food place or stay home and cook your own meals. Why do you have to be 100% satisfied before you tip?? Someone created a dining ambience for you, sat you at a table, brought you drinks, prepared a meal and then cleaned up after you? Why should you be entitled to this for no cost?…

    Unless you are a member of a country club… where the clubs policy prohibits tiping because their employees are compensated well above minimun wage then you need to start paying for the service you receive-at least 10% for the bare minimum, 20% if everything was satisfactory and 25%+ if the service was amazing!

    I am in the Grand Palladium all inclusive in Puerto Vallarta right now and I am appalled at how cheap everyone is. I have only seen one other guest tip the bartenders. And for dinner I have seen a few guests leave a few dollars for a meal that would have cost well over $100? Its pathetic! We have been leaving our servers at least $20. I can only imagine how some of these employees lives would improve if everyone just gave $10 at dinner and $1 for every drink.They provide amazing service and they deserve to be tipped regardless of what country you are in.

      CC · 02/21/2016 at 11:23 AM

      Thank you for your comments, Lauren. It is hard to watch others tip poorly, especially in places where you know people live off of their tips alone. Just had this conversation with patrons in a restaurant in Mexico last night. We too tip more for stellar service. Other countries just have different rules and norms, which is why these comments can be so helpful. As you probably already noticed, I did a small amount of editing to keep it within our guidelines. Thx!

        Stephanie Flores · 04/29/2016 at 2:08 PM

        We are going to Cancun Mexico here in a few days(first time) and I was wondering about tipping because I had read on the hotel website that tipping was already included. But reading your article was very insigtful! Thank you very much!!!! 😀

          CC · 04/30/2016 at 8:24 PM

          My Pleasure! I’m so glad it was helpful! Have a great time!

      Cindy · 03/09/2016 at 7:53 PM

      We stayed in an all inclusive in Cancun recently. We started out leaving a tip on the pillow for the housekeeper. On the third day went back to our room before the housekeeper had been in. Discovered the money was gone. Appears other staff may be entering before the housekeeper and lifting the tip. After this we made it a point to return to our room and find the housekeeper. Gave her the tip in person.

        CC · 03/10/2016 at 11:54 AM

        Well that IS disturbing! Wonder if it may have been the person refilling your bar? Either way, you’re approach to handling the situation was great! Thanks for sharing!

Quora · 11/26/2015 at 2:06 PM

Do tips in Cancun go to the food servers?

What do you think about this article claiming that the restaurant typically gets the first 10%? Is it misinformed? http://www.cinfullysimple.com/tips-for-tipping-in-mexico/

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