Tipping

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Tipping

When tipping in Baja, remember that the minimum wage is equivalent to a mere $4.50 a day, and that the vast majority of workers in the tourist industry of Mexico live barely above the poverty line. However, there are Mexicans who think in dollars and know, for example, that in the United States porters are tipped about $2 a bag; many of them expect the peso equivalent from foreigners but are sometimes happy to accept 5 pesos (about 50¢) a bag from Mexicans. They will complain either verbally or with a facial expression if they feel they deserve more—you and your conscience must decide. Following are some guidelines. Naturally, larger tips are always welcome.

For porters and bellboys at airports and at moderate and inexpensive hotels, $1 (about 13 pesos) per bag should be sufficient. At expensive hotels, porters expect at least $2 (about 26 pesos) per bag. Leave at least $1 (10 pesos) per night for maids at all hotels. The norm for waiters is 10% to 15% of the bill, depending on service (make sure a 10%–15% service charge hasn't already been added to the bill, although this practice is more common in resorts). Tipping taxi drivers is necessary only if the driver helps with your bags; 50¢ to $1 (6 to 13 pesos) should be enough, depending on the extent of the help. Tip tour guides and drivers at least $1 (13 pesos) per half day or 10% of the tour fee, minimum. Gas-station attendants receive 30¢ to 50¢ (4 to 6 pesos), more if they check the oil, tires, etc. Parking attendants—including those at restaurants with valet parking—should be tipped 50¢ to $1 (6 to 13 pesos).

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