Leaving a tip in the U.S. is mostly done at restaurants when you pay your bill but in Mexico, it is more common in many other areas. Most people that work in service lines of work in Mexico are paid incredibly low wages so, like waiters in the U.S., they make their living from the propina (tip).
In Mexico, you can tip in dollars or pesos, but tipping in their currency saves them a trip to the exchange booth as they will likely prefer pesos. The amount you decide to leave is completely up to you but here are some general guidelines for various people.
These are usually elderly people that bag your groceries for you at the market. Beleive it or not, they receive no wages from the store and work completely for tips. Usually, a couple pesos per bag is standard and they are always appreciative of your gratitude.
When tipping your waiter or waitress, a 10% tip is pretty customary but if it was outstanding, tipping up to 20% can be common. At resorts where things tend to be a bit more expensive, $1 per drink is usually appropriate, or if running a tab, you can settle up with a 10-15% tip. One thing to keep in mind is in Mexico, you have to ask for the bill (say “La cuenta, por favor”) This is a big difference than in the U.S. because restaurants want to turn the tables as quickly as possible to get more business in the door. In Mexico, dining is an experience and bringing the bill before you asked for it would be rude.
Gas Station Attendants
Almost all gas stations in Mexico are full service, meaning they pump the gas for you. While they are doing that, they usually will wash your front window and sometimes the back. It’s customary to give them a few pesos.
Bellhops and Housekeeping Staff
Bellhops that help you with your bag and brings to your room usually get a dollar or two. In hotels, housekeeping usually about the same, but it depends on the level of quality of the place you are staying.