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      Tipping is a universally accepted method of showing appreciation for services provided. Just like in the United States, waiters, waitresses, bartenders and other workers providing services in Baja appreciate tips and often work hard to encourage larger tips.

      Also like in the U.S. tipping is not automatic. Tipping after receiving bad service sends the message that not only is bad service acceptable, it is rewarded. Not the message you want to give to someone who didn't take the time to give you the good service you deserve.

      So how much of a tip is considered acceptable in Baja? A good starting point is 10%. If a worker has made obvious efforts to go above and beyond the normal call of duty for you, a tip between 10% to 15% or more is one good way to show your appreciation.

      To some degree the amount of the tip will depend on the amount of the bill. If a bill is somewhat small, say $5.00 U.S., a tip of 10% (50 cents) might be substandard if the person providing the service worked extra hard to provide you with excellent service.

      On the other side of the coin (pun intended) giving a 15% tip for a bill of $100 might not be necessary or even expected for average service. To coin a phrase (sorry) of somebody famous many years ago, "it's better to be safe than sorry". In other words, when in doubt, leaving a tip a bit larger than normal is better than not tipping long as the service was good.

      Tips for taxi drivers in Baja are a whole different can of coins. Taxi drivers rarely, if ever, expect tips of 10% or over. An exception might be a taxi driver who has sincerely gone out of his way to take extra care of you during your drive or who shared important or interesting information with you during your cab ride.

      The U.S. guildelines of 'a buck a bag' at airports and for hotel personel also might be a bit much for some of the less expensive hotels in Baja. But certainly a small tip is almost always appreciated by those that handle your luggage.

      Do you really want to make a statement with a service provider in Baja? After providing your tip reach out and grab the hand of the person who has helped you, shake their hand warmly, look directly into their eyes, and say "thank you". It's almost better than giving money...almost.




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