Question of the Week: How to Pay Departure Taxes
Does Mexico charge a departure tax when returning to the U.S.? If so, what is the tax and does it have to be paid in pesos?
B in Phoenix
Hello Phoenix Traveler,
I’m so impressed that you’re preparing for a departure tax even before you enter the country! (Unless you sent us your question from a Mexican airport, in which case I hope things worked out for you.)
The answer is yes, Mexico does charge a departure tax, but you almost certainly paid it when you bought your plane ticket. If you’re unsure whether it was included in your ticket’s taxes, just call your airline to confirm.
If you’re departing over land, or if your flight originates somewhere other than the U.S., you may indeed owe your fee upon departure, but it can be paid in either pesos or U.S. dollars. And while the fee will vary depending on exchange rates, it should be less than $50.
For more general departure guidelines around the world, I usually start with two websites: the U.S. State Department and the International Air Transport Association. Those should have the information you need, or point you toward where to find it.
Have a wonderful time in Mexico—I’m sure you will!
Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member paolo1899
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My name: Michelle Doucette
How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at IgoUgo.com.
Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.
Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.
Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.