Hilarious Curb Your Enthusiasm Clip About Tipping At Hotels

Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “My Biggest Challenge When It Comes To Tipping While Traveling.” The premise was that I do everything I can to tip, though sometimes find myself in a position where I don’t have any cash on me at all, or only have larger bills. And then I don’t quite know what to do.

The general consensus seems to be that it’s best to ask the person you want to tip if they can make change. And you want to do that before giving them a $20, or whatever. That makes sense, and is definitely my new “go to” method going forward.

I’m a huge fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I think many of us slightly awkward/stubborn/sarcastic people can relate to Larry David in so many ways. Reader TravelMore shared a link to a hilarious clip about Larry’s issue tipping at hotels, which really covers the same issue.

Check it out for a good laugh (unfortunately embedding of the video has been disabled).


  1. Very funny. Hotels that offer this type of service (which is not as frivolous at it may seem, given the number of obviously dirty/broken rooms I’ve been assigned) ought to pay an appropriate wage to the bellhop and prohibit tips. Some hotels actually do this — I just wish more would.

  2. If tipping is so inconvenient, why can’t American hotels do what rest of the world do? – Adding 15% service charge to the hotel rate. I don’t get it.
    Tipping in America is inefficient, every year, Americans waste so much time on thinking about how much they should tip and reming themselves to break notes into charges.
    By removing tipping, Americans can save so much time and money (print less $1 dollar). All they need to do is just adding a flat 15% service charge to final bill amount.

  3. This is not difficult. You only tip for the services you appreciate. AAA and Forbes require many of the services guests utilize, and in many cases, enjoy. Hotels will not “add a service charge” to a room rate (look up Resort Fee for reasons) mainly because finance will now be required to handle the appropriate taxes and be obligated to distribute the funds. As well, rate variances through peak and trough seasons would cause such an income variance, reasonable people would leave after peak season.

    Also, do not break change with the individual you want to tip; it is rude! Make change at the desk. If you do not have the appropriate bills on hand, ask for the individuals name (we like whe you remember us, it shows you care) and their schedule and tip them in passing later. If we are not available, the departments manager would be happy to hold on to the money in an envelope at their desk until you return.

    Don’t like to tip? Don’t stay in full service hotels! They are FULL SERVICE for a reason. There is noting wrong with limited service brands as they are quite nice these days.

    I realize there is a sense of satisfaction putting a few dollars in someone’s hand for their hard work, but let’s not overthink this.

  4. @Concierge, you describe a convoluted process and then say “don’t overthink this.” Sorry, but tipping is not intuitive to most of the world. As things are made easier and easier for customers, it only makes sense to do the same for tipping. One reason I like Uber is I don’t have to worry about tipping, or payment at all. Make my life simple and I’ll come back more often.

  5. Thanks for jogging my memory about this “Curb” episode. The etiquette of tipping is a recurring theme for Larry David. In his Broadway show, “Fish in the Dark”, the issue of whether you should tip a doctor is handled with his usual hilarity.

  6. @31583 you would have to if you travel abroad. Honestly, 15% is not that much given many people working in restaurants in U.S. expect to receive more than 20% tips. 15% is the minimum option in U.S.

  7. @Jiao, but a hotel is not a restaurant. If you are paying for a $300 night hotel, $45 in tips seems a bit excessive compared to typical norms. I would bet most people who utilize a bellhop, valet and staff bringing items to their room would tip less than $10 on such a stay.

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