Google guest reviews for a handful of all-inclusive resorts and you’ll soon realize that -- judging from various ratings (and reactions) -- some travelers expect a lot from their all-inclusive vacations. And when hotels don’t deliver on all fronts, former guests make sure the resorts, and the entirety of the world wide web, hear about it. And that’s fine -- freedom of speech, right? -- but let's remember that it's not just the resorts themselves that can ruin your vacation at an all-inclusive.
From overbearing self-entitlement to over-indulgence in the overflowing booze, some guests turn to bad behavior when entering the gates of all-inclusive "heaven," thereby putting a damper on the experience of fellow resort dwellers.
Here we've come up with all the ways you can be the worst all-inclusive guest ever -- so you can be sure not to do these things on your next getaway. Save yourself the embarrassment, and the hotel and other guests the headache (and second-hand embarrassment).
1. Binge on Everything
When you’re the worst all-inclusive guest ever, if you’re not eating all the food and drinking all the drink, all the time, then you’re not doing it right. So binge your hardest just for the sake of it, even though you won't enjoy it. In the opinion of travel blogger Victoria from vicadvisor.com, the binger is one of the worst types of all-inclusive guest. As she says, “Overeating or binge drinking just to 'make the most of it,' or worrying you're not getting your money's worth is the worst. Just enjoy your holiday!”
2. Complain About Everything
"Waiter, my ice cold soda is too refreshing for me!" All-inclusive vacations sell you on their all-in, everything-goes experience, and some people get irked when things aren’t what they expect. Dana Micallef, CEO of American Consumer Credit and expert on timeshares and all-inclusive package deals, believes the problem starts when guests arrive with the idea that resorts will be tailored exclusively to them. “The biggest misconception is that they are all-inclusive to you. Most are cookie cutter packages, and you share in most all of the all-inclusiveness with a group of other vacationers.”
So don’t sweat the small stuff -- unless you’re the worst.
3. Leave Your Litter on the Beach
While he or she may like to keep things tidy at home, the worst all-inclusive guest ever enjoys leaving trash on the beach when on vacation. Because, duh, someone else will clean it up, right?! Wrong. And litter on beaches is one of the biggest gripes from other guests on TripAdvisor.
4. Never Leave the Resort
While all-inclusive vacations can be awesome, there is another argument, made here by Tourism Concern, that all-inclusive resorts' ownership by large international companies puts little of the money guests spend back into the local economies. So, sorry to guilt trip, but you're not the best all-inclusive guest and world traveler if you don’t leave the resort and don’t contribute to the local economy.
Of course, that being said, some resorts are better than others, and it’s hardly the fault of paying guests if they want to enjoy what they’ve already paid for and spend their days by the pool. (As long as they're not the types reserving their loungers with towels and bags for hours and hours. But, MOTL.)
5. Be the Overbearing Hanger-On
Unless you’re at a luxury resort, most activities will be in groups with other vacationers, which can be really fun. There’s nothing like chewing the fat with some new all-inclusive friends, but when you’re waiting for them at breakfast, dunking them in the pool, inviting yourself to dinner, and generally coming on too strong, ease off a little or risk being the worst. Remember, if you love something, sometimes you just have to let it go.
6. Always Take Five of Everything
Why take just one sandwich at the buffet when you can take five? Why take a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade when you can just take whole jugs back to your table? And those snorkels and masks laid out for guests. You may just be one person, but what if you lose one...or seven. Always good to have spares, right?! Wrong, worst all-inclusive guest ever.
7. Mark Your Territory
When you've got a sweet spot on the beach or by the pool you're bound to want to return to it again throughout your vacation. However, most people understand that calling "dibs" on a lounge chair for an entire two-week vacation is kind of a jerk move. The exact kind of jerk move that the worst all-inclusive guest ever plays regularly by leaving the towel out over night, or -- even more desperate -- getting up super early to shotgun the spot.
8. Never Tip
When you’re at an an-inclusive resort, you should never tip. Tipping is for dorks. (We got this advice from a worst all-inclusive hotel guest -- surprise, surprise.) If you want to get a bad reputation, and be the hotel guest avoided by the wait staff, then you need to give up the idea of tipping for good service.
That’s right, tipping is one of the first things that goes out of the window, and -- according to Jenifour Jones at Go Get It Events & Travel -- “being really demanding to staff without properly thanking them or tipping them” is one of the worst ways guests can display the entitlement that can appear at all-inclusive resorts.
9. Treat the Staff Like Servants
While part of the job for hotel staff is to treat their guests with respect, the love isn’t always reciprocated. Unfortunately for staff members at all-inclusive resorts, the sense of entitlement from guests can make the job even harder as visitors take the fact that everything is "free" to mean that the staff is exclusively at their beck and call.
10. Be the Life of the Party...Every Night
If you’re not starting a conga line, leading the dance to "Single Ladies," and initiating the limbo competition every single night, then you won’t be annoying your fellow guests nearly enough to be the worst all-inclusive guest ever! Maybe (definitely?) it’s the free-flowing alcohol, but there always seems to be a "fun party" group that quickly gets to be a bit too much.
Redemption: Sometimes the Resort Upstages the Worst All-Inclusive Guest Ever
Guests go bad, but so can resorts. We asked American Consumer Credit founder, Dana Micallef, about the worst all-inclusive behavior he’s heard about, and it wasn’t from the guests, “Salespeople were locking people in the sales presentation room, with their children in another 'resort nursery' room, while attempting to sell them an upgrade. They wouldn't allow a couple to retrieve their children without purchasing the upgrade to their vacation.” Thankfully, we’re pretty sure this horror story is the exception rather than the rule.
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*All gifs courtesy of Giphy