Picture this. It’s your first day on vacation at an all-inclusive resort in that tropical destination you’ve been dreaming about for months. You’re lying out on a chair by the resort’s sapphire-blue pool with a cold drink on the table next to you. You’ve got the perfect beach read and you’re ready to let the hours fly by. You open up your book to the first page, begin to read the first sentence, and suddenly a child starts screaming, a couple starts arguing, and someone two chairs away is complaining loudly about the front desk staff. Somehow, the worst people at the resort are all here at the same time.
All-inclusive resorts are centralized for convenience, but sometimes proximity to other guests casts a dark cloud on an otherwise sunny destination. Here are some of the worst people you might meet at an all-inclusive resort, and how to deal with them when they threaten to ruin your vacation.
The iPad Photographer
Like the selfie stick wielder, the iPad photographer is trying to capture every moment of their beautiful vacation. Unfortunately, they’ll never truly be able to see it with that iPad in front of their face. Not only do they look ridiculous, they can be really pushy and block the view for others who are trying to capture the same moment with a regular-sized camera.
How to Deal: If they’re blocking your view, simply ask them to keep their iPad down. If that doesn’t work, ask the staff if they know of any secret places to get a view without the iPad paparazzi.
The Chair Hog
Ever walk down to the pool only to find a cluster of chairs sporting one towel each, but no pool loungers? Some people love to claim more chairs than they need on behalf of people who may or may not ever arrive at the pool. You might even spot this person sitting upright in their nest of lounge chairs and towels, like an eagle waiting to pounce the very next second another a new chair becomes available.
How to Deal: There’s a fine line between avoiding a chair hog and becoming one yourself. If your party is in desperate need of a chair, try asking the staff if there are extra somewhere. If you’re more brazen, ask the chair hog themselves.
The Selfie Stick Wielder
You watch them from afar, wondering just what they’ll take a photo in front of next. The pool? Check. The beach cabana? Check. That palm tree that looks like every palm tree you’ve ever seen in your life? Check. The selfie-stick wielder loves to waltz around the resort documenting every moment of their vacation with their face front and center, and is often inconsiderate of whose view they might be blocking with their extended photoshoots.
How to Deal: If there’s a photo you’d like to take, get ahead of the selfie-stick wielder by literally getting in front of them: Don’t be afraid to photobomb them. It might not be the shot they had in mind, but they’ll get the picture—in more ways than one.
Whether they’re showing too much skin or their shorts are just too tight, this person is distracting. We all want to get that perfect tan by the pool, but if this guest is wearing their pool-wear at the resort restaurant, they’re being inappropriate. A resort is still a publicly-shared space and guests should dress appropriately, especially if it’s not an adults-only resort.
How to Deal: If their manner of dress is really inappropriate, tell the staff. Many resorts have dress codes and are usually trained on the best way to address problem guests.
The Arguing Couple
There’s nothing more awkward then being in the proximity of a couple on the romantic vacation that might be their last. Sure you can try to ignore them, but often the drama of their real-life argument is way more compelling than whatever book you brought to the pool. Whether they’re screaming at each other or making pointed shows of passive aggression, the tension can be unbearable for anybody within eavesdropping distance.
How to Deal: If you just keep running into them, make notes of their habits and routines so you can try to avoid them. If they’re having loud arguments in the room next door, though, considering calling in a noise complaint to the front desk.
The Overly Affectionate Couple
On the other end of the spectrum, couples who get along too well can be quite hard on the eyes. There’s nothing wrong with showing your partner you care, but when you’re making out in a pool in the middle of the day surrounded by families and waitstaff, it’s time to get back to that room everyone knows you have.
How to Deal: If their public displays of affection are becoming far more affectionate than is publicly appropriate, you’re probably not the only one feeling like an awkward bystander. Let a staff member know.
The Bird Feeder
This person might claim to be an animal lover, but the truth is that feeding birds at the resort is inconsiderate to the other guests, those who did not sign up to cater to flocks of aggressive seagulls on vacation. If you really must feed the birds—who, by the way are perfectly capable of finding their own food—do it far from the resort.
How to Deal: You can ask the bird feeder politely if they would do it somewhere further from the resort, or ask a staff member to do it for you.
The Screaming and Running Kids
They might be having fun, but no one else is. While their parents are off who-knows-where, these kids are running around unsupervised and causing havoc. You can’t blame them for having fun on their vacation, but you can blame their parents for not teaching them to respect the other guests. This one is especially harder to deal with at resorts without an adults-only pool or a designated kids section.
How to Deal: Kids will be kids, but if the ones you’re dealing with have absent or apathetic parents, you can always address them and see how far you get. To avoid the situation entirely, book an adults-only resort.
The Show Off
Whether they’re over-demonstrating their diving-skills at the pool or getting overly-competitive during the beach volleyball game, this guest always has to be the center of attention. They speak loudly, are totally unaware of other guests. You might have come for a peaceful week away from home, but they’re here for a party.
How to Deal: You won’t get far complaining to the staff about a conflict of personality, but you can avoid this guest on your own. They’ll most likely be at the resort’s organized events showing off their drinking and conga skills, so take some time for yourself to get out of the resort by taking a walk on the beach or signing up for an excursion.
The Person Yelling at the Staff
Of all the worst people you could meet at a resort, this one is the sneakiest. You might be having a pleasant conversation with the person next to you at the pool only to witness them freak out on the waiter a moment later for their drink order not being quite to their liking. People like this expect a lot out of their vacation, but berating the staff is not just rude and mean-spirited, it also makes other guests very uncomfortable.
How to Deal: Having worked in the service industry, I know that cruel words from a customer can really sting—but kind words from another customer always helped me get over it sooner. If you notice an employee absorbing heavy blows from another guest, take a moment to thank them, tell them they’re doing a good job, and, if you’re inclined, throw an extra tip their way.
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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.