Last year, I went on my first ever all inclusive holiday to Cape Verde.
Beautiful hotel, great staff, lovely pools – a place where you could really relax and kick back.
Except some people couldn’t.
Every morning, without fail you would see towels proudly laid out on the sunbeds closest to the swimming pools.
During our time abroad, I would roll my eyes as I heard adults proudly bragging about how early they had woken up to bag the best sunbeds.
It wasn’t as bad as some of the videos doing the rounds on social media showing a melee of holidaymakers fighting for the best sun lounger spots.
But it was mildly irritating.
When we were searching for at least one bed to dump our towels and bags on while we used the pool, it did annoy me that a set of reserved beds would not be used all day or they would reserve them for kids who did little more than perch on the end for ten minutes.
It was annoying but eventually we would find one and get on with our day.
But now Thomas Cook has decided to cash in/come to the rescue and offer people the chance to book their sunbeds before they’ve even set off for their holiday.
Instead of a physical stampede for sun loungers, there will be an online one as tourists can pick their preferred locations from a map in a trial called Choose Your Favourite Sunbed six days before departure.
For a fee of about £22, of course.
Have we really reached a point where this needs to be a thing?
Are people really willing to pay out for something like this?
Yes, the early birds who nab the best spots are annoying but at least they worked for it.
Fair play to them for giving up a lie-in on holiday just to make sure they are a little closer to the swimming pool or have a number of sunbeds next to each other.
I wouldn’t do it but, if that’s what floats your boat then so be it. You’ve earned it.
Chris Mottershead, Thomas Cook’s UK managing director, said it will help ‘families that want to secure a number of beds together in a specific spot’.
We already have to pay extra to make sure our family groups are sat next to each other on airplanes so I guess, in a way, this is the next logical step.
But if I book a few, can I sublet them to other people if I don’t intend to use them on that day?
Can I charge extra and make a bit of profit?
If someone is sat on my prebooked lounger will there be an eject button so I can fling them into the swimming pool?
The map will also let customers work out when each area will get sun and shade.
As someone who only has to be in the sun for a few minutes before I start to burn to a crisp, I would prefer holiday companies to ensure there is ample shade rather than that shade coming at a premium.
And I know some people will moan about people who choose to spend all day everyday by the pool rather than see the country they’ve visited but it is their holiday and they can spend it as they choose.
But I predict that this won’t alleviate the problem, if anything it will cause more tension around the swimming pool as people fight over the few sunbeds which aren’t part of the scheme or nab people’s sunbeds who have paid for them.
Why not just ensure that there are enough sunbeds for everyone? Or making it a free service where you can pick your sunbeds and they remain yours for the holiday?
Or why don’t we all just chill out over sunbeds and realise how lucky we are to be able to travel and enjoy foreign holidays?
Why don’t hotels enforce rules about not reserving sunbeds all day and then not using them until the afternoon/early evening.
How about holidaymakers realise that sunbed wars are a first world problem, get over it and just show each other a bit of common courtesy.
At least you’ll be saving yourself a bit of money.
And you might find you relax and enjoy your holiday that little bit more.