Top Ten Thing Not to Do if You Live at a Vacation Destination

a family vacation

This list has been inspired by observing the interaction between vacationers and locals at some vacation destinations in which I have found myself as a resident. Hope you like it.

Top Ten Things Not to do If You Live in a Vacation Destination

10 If you live in a vacation destination, do not honk your horn at the drivers who habitually go ten miles below the speed limit. If you do, at best they will go even slower. At worst, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a very frustrated lost out of towner with a car full of kids and someone asking “if we should have stopped and asked directions.” (And they might just have their semi-automatic weapon collection along for the ride.)

9 If you live in a vacation destination, do not put off grocery shopping until the end of the week. If you do, at best you will be able to check out before your ice cream is liquefied. At worst, you will have spent three hours fighting out of towners for items on your list only to find you lost a majority of the battles. (And the last six-pack of beer went to an immense guy named Tiny. ( At least that’s what the tattoo you read on the fingers of his fist said before you passed out.)

8 If you live in a vacation destination, do not drive your car downtown between Thursday and Sunday night. If you do at best, your round trip will be several hours. At worst, you will be forced to sleep overnight in your car since you parked in the only spot available only to find all the streets have been closed to traffic until dawn (And you didn’t bring a toothbrush,)

7 If you live in a vacation destination, do not plan to have dinner out from May 30th until September 2nd. If you do, at best you will be disappointed with the quality and service. At worst, you will be served hours after you order and will receive a meal lower than fast food quality and priced like Michelin Four Star. (And you ran out of things to talk about an hour before.)

6 If you live in a vacation destination, do not look forward to a peaceful summer. If you do at best, you will finally give up and stay inside. At worst, you will become known to the police as “that crank with no sense of humor.” (And even get a busy signal on a 911 call).

5 If you live in a vacation destination, do not think by being rude to the visitors somehow they will never come back. If you do, at best you will receive some rudeness in return. At worst, you may just be rude to the wrong person and end up looking like a raccoon. (Tough to explain as well)

4 If you live in a vacation destination, do not think everyone picks up after themselves. If you do, at best you will become disillusioned quickly. At worst, you will find yourself explaining to the police why you are threatening out of towners with a litter pick up stick. (And they have their Tasers at the ready)

3 If you live in a vacation destination, do not even think of going to the Dairy Queen. If you do, at best all your cones will look like shakes. At worst, your blood pressure will hit overdrive as you watch the two clerks try to handle one hundred customers. (And you wonder why management is surprised by a rush of business during vacation time)

2 If you live in a vacation destination, do not give anyone permission to park in your driveway just for a moment. If you do, at best you will not be able to get out for a few hours. At worst, you will have the vacationers in your driveway for two weeks. (And the car is locked)

1 If you live in a vacation destination, do not casually mention the idea people should visit. If you at best you will only get a few who will take you up on your “offer.” At worst, you will have a houseful of permanent residents, and you’ll be lucky if you even know them. (And they remind you of being out of beer.)


  1. I live in Greece on Corfu at the moment. Tourists (we need them) are everywhere and they are very welcome. But what you say is very true. All the best. Kris.

    1. Thanks Kris. Yes we need them as well. We are very cordial, but do like the day after Labor day (end of summer) here.

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    John Howell has done an excellent post on the downsides of living in a vactioning hot spot.. I can relate, the South of Spain when we lived down there was very similar. thanks John.

    1. Thanks, Sally for the nice reblog. The South of Spain sounds nice though.

  3. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    In case you need to know 😀

    1. Thanks for the reblog Chris. I have to say this week’s funnies were hysterical.

      1. Welcome John – great post 😀

  4. Haha, this looks like very good advice! It made me smile and be very glad that most of the tourism in my town comes from cruise ships!

    1. I don’t know. That rush of hundreds might be a pain. Thanks for the visit.

  5. I have to ask how often #2 happens. Personally, I’d find it rude to even ask a local about that since it really seems to cross a line. Also, am I the only person alive who isn’t impressed with Dairy Queen?

    1. Our neighbor allowed a guest of another neighbor to park and that guest disappeared for a day. I think asking a stranger to use a driveway would be a bit much. I’m with you except for Heath Bar Blizzards

      1. Don’t they have to serve you the thing upside down?

  6. Great list, John! I guess if you live in a vacation destination area, it’s best to leave town for the summer.

    1. And become a pain to some other town. 🙂

  7. Hmmm, so why would I want to visit a vacation destination? Up here John, the only chance we have to visit the local soft-serve (Dairy Cream, not Queen) is between April and October. The line is often long, but the staff always greets you with a smile and great service. And, I know a local guy whose nickname is Tiny and he fits the description of Mr Last Six-Pack 🙂 – Great list.

    1. Thanks Dan. It is always a good thing when there is some semblance of reality to my meanderings. 🙂

  8. Living in the West Country, the UK’s main domestic holiday and tourist area, I don’t even bother going into the town over “the six weeks” as everyone here calls it (in a mournful/malevolent tone of voice) because you just get overrun with grockles.

    1. Love the term “grockles.” Thanks

  9. If I lived in a tourist town, at best, I would enjoy the people watching. At worst, I’d be bailing my husband out for all of the above reasons. Enjoyed your post.

    1. I petitioned the town council for a license to water balloon tourists​ behaving badly. Was turned down and now am being watched until summer is over.

  10. I can so relate to this post. We’re stuck in the house from May to October, or it’s a nightmare out there.

    1. Thanks Sue. Congrats on the bash nomination.

      1. Thank you, John!

  11. OMG….This is every effing day in Orlando. A bit rougher during winter months and during spring breaks. We’re thinking of moving to Belize.

    1. I hear Belize is overrun with old folk

      1. I’ll feel right at home.

  12. How true! The tourists are great but do require some patience. Littering is the only thing that does get to me – I can’t help mentioning it when I see it.

    1. and dog poop. PICK IT UP!!!!!!

  13. Ha!!! You slay me John. Loved #9… You gave me quite a visual of “Tiny.” Hugs. 😀

    1. It is the answer to the question, “Why is that fist getting bigger?”

  14. I’m coming to visit and I’m bringing beer.

    1. Make it an IPA. You are welcome anytime. (well except labor day when we are in Austin)

  15. LOL – these are all very true. I grew up in an Alaskan tourist town; I now live in a tourist destination on the Washington coast. Shopping can only be done on Wednesdays or Thursdays…at 7:00 a.m.


    1. OOOOH. I think I would starve. Would need to get up early just to get coffee

      1. LOL – I try to stock up on as much fresh food as possible…and there’s a decent, local coffee roaster nearby that I buy coffee beans from. I like grinding my own beans at home…much more relaxing that way.


      2. I have an espresso maker that takes whole beans. I love the aroma.

  16. I totally agree, especially with number 1. I live in a tiny apartment close to a city that many people love to visit, especially during convention season.

  17. Oh my word, John, these are so true. #9 is for reals. I stop in Hondo on my way to Concan every year, HEB, for ice, and freezer stuff, before my destination and it is a mad house in there, usually a Friday. I hear locals saying…”why did I wait until today.”

    1. So true. We curse when we forget something and have to go back into town.

  18. John, thanks for the reminder! I used to live along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and it was soooo hard working when others were vacationing. Trying to drive along the beach was next to impossible, too. Sigh. Still, a part of me really misses that water!

    1. I would miss it if it were not there. When I leave the island the absence of the sound of the surf is unsettling.

  19. I live in Singapore– and vacationers are everywhere all year round. We’ve learned to live with/ around/ despite them. But yep, we need them, too. All those shopping dollars.

    1. I visited Singapore on business and loved it. You are fortunate.

  20. On a different note, am stopping by to welcome you to the Cherished Blogfest. Thankyou for joining. Please put up the Blogfest badge on the sidebar (with a link to one of the announcement posts from the co-hosts), so your audience is familiar with the blogfest and considers joining! Need any help, email me at atozstories at gmail dot com.

  21. Sorry I missed this list yesterday (long story but suffice to say yesterday was a clusterf*ck of technology gone wrong ;)). Summers in San Francisco were much like this (except we never went to Dairy Queen). Tourists crawling all over the place like ants at a fried-chicken picnic 😉 I miss San Francisco but I don’t miss the tourists.

    1. Going there Thursday. I’ll say hi for you

  22. Charleston is pretty much a year-round vacation destination. We don’t have too many people crashing here, though. Our next round of visitors are Italian.

    1. With white socks and Birkenstocks?

  23. Reblogged this on Kim's Author Support Page and commented:
    Love this!

  24. Thanks, John! I too live in a vacation destination albeit Mountains. So times of year may be different and I would like to add to my list: “Don’t feed the bears.” LOL

  25. I live in a vacation resort and Number 1 is the most important! This made me laugh. A rookie mistake to make the casual invitation. If you make it, you better mean it 🙂

    1. I would say so. When folks (I really don’t want to see) hint around I usually refer them to the local hotel. They usually don’t come.

  26. I enjoyed your writing. Smiles I can carry throughout my day. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for the visit and gracious comment.

  27. Great advice, John, follow all these tips. And, worse still, if you let visitors in your home …

  28. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    We follow all these tips

    1. Thank you for the reblog Judith.

      1. My pleasure John, I could identify with everything you said

  29. I can relate to this post! I live on Wales’s South Gower coast, which is something of a grockle magnet – though considering it rains here most of the time I often wonder why they bother.

    1. Sometimes they need to take a shower on the cheap.

  30. Get it…:) Lots of love from Vacation Land, Maine USA. 🙂

    1. I love to visit Maine.

  31. Reblogged this on Sandra Bennett – Author and commented:
    I read this with good humour as it is so true of Darwin this time of year. Woollies is always crowed, you can never bet a park near your favourite restaurant and their are backpackers camping all along Mindil beach. However, the upside is it is all good for local business. During the “build up” and wet season things go very quiet up here and many business struggle to survive, they need the tourist dollar while it is here. So while it may be a bit of a nuisance for the local living at a vacation destination, is it really too much to tolerate for just a few short months? Sit back, enjoy the life style and have a laugh After all, the tourists head south to the cold again, we are always in the sunny tropics! Besides, I like tourists that buy my Aussie picture book. 🙂 How do you feel when tourists come to your pat of the world?

    1. Thank you for the reblog Sandra. 🙂

    2. My pleasure John. My apologies for the typos, I just saw. I re-blogged via my mobile phone, always a mistake with me. Have edited on my computer on my website but can’t edit here, sorry.

      1. No need to be sorry. Still a nice thing to do. 🙂

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