THE battle of the sun beds divides holidaymakers into two camps every summer – the hoggers and the leave-em-frees.
But in an effort to finally put the issue to bed, one etiquette expert has revealed exactly how long hotel guests can reserve an empty sun lounger for.
In the last few weeks, several viral videos have emerged of empty poolside beds covered in towels, with holidaymakers who've headed out early slammed as "selfish"on TikTok.
With tensions so high, it's wise for everyone to know just how long their towel can reserve their place for, in order to avoid poolside rows.
Renowned etiquette expert, William Hanson, believes there is a 30-minute grace period on poolside reservations.
This is where hotel guests can use a towel, or a book, to reserve a spot for no more than half an hour.
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William told the Sun Online Travel: "In the morning, at the start of the day, if you're by the pool after breakfast, then it's fine at 8.30 to put your towel on the bed to reserve your spot."
"But later on in the day after you've used the lounger, and go off for a massage, for example, which is going to be an hour, then you can't use a towel to reserve the sun lounger."
If you're grabbing some grub at lunch time, holidaymakers are allowed to eat at the hotel bar or restaurant, providing you're not gone for any longer than 30 minutes.
According to William, a half-hour window will also give your towel time to dry off in the heat.
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But even with the grace period, William said: "You can't hog the sun lounger for the entire day."
No hotel guest should expect unlimited access to a poolside bed, especially if they've gone off the resort to grab lunch elsewhere.
He said: "You don't want to come back and find your towel covered in sand or chucked over the hedge."
While you may not think someone will remove your towel, one user on TikTok hailed a member of hotel staff for "doing God's work" as they removed towels from empty sunloungers.
Poolside beds are a hot topic and even the experts are divided on how long guests can reserve a one.
For any holidaymakers who want to brush up on their poolside manners, William had some other nuggets of advice.
He said: "It's a personal bugbear when people play music through speakers around a public pool – if everyone did that it would be chaos."
Instead, William recommended using bluetooth headphones to listen to some poolside tunes.
As for food, hesaid: "If there is a menu offered by the pool, you are well within your rights to eat and drink at the pool.
"But I personally wouldn't, I would go away to the hotel restaurant and eat there."
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Meanwhile, one mum was left fuming on her holiday in France by "ignorant and selfish" Brits who were reserving sun loungers at the campsite she was staying.
And another woman filmed "sad" tourists sprinting to reserve sunloungers at 9am on holiday.
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