If you’ve ever spent any time at all inclusive resorts in Mexico or the Caribbean, you’ll be familiar with the wristband issued to you at check in. That lets the staff know you belong at the resort and what level of services you’ve paid for.
If you are staying on the resort, the wristband is no problem. Everyone has one. It’s only if you decide to go into the local town that you might have problems.
The locals see the wristband and they instantly know that you are a high dollar tourist. The locals know which wristbands belong to which hotels. They know if you are staying in a $500 a night property or a $150 a night property. They will use that information to set the prices for any local goods you buy.
I’ve always preferred to take the wrist band off when going in to town. I want at a chance of looking like a local, or at least someone who is living in town full time. I’m less likely to be scammed that way.
I stayed last week in a hippie surf town in Ecuador. It was a small place with only about 3500 residents. Lots of the residents were burnt out surfers, mentally ill folks living on the beach, or heavy drug users. The hotels used wristbands there to keep the riff raff off their property.
I used a simple but effective solution to deal with the wristband issue. I cut the band and then used a small piece of Gorilla tape to refasten it whenever I was entering or leaving the hotel. Once out in the town, I took it off and put it in my pocket so the locals wouldn’t know where I was staying.
I would caution you to avoid using this tactic if the all inclusive charges a lot of money to replace your wristband. In that case you might get a big bill when you check out.
If you are staying in a place like that, ask the staff at the front desk to temporarily remove your wristbands if you are going into town. You may also ask them to put the band around your ankle instead. If it is around our ankle, you can cover it up with a sock when off resort property.