Bubba Mugs — Why You Need One

If you’ve been to an all-inclusive in the last few years, you’ve seen a Bubba Mug. They’re the easiest thing to spot — picture a colorful insulated thermos shaped like a keg.

The colors vary, and so do the sizes – from the short chubby variety just big enough to fit a tall glass of beer, all the way up to “OMG, does he have a full keg of beer in that thing?” size.


Bubba Mugs

They’ve become so popular over the years that they’ve climbed their way to the top of many packing lists, joining the ranks with bikinis, flip flops, and sunscreen (don’t forget your sunscreen!).

But here’s the thing with Bubba Mugs – they’ve started to earn a bit of a bad rap. I’m not sure how it happened – from one year to the next, they went from being beloved must-haves to ‘OMG I wouldn’t be caught dead carrying around one of those things.”


I asked a friend of mine who made a remark like the one above why she suddenly felt that way about them.

She told me that Bubba Mugs signify greed. Then she described what she thought was the stereotypical Bubba Mugger – basically a big beer-bellied belching buffoon standing by a pool for hours on end, getting drunker and drunker (never getting out for a pee), holding on to his Bubba for dear life.

I’ve read many TripAdvisor forum posts where people completely bash others for owning a Bubba Mug. All of them cite the same reasons and provide the same description of the beer-bellied drunken man as my friend did, and many add that owning a Bubba Mug is a sure sign of laziness (as in, people buy Bubba Mugs because it saves them from getting off of their chairs or out of the pool to walk to the bar). Oy.

OK, don’t get me wrong – this type of Bubba Mugger does exist, and every resort will have a few from week to week. But trust me when I tell you this: you don’t pack a Bubba Mug for your tropical trip just because it will get you drunker faster, as some people are starting to think. You pack one for so many other, more dignified, reasons.

Pack a Bubba Mug Because…


You’ll Waste Less

When you go to your tropical paradise, you don’t sit in your air conditioned room with your ice cold refreshing cocktail, do you? No! You walk around the resort or you lounge by the pool or beach with said drink. And if your ice cold drink of choice is in a flimsy non-insulated plastic cup, after only a few minutes of exposure to the hot tropical temperature, that tasty cold goodness will be just as warm as the coffee you had at breakfast.

So, what do you do? Well, you can suck it up and suffer through a warm Pina Colada, but most people toss it, including the plastic cup, and head to the bar for a new one (after all, it’s an all-inclusive and everything is unlimited, right!).

You know where I’m going with this – with an insulated Bubba Mug, you could nurse your drink for hours without running the risk of it going warm, and without having to waste a perfectly good drink and cup.


You’ll Help the Environment

Many resorts still use plastic cups that go directly in the garbage after every use. Think of the environmental impacts this must have. And imagine if even half of the guests traded all of that plastic for a Bubba Mug! Less waste, indeed.


You’ll Stay Hydrated

Even if your resort doesn’t use the flimsy plastic cups, chances are they’re still handing you tiny glasses that can hold only a few mouthfuls of fluid. Of course that’s probably big enough for most if it’s filled with alcohol, but what about those of us who want to stay hydrated through the day with good ole fashioned H2O? One of those small glasses isn’t going to do much. And the likelihood that you’re going to stand in a lineup over and over again for a small glass of water is probably low. Chances are, you’ll drink less water than you would if you had a Bubba Mug filled with ice cold water a couple of times a day.

The Downsides of Bubbas

For neutrality sake, I managed to come up with the downsides of packing a Bubba Mug for your next tropical trip, and surprisingly, none of them has to do with greed or laziness ;).


They’re a Hassle to Lug Around

Bubbas can be a pain to pack because they’re bulky and can take up a lot of space.

When you finish your drink, you’re stuck carrying it around until you get back to your room to ditch it.


They Require More Maintenance

You have to remember to soak and wash your Bubba every night, or else you’ll end up with a sticky mess when you go to use it the next day.

A Few Bubba Tips…

Here are a few tips for making the most out of your Bubba Mug:


Pack in your Carry-on

Keep it in your carry-on bag in case you want to fill it up at the airport. This can be useful if you have a long drive to your resort and want to start hydrating right away!


Pack Stuff in it

As I said, Bubbas can be bulky to pack. Your workaround is to pack some stuff in there – accessories, meds, etc.


Mark it

Chances are there will be someone sitting near you – at the bar, near the pool – with the exact same mug as you (same color, same size). Slap something on yours so that it stands out from the others. I use a wine glass charm but even a piece of tape will do.


Donate it!

If you don’t feel like taking your Bubba home with you, feel free to give it to a staff member, like a landscaper who works under the searing sun all day.



So you see — a Bubba Mug can do more than get you drunker faster. But of course, if that’s why you want to pack one for your next tropical trip, by all means.

Cheers to you!


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