Sun, sea, sex on the beach (the cocktail, obvs…) – heading to Zante or Maga with the lads/ladies is like a rite of passage. After having been on a couple myself there’s a few things I’ve learnt the hard way, so here’s how to survive an 18-30…
This might sound stupid, but when it’s hot and you’re still somehow full of last night’s cherry vodka, carb-loading doesn’t always sound appealing. On my first trip even kid-sized portions weren’t going down well, and I started to feel really crap. The only thing I could force down was the trusty chicken burger, and whilst it might not have helped my bikini body, it was certainly better than nothing! Even if you don’t feel like full meals and all you can stomach is junk food, not living on a purely liquid diet is pretty important.
Remember the law
Yes, wahoo, you’re on your first trip abroad without your parents. How gnarly. You might still be ringing up mummy and daddy though if you don’t remember that different countries have different laws, and falling foul of them can land you in hot water – the drink driving limit in Ibiza for example is stricter than in the UK and some other party destinations are cracking down on drugs. Who really wants to waste their hols banged up in a police cell?!
Travel insurance is SO important wherever you’re travelling to, but even moreso with alcohol involved. Make sure you actually read your policy before you head off though to see what is and isn’t covered – those quad bikes might not be such a good idea if your insurance won’t pay out for your medical bills because your mate who was driving was hungover and took the bend too fast. Some policies don’t cover accidents if you’ve been drinking either, so shop around and find one that suits you. Don’t forget to take a copy of your policy with you!
Watch your drink
Do I really need to explain this?! Yes we’ve all done it, left our drink on the side to go and have a wee then gone back ten minutes later (OK, I brushed my hair, reapplied my make up and made new toilet besties if you must know why it took ten minutes to pee). The drink is still there, result! You don’t know what else is now lurking in your malibu lemonade though, so for god’s sake don’t drink it. Common sense, people.
Don’t go too hard on day one
An 18-30 is different to a standard night on the town, as generally you have time to recover after a Friday night bender. It’s no rest for the wicked on holiday though, with different bar crawls, foam parties and booze cruises to get involved with every day. A couple of lads on my last trip went so hard on days one and two that they both got ill, ran out of money and had to get their parents to buy them earlier flights home. Why pay for ten days abroad if you’re gonna be comatose by day 3?! Pace yourself and by all means have a couple of mad ones, but at least get to enjoy your whole holiday.
Three’s a crowd
Three is not a magic number. Don’t go on holiday with three people – there will always be one who wants to do something different or go somewhere else and while I’m always up for solo travel, it’s a little different on an 18-30; going in an even number group means pairs can naturally split off, which is safer and not likely to cause as many arguments… win win! If you’re not sure if you’re all going to get on, go on a mini break in the UK first to test the waters. If you don’t like the vibe, Dave keeps wandering off on his own or you’re fed up of Anna desperately trying to pick up a bloke, at least you’ll know that going abroad with them for a fortnight might not be the best idea.
Take the essentials
Yes that inflatable unicorn will be a hoot, but don’t forget the important things – I’m talking sun cream, plasters, paracetamol, condoms. Everyone might mock at the beginning, but they’ll be pretty grateful when they’ve got a headache from hell and you brought pain relief. So will the fit but dramatic lad down the corridor who grazed his toe by the pool and will obviously lose his foot without a plaster.
Oh, and don’t be the girls I met on my last 18-30 who had all booked an appointment at the STI clinic in advance, ready for when they got back to the UK – yes there’s being prepared, but there’s also prevention rather than cure. Anyway, you aren’t gonna want anyone near you if you’re covered in blisters from where you prioritised suitcase space for ‘silly hat night’ rather than sun cream…
Pick when you want to go
Do you fancy the height of peak season which is likely to be more expensive but busier and warmer? What about the cheaper ‘bookends’ – some bars might not open, but it won’t be as crazy? Check out good old Google for when a resort’s opening and closing parties are, as that’ll give you a guide as to what to expect in terms of price and the amount of people.