The student holiday is something of a rite of passage: an often chaotic, alcohol-fuelled, sex-filled, messy rite of passage.
The student holiday is something of a rite of passage: an often chaotic, alcohol-fuelled, sex-filled, messy rite of passage. The opportunity to enjoy the sunshine without the constraints of parental guidance is a new and exciting opportunity for most young people. Before you start downing the sangrias, here are some points to consider for your holiday abroad.
You get what you pay for
If you’ve managed to get a super-cheap deal don’t be surprised if your accommodation is less salubrious than we have come to expect. A 4-star abroad is lucky to meet 3-stars here. A decent shower and replacement toilet paper is a luxury you shouldn’t anticipate.
Then you continue to pay, pay, pay
You should also expect a variety of extra charges; such as if you wish to use the safe (recommended) or the air-conditioning (essential) and these can be steep. Then you’ll need to factor in the cost of breakfast and snack foods, countless bottles of water, the price of activities and excursions… Ibiza is renowned for being particularly pricey, partly because there isn’t a ‘strip’ of bars and clubs as such, meaning transport must also be paid for. Club entry here can also be very costly. Prepare to spend on your ‘bargain’ holiday.
Standard measures don’t exist
Double and single measurements are unheard of in most resort areas of Europe. Alcohol quantities are generally less during the day but in the evening expect half a glass-full of spirit if you order a vodka and coke. Students will rejoice at the wonderful prices in some resorts. But don’t be fooled: some of the cheaper offerings are watered down and will most certainly be local spirits, which may be rougher than the brands we are used to and lead to a hell of a hangover.
Reps are akin to piranhas
The chummy, in-you-face attitudes of the reps will get tiring really quickly. They all promise you amazing deals but don’t jump at the first offer you hear. Take a wander round the vicinity before committing yourself in case “the most amazing club in Kavos” you were given “bargain entry” to for €20 turns out to be a dive. Don’t be afraid to haggle! You may get an extra shot or two thrown into the deal.
Leave the heels at home
Seriously, ladies. You’ll be surprised how casual most of these resorts are. It’s pretty much acceptable to go from beach to bar wearing only a cropped top and shorts. Stick to a nice pair of sandals; it will make the trips from bar to bar much more enjoyable.
Don’t expect culture
But you probably aren’t anyway. Places like Zante, Magaluf and Kavos are basically mini Britain’s abroad. Food-wise, it’s generally English fry-ups, chips and more chips, with barely a nod to the local cuisine. You’ll probably even find pot-noodles in the shops!
Make the most of it
Do the booze cruise, the foam party, the crazy pub crawl and the water activities. If you’re lucky your hotel should be able to set you up with a range of activities. If not, it shouldn’t take long to find the appropriate rep on the street. Chances are you won’t visit this place again, so make the most of it with your friends.
Photo: Anna Oates