Sun, sangria and sex abroad...
It is all booked. You are finally going on that summer holiday with your mates. Is it Kavos? Magaluf? Faliraki? Whichever hot-spot party island you are have let yourself in for, be prepared for the most knackering week of your life. I am talking more knackering than exam period. That's right. You therefore need to be prepared physically and mentally for such an experience. Especially if this is your first time out on the town- abroad- with your crew. Here are some top tips to get you through those foreseeable blurry club nights and ghastly all-day hangovers in the heat...
1. Drinking and drugs
Of course you are looking forward to a rather over-indulgent week of sun, sangria and sassy nights out. But what you really could avoid is that inevitable thing we suffer from after a heavy night out - the hangover from hell. If you keep hydrated throughout the day with cold bottles of water, you have set yourself up well. When you eventually roll into your hotel room at gone 3am, make sure you also drink plenty of water then. This will replenish all of the sexy sweat you would have lost on the dance floor. And there is one big thing that you really should look out for: spiking. When you've bought your drink, do NOT abandon it! Treat it like your baby. And whatever you do, do NOT accept free drinks if you have not seen them be poured- anything could be in that. The same goes for drugs. It certainly is not uncommon to be offered cheap drugs on the main strip of a party island. Again, you never know what could be in those drugs, so avoid engaging in these conversations like the plague.
So these kinds of holidays abroad are not the type of holiday photos you would want to show your future grandchildren. Often featuring multiple mugshots of you getting drunk, very drunk or pulling a randomer in the club. Walks of shame are a daily phenomenon on party islands. Even at home, we don’t necessarily know the name of who we end up sleeping with. This can be relatively awkward in the morning if you don’t know what to save their number under – should I put ‘guy from the club’ or simply a ‘?’. Of course if you don’t know their name - and in some cases there is a language barrier - chances are you don’t know their sexual history and therefore you may not know if they have an STI. Understandably you probably won’t ask them if they have an STI when you’ve just rocked up to the hotel room, feeling elated that you’ve just pulled them. And they may not even know themselves if they have an STI. So if you do find lust abroad, make sure a condom is used. It saves you future sleepless nights worrying about if you may or may not have contracted something. However, if you do sleep with someone without protection, just make sure you get checked when you return home (just go early in the morning and wear sunglasses if you are worried you will see someone).
Alright, we all want that sun-kissed tan (as this is seemingly never feasible to obtain in the U.K), but what you do not want is lobster-kissed sunburn. Buy yourself some sun-cream and actually put it on! There is honestly nothing worse and nothing less sexy than resembling a tomato crossed with an ironing board; positively red and positively stiff. From personal experience, I would not recommend applying oil. You will fry.
Stick together! Be clingy if that is what it takes! Losing your friends whilst drunk is probably one of the worst things that could happen abroad. You are most vulnerable when you are alone, so stay in pairs at least. That way, if you do get approached at least there are two or more of you. You know what they say; safety in numbers. Equally, if your mate has been violently vomiting take them back to the hotel or apartment. Don’t leave them on their own, no matter how drunk you may be too. And following on from this, make sure you bring your EHIC card with you on holiday so that - should you be unfortunate enough to need hospital treatment - then at least it would save your bacon abroad.
Hospital treatment can cost a sickening amount of money, so making sure you have your EHIC together with travel insurance could save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Drips are not cheap. Taking on board these aforementioned tips - avoiding free drink and drug offers, being safe sexually, taking your EHIC, actually applying sun cream, and sticking to your mates like glue - would ensure as much as safety as possible whilst abroad.
For more information on staying safe as houses on your crazy holidays abroad, visit the FCO's excellent Know Before You Go campaign booklet, which also gives you the lowdown on alcohol, sex and drugs abroad: