Where you should be going on holiday this year
It’s booking season – and Dirty Mike wants to go to Albania
We’re crawling our way slowly out of Winter, and being bombarded with adverts for summer festivals and getaways every five minutes. But where will you let your mates drag you to in 2016?
You didn’t get Glastonbury tickets.
Dirty Mike is insistent. “Boys, it’s the new Croatia. Cheap beer, organised crime and the birds. Man. The birds.” No one is really sure whether to believe him – though he did call Zakynthos as the next big thing in 2010, maybe he’s right now. Is he deluded or a path finder? Book your flights for Tirana and find out for yourself.
Ibiza’s a tough one because it’s for two very different crowds. In San Anonio you’ll get Paul, etc, from Glasgow on their third lads’ holiday (“it’s a tradition, right, boys?”). They’re hell bent on Pacha (as they have been for the last two years) and still think getting naked in the sea on Bora Bora is jokes. Then on the other side there’s the older crowd. The “I come every year” crowd. There will be a villa in Ibiza town, there will be a breezy day trip on some old timer’s yacht. They know which one is Mick Jagger’s old mansion; they have really strong opinions about which is the best beach (beaches are literally sand and water).
Unfortunately you don’t fit into either of these categories, and that’s the problem with Ibiza. It has all the ingredients of a holiday you should be having in your twenties: the views, the weather, the thigh gaps, the house soundtrack to your 3pm Belvedere, lemon and soda by the infinity pool. But you know what, Ibiza is over. Unless you’re Paul and the boys.
Exclusively festivals, all summer
Around this time last year, it seemed like a good idea to book four festivals. You quipped at work – when you booked four long weekends in a row – that you were going to feel terrible, ha ha ha HA: what are you thinking? But you like that it makes you feel wild and “of the zeitgeist”. From mid-February, you retweet every headliner announcement and do ALL CAPS TWEETS about news about Glastonbury (“YES MICHAEL EAVIS” you crow, whenever Michael Eavis does anything). After the third long weekend sleeping in a tent you feel terrible, you are not laughing, and what were you thinking.
You take yourself quite seriously,and have literally said the line, “India is too mainstream”.
You want to get out of Europe, but mainly because it’s expensive and you don’t care about culture. You want a ping-pong show and a bucket of booze at a Full Moon Party. Maybe even a trip to Mushroom Mountain if you’re feeling a biggie. You’ll take some selfies with drugged-up tigers, hop across the islands chatting to people you’d meet in Maga listening to music you’d hear in Maga. But you got a tan and wore a backpack the whole time, so it’s travelling.
You’ve got a mate who’s absolutely balling over there. You’ve heard the mad stories, the ones involving coke and hookers and sex clubs with kittens, and you’re ready to take on Mong Kok and all it has to offer. You’ve been to Bangkok and to you, Hong Kong is the next step. You get there, gazing up at the high rises and wonder about all the secrets that lie within. Two days in, you’ve realised Mong Kok is just full of Mulberry fakes and there’s not a lot left to do except walk up a few mountains and eat a lot of food. There’s apparently a big Buddha there somewhere, too. And your mate’s working all the time.
You’re ready to spend all day on the beach, get seriously tanned, and then stay out till 8am and party like the locals.
You get sunburnt on the first day, your wallet is stolen on the beach, pickpockets finger your passport on Las Ramblas, and you go too hard by midnight and get sort of carried back to your hostel before the locals have started pre-drinking.
Sandwiched between Amsterdam and Krakow, Berlin is the immensely popular stop of point on the well-trodden Interrail path. Every summer an army of teenagers descends to capture brooding, melancholic pictures in the Holocaust Memorial, before getting turned away from Berghain after queuing for three hours – just to say they met eyes with Sven. More recently young, hip creatives have moved permanently from London to Kreuzberg, opening up bakery businesses and pursuing their artistic dreams. Neither group is welcomed by the locals, but when a cover photo of you looking solemn next to the Fraternal Kiss on the Berlin Wall rakes in 125 likes, who cares?
Your friend’s Yacht
You’re rich and want to get a tan without any tan-lines.
You just want to go Anne Frank’s house and the Rembrandt Museum and no one is going to make you feel bad about it.