Everything Lancaster students need to know about ILOVETOUR 2021
The crown jewel of every student’s social calendar
Move along Roses, step aside Extravs, and make way for what is the highlight of most, if not all, Lancaster student calendars: Tour. If you’re unsure of what Tour is, picture the concept of the American ‘Spring Break’. Over the Easter Holidays, thousands of uni students embark on trips abroad – which are organised by sites like ILOVETOUR – to party, play sports, and basically have a very good time. Despite Covid-19 mercilessly ripping away many student experiences like last year’s trips, it has so far failed to deter ILOVETOUR from planning their triumphant return to the social scene.
You read that right, Tour 2021 will be going ahead and yes, it is in Wales. Speaking to ILOVETOUR’s Sales Director Matt, we got some more information about what touring Lancaster students can expect, what’s different, and why this is their “best launch yet.”
Where is Tour 2021?
After having to cancel the 2020 trips to Italy and Croatia, Matt and the ILOVETOUR team have worked hard to plan a Tour which will be the crown jewel of every student’s social calendars. Speaking for his team, Matt explained that “transparency is the best way forward” in ensuring that everyone feels safe and secure, as this will be one of the first large-scale, student outings post-Covid.
ILOVETOUR works with nearly every university in the country, not just Lancaster, and that’s why Matt wants this Tour to be a prime example of what ILOVETOUR can do. Regardless of being at home or abroad, he wants to set the standard for the future Tour’s to come.
Upon clarifying the location as the Prestatyn Pontins in North Wales, Matt explained: “We will be using the site, but it will be staffed entirely by ILOVETOUR.” So, this means there will be no split between happy campers and students; the entire complex will be dedicated to delivering the full Tour experience.
What are the facilities?
Students who go on Tour will be living in spacious self-catered apartments for the duration of the trip, and absolutely everything will be on-site: shops, night-time venues, and a specially created “ILOVETOUR Food Village”, which will be an impressive assortment of snack-vans. The only thing off-site will be the beach, which is a five minute walk away.
Here, ILOVETOUR Reps will host the mixed sports competitions. Of course, current conditions mean everyone has to remain flexible when it comes to social distancing, but Matt is hopeful that teams will be able to mix on the beach and back on-site. Luckily for us, that means rounders tournaments will most definitely be on.
Although there is this emphasis on sports, Matt added: “But Tour isn’t just for sports teams!” Usually, Sports Teams dominate the Touring scene, but it isn’t exclusive. Anyone is welcome on Tour, from any society and as a result, the ILOVETOUR team prep for lots of activities which are outside of the sporting sphere.
From yoga, to an indoor pool and even an outdoor cinema, Matt hopes to ensure that no one has room to be bored whilst on Tour. Even if there are some restrictions still in place – let’s hope not – Matt has prepared for his team to carry on “working events within restrictions as long as it is safe and still fun.”
What will the night-time activities be like?
In a discussion of the night-time activities, Matt explained that the allure of a night-out on foreign shores won’t be lost. Each venue will have a nightly theme, one of which Matt allowed us to name as “Escape to Wonderland”, which will be designed by the creative décor group Visual Architects. This group pride themselves on “taking the ordinary to the extraordinary”, and likewise, ILOVETOUR want to give the site a Cinderella-esque transformation.
As is well-established within Touring culture, the masses of fancy-dressed students will be out in full force but differently to previous trips. The contained aspect of this Tour means that every student from every university will be within the same complex for nights out. Notably, there are no restrictions planned when it comes to socialising, dancing and genuinely just living your best life, and with this Tour, it won’t be a long walk back to your accommodation either.
The ILOVETOUR team will also be showcasing “big open spaces that we dress with our own setup”, and Matt also mentioned the appearance of a professional touring DJ. To which he clarified: “Look out for one of our upcoming promo videos!”
What if Tour has restrictions/cancelled?
Away from the social side of things, Matt also explained the importance of hosting a responsible trip. He stated: “A bubble for Tour was the initial plan”. In that way, the team could manage those contained on the site. Although freedom from restrictions is planned, the initial layout of Tour as a self-contained trip means that ILOVETOUR is flexible in the face of any returning limitations.
So, if some aspects of social distancing remain, there are contingency plans in place so Tour can still go on and students can have a good time. But, if the worst does come to pass, there is full Covid Cancellation Protection, where everyone receives a full refund, if – heaven forbid – Tour is completely cancelled. With the interest of health and safety in mind, Matt also assures there will be 24/7 medical and mental health support on site. All staff members are trained in this area, but there will also be a team of dedicated full-time specialists on-hand to help whenever.
With all this planned, and with the year we have all had, it is unsurprising that when this Tour was announced there was an impressive spike in bookings. But, have no fear as there are still a few spaces left.
For those who have been on Tour already, it truly is an indefinable experience – you cannot fully explain it, you simply must go on it! And if you have yet to go on one, now’s the time! As ILOVETOUR advertise, this isn’t just a mass holiday with your mates, but a place to learn “essential life experience” – and this year, it promises to be bigger, better and safer than ever!