College exams are over, kids are almost out of school. That can only bring one thing: Irish people flocking to the sun in their droves to bask in temperatures we never see on these shores.
Be it a J1 in San Francisco or a week with the girls in Torremolinos, every trip abroad is carried out exactly the same.
Book Ryanair flights and the cheapest hotel you can find
The money you saved up for this holiday isn’t intended for getting there- it’s to be spent WHEN you’re there. There’s no problem in sleeping on a sheet of cardboard four miles from the beach for a week if it means you can sip endless cocktails.
Pack the essentials
Sun cream. Massive hat. Flower headband. GAA jersey (even if it’s not your local one). Box of tea. A 12 pack of assorted Tayto. Yes, really, tea and crisps. You don’t know what kind of food they could serve out there, and damn if you’re going to go hungry. Have crippling fear about the quality of milk you’ll be putting into the tea.
Stock up on beach wear
The beach is more than a mere sandy area- it is your own runway. Just like college, you can’t be seen wearing the same outfit twice in a row.
Head to Penneys and buy as many sarongs, flip flops, beach bags, sunglasses and bikinis as your bank balance will allow. Mix and match tops and bottoms of bikinis throughout the week. Bring plastic bags to bring them back home in your suitcase in.
Document your every move on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn. . .
From the obligatory airport check in on the way out there, to a pool side “hot dogs or legs” style Snapchat complete with cocktail glass emojis. A holiday isn’t for taking a break from your online life, it’s for showing everyone just how good it is, but with a sunnier background. If you don’t put every second of your holiday up on Facebook, did you even go?
Find an Irish bar as soon as you arrive
Never, ever leave it. This is essential if you’re travelling in mid to late August, and make or break if your own team is playing in a championship game. Where the hell are you going to get the score updates from while out in Malaga? Build up a rapport with the bar staff and see if you can chance a free drink every now and then. Extra points if the owner is a local from back home (this actually happened to me; I walked into a bar in Lanzarote and it turned out I went to school with the owner’s sister.)
Dine every night religiously in the first restaurant you attend
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you find a spot that makes the best steak you’ve ever tasted, and you luck out by doing it on the first day you get there, come back every single day for the remainder of the week. Almost contract a life-threatening bout of scurvy on the last day of the holiday and change your order to spaghetti because “there’s tomato in that shur”.
Go absolutely mental in the off licence
Not only are they open later than here, the prices are unbelievable. A litre of vodka for the same amount you’d pay for a naggin in Ireland? Better buy ten just in case. Throw out souvenirs for the family so you can fit them all in your suitcase, so you don’t risk being 14 kilos overweight.
Suffer from SAD upon return
The weather is crap. Pints are ridiculously high. Work starts again on Monday. Book next holiday while still in the queue at customs. Gaze mournfully at the holiday pictures you’ve uploaded to Facebook for the next six months.