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Things I’ll Never Do Again and Lessons that I’ve learnt Whilst ‘Travelling’

I haven’t always been such a luxury traveller…back in my teenage years and early twenties, holidays were decidedly different…

Back then, a hotel was a place to lay your head and a holiday was all about drinking, partying and sleeping until 2pm in the afternoon. There are many things from those days that I would never do again (just too many…) but my mum, dad and Mr Silver all read my blog so I’ll keep this post as PG as possible! Instead I want to look at the various aspects of travel and what I used to do then and the lessons it taught me for the future.

1. Destination


Corfu, Ibizia (twice), Cos and Amsterdam were some of the destinations of choice for these trips. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m well aware that these are beautiful destinations…just not the parts that we went to!

Places like Kavos in Corfu and San Antonio in Ibiza are just the ultimate in tat. You walk down the main street and you are surrounded by dive bars, horrendous night clubs and restaurants with pictures of plastic looking food on the menu.

Kids on a summer job on hols from university try and drag you into their bar with offer of two for one cocktails, fishbowls of booze and amazing tunes….

All the other holiday-makers are drunk…girls dressed in tight dresses with bad strap marks, boys in loud shirts or t-shirts with the slogan ‘What happens in Kavos, stays in Kavos…’ Embarrassingly most of these people are British.

Oh, the t-shirts…

The place smells of vomit, stale beer and crap food.

But I was 18 when I went to Kavos, just after my A-levels, it was my first holiday without my parents and I thought it was brilliant!! But never, would I ever stay in one of those areas again…

Lessons learnt:
1. Corfu and Ibizia are beautiful islands, but stay away from Brits abroad destinations, at your peril!
2. Always wear sun cream…

2. Accommodation 

On my blog now you’ll see me staying in Thai villa, an English Country House, or a luxurious city hotel… back then there was just one requirement…it was close to the bars and night clubs.

All those years ago we’d research the destination using tools such a Ceefax and when I say research, what I really mean is find the cheapest deal. The hotel that we’d usually stay in was really just a room to lay our head and a place to drink cheap wine before dinner.

Do you recognise me at 19 years old?

The hotel that we stayed in Kavos wasn’t too bad but our room was up about six flights of stairs and I hadn’t exactly packed light; there was no porter to help poor princess in this situation. We had no azure blue infinity lagoon, instead a rather scum filled pool surrounded by mismatched plastic loungers.

When I was 21 and had just finished university, I booked trip to Cos from a deal on Ceefax. We had four girls in a room that was big enough for two people. It was fine as we were out for most of the day but getting ready to go out was a nightmare…you’re talking four girls all trying to dry their hair and straighten it…in a tiny room with no air conditioning.

When we returned from our night out we’d crash in our basic room on our thin pillows under our rough sheets until we woke up the next day to do it all again.

Of course I was very drunk and thought it was all brilliant!! But never, would I ever stay in one of those hotels again.

Lesson learnt: Never, never ever stay in a hot country in a room with no air conditioning.

3. Food and Drink


Now I’m a full-fledged adult, one of my favourite things about travelling to foreign countries is experiencing the culture through the food. I loved trying beautiful pastas in Italy, local produce in South Africa and exquisite feasts in Thailand.

On my teenage holidays there was only really one thing that was important…it was cheap. Before our night out boozing we’d find a restaurant nearish the hotel, the menu and windows would display pictures of the food that you could enjoy once inside. It all looked vile but pictures of plastic cheese, pasta and greasy fry ups didn’t deter us…if they made a spaghetti bolognese for £4, we would be in like a shot.

Don’t get me wrong we sometimes went for the ‘authentic’ experience and I definitely had my fair share of paella and jugs of sangria whilst in Ibiza but we generally stuck to things we’d normally have at home.

Drinks were as bad as the food, some fit looking PR boy would lure us into the bar with the promise of two for one cocktails, which were of course vile. Some places served huge fishbowls of hideous blue cocktail, and five of us would stick a straw in and slurp it up until it was all gone.

The year we stayed in Kos we stayed on an all-inclusive basis. Vast buffets of food were served for lunch and dinner including pizza, lasagne, chips, burgers…nothing freshly made, and nothing, well Greek…The lunch buffet looked suspiciously identical to the dinner buffet and I wondered whether it was refreshed between times. If you’re familiar with the types of drinks served at these type of all-inclusives you’ll know there is generally the option of a very bad house white or red, a very sweet and disgusting ‘house cocktail’ usually sex on the beach or some other classic concoction and then some weird local beer.

Of course I drunk too many of these bad cocktails to care what the food was like and I thought it was all brilliant!! But never, would I ever eat that kind of food again…

Lesson learnt: Do research, buy guidebooks, get recommendations and read trip adviser reviews, nowadays bad food would ruin a holiday for me.

4. Activities

When I visit a country I’m always very keen to see sites on of significance. This might be incredible natural occurrences such as Ayers Rock, historically important places like Robben Island or sites of religious significance such as the Blue Mosque. When I was younger there was no attempt to see Greece or Spain, we’d get up late and sit by the pool until it was time to go out. No attempt was made to see the fortresses and palaces in Corfu, the archaeological sites in Kos or explore the beaches of Ibiza. Clubbing was absolutely number one on the agenda.

For me this is probably the saddest thing about these type of holidays. You’re not really travelling anywhere, as you’re doing stuff you could do at home surrounded by Brits, the only difference is the weather’s better. One of the worst is when I’ve seen people just sitting in pubs and bars watching British TV…seriously, what’s the point of leaving home.

But of course, at the time it was how I wanted to spend my holiday, and after months of exam revision, sitting by the pool and doing nothing was brilliant! But never would I ever ignore the local points of interest.

Lessons learnt: Check out the website of the local tourist board and find out what there is to do and see. I know ‘real’ travellers frown upon it but personally I like seeing sights of interest to tourists. It’s interesting for a reason!

5. The Flights

I’m now a loyal Executive club member and I try and fly with BA whenever possible, including on a occasion flying first class. However, as a teenager the holidays I often went on were organised by tour operators and the flights were charter flights. Fortunately, I’m not scared of flying so I wasn’t too bothered about having to travel with airlines I’d never heard of such as Peach air…

However, there was a certain budget airline that we flew with most frequently. Now I don’t have a problem with the airline in itself, but it was the flight time that was the issue. Of course, the flight there was usually around 6am, from London but that was ok cos it would give us a full day when we got there. The problem was going back, the flight was usually around 1am, so we had to check out of the hotel and usually sit in the foyer for hours on end with our stuff until it was time to head to the airport. We’d arrive back in London at around 6am feeling dreadful and our parents would pick us up from the airport asking lots of questions while we nodded our heads blankly… eyes dry and heads in great pain.

It was this part of my teenage holidays that I truly hated and never would I ever do it again.

Lesson learnt: Book your flight yourself, and get the time you want!

Above anything else, I learned to never be a traveller that’s actually just standing still; embrace the culture, live and breath the place and don’t just sit in a bar watching Eastenders…

This post is part of the travel link up with Emma, Kelly, Rebecca and their guest host Shikha and the topic is ‘Things You’d Never Do Again.’ As bloggers, we try to present the best photos and create perfectly curated travel memories but naughty drunken antics of the past still haunt my memories (in a good way) and it’s been really fun to look back on these holidays.


I’d love to hear the things you’d never do again, no real rules just keep it relevant, share the bloggy love and add your post to the link up widget on of the host blogs.

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  • Angie this post has made me giggle so much! You looked so different when you were younger as well! Definitely agree with everything you've said – though I've managed to avoid to package holidays with the girls, I've always fancied a city break more, and as a Scot who burns (badly) all day beaches aren't always the best for me!!

    I bet you had a good laugh digging up the photos for this post!

    Looking forward to writing mine!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

    • I actually burn really badly too, I generally avoided the direct sun. It was fun digging up the photos but a lot are too dodgy to post!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Ha, this all sounds very familiar!

    • I'm so glad those days are over

  • Hahahaha I love this so much! Particularly loving all the awesome early 00s outfits 🙂 What what I do differently? I would probably research a little better in terms of what the weather's going to be like when we're out there – I loved Hong Kong but it would have been even nicer if I could have actually see things through the horrendous fog! x

    • It's denim skirts all round isn't it? It was really foggy when I went to Hong Kong and it was cold so I had to go and buy more tights!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Haha loved this! At 24 I've never had one of those holidays so I feel very happy to hear I haven't missed out on anything! My 19yo brother went on one last year to Cyprus just for the experience (he told me he was going to 'Napa' with his friends, so I said 'Ooh jealous, I've always wanted to go to Napa Valley!' he said 'no, Napa in Cyprus'), and he came back saying never again – he's happy to stick to our usual 5* hotels from now on!

    C x Lux Life

    • Ahhh…I love the Lux family! On another note, definitely go to Napa one day, I loved it!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Loving your throwback photos, I had a little giggle 🙂

    I was pretty shy and overly sensible as a teen so never went on any crazy girls holidays, drinking all night and lying in the sun all day never appealed to me. I've always much preferred eating nice food and exploring – I am forever middleaged! X

    • That's not middle-aged, it's nice!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • This is AWESOME (and brought back some hilarious memories of my own 'escapades' when I was younger…oh the shame!). On the plus side, for those of us that have experienced some really terrible all-inclusive package holidays with budget arilines and horrendous hotels, we will appreciate luxury for ever-more! Hurrah!!!

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

    • At least I never actually did 18 -30s… thank god those days are over and we can sip champagne in infinity pools and lazy rivers!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Haha those are classic photos! I agree, for most of us we probably wouldn't repeat the holidays we took out of uni… but oh the memories 🙂

    • So much fun! Part of me does want to do it all again…

  • Love the insight into your past Angie! Isn't it funny how we all change so much without even realising sometimes x

    • I know! I think we've got better with ages, fine wine and all that 😉
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Hahaha I think that you have to have this kind of trip at least once while you're young though! x

  • You look so different with darker hair Angie!

    I was laughing at the bit about Ibiza. I had a very ill-fated holiday there once….never again. I'm surprised I even remember it. Ugh.

    V

    • I know, but from the slightly later photos you can see I started getting highlights from a young age but I've just got less and less subtle. Please write about the Ibiza trip!!!!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • You forgot to mention the holiday at Center Park …

    • Yes…I'd definitely never do that again…

  • What doesn't kill us makes us stronger… I'm so glad we never took many photos on our drunken teenage rampages!
    (ps you in pigtails are adorable!)

    • I actually didn't have that many, a stark comparison to the 4000 I now take on holiday!
      Thanks lovely!

  • OMG you liked to party! I was always too lazy to party properly. I think I was born an 84 year old…

    • The thought of a night club now fills me with dread, I'd rather have a cup of tea and a warm cardigan…

  • Oh those were the days of our youth… cringey but true and I completely agree- absolutely not how I want to travel now!

    • Thank God that's all over with!

  • This made me chuckle – I have never been to the 'Brits Abroad' places you so 'enjoyed'… and thank goodness (still go out of my way to avoid them) – glad you lived to tell the tail and have found luxury!!

    • I should have stuck with parental holidays!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Kam Goraya

    Angie this post is so funny! My dad was always so strict on me and my sister growing up so I never went on a girlie holiday and always felt like I missed out…but from the sound and look of things I should be thanking him!! My first girlie holiday was to Miami at 23 so I was able to do it in style 😉 p.s. Ceefax!!!!

    • I loved it at the time!! Oooh now cool that your first holiday was to Miami…very stylish.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • It's so nice to visit local points of interest, isn't it? I once got persuaded by some friends to go Interrailing (taking trains around Europe) and whilst it was good fun, lugging a suitcase around every day to a new place was exhausting. My friends had sensibly taken a rucksack! Great to see the photos of you over the years, I think straight hair looks great on you as well as wavy

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • Thank you lovely, that's really sweet of you!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Angie, this post brought back so many memories as I could relate to so much of it! I went on a post A level girly holiday to Majorca and ended up staying in a bit of a shoebox room with no air con – in July / August – it was absolutely boiling! And would you believe it was Club Med too?! Nothing like club 18-30 but still not something I'd head back to in a hurry nowadays! And definitely never again with the no air con! ☺

    • Oh no! Not Magaluf?
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Brilliant post what memories sounds like you have had wonderful fun despite the antics. The throw back pics are great too Lucy x

    • Thanks lovely 🙂

  • What a great post haha 😀

    Jake
    http://www.travelfoodfilm.com

  • Brits Abroad are the absolute worst. the two places to avoid for that are Albufeira on the Algarve and Zante. Horrible! But both really gorgeous destinations.

    • I've never been to either of those but I won't be adding them to my bucket list 😉

  • I've done similar holidays to Ibiza and, shudder, Magaluf *shameful face* and although I had loads of fun at the time it's just hideous to think about now. I much prefer the grown up, sophisticated me who travels to see things, experience new cultures and try new foods. Brilliant post Angie, you have summed up our younger holidays perfectly!

  • Oh this was amusing to read I think I've done many of these (and some I still haven't stopped doing not always through fault of my own!). I can remember going to stay in Kos and my SIL was in Faliraki and my friend and I took a boat over for the night – awful experience!!

    I am off to Ibiza this year but this time I'm staying in Playa d'en Bossa and staying in Ushuia so it'll be a very different experience!

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

  • I never go anywhere without spending a ridiculous amount of time on trip adviser first – it's essential. Great blog, thanks for sharing and happy travels x

  • Ha! It’s true, sometimes travel is wasted on the youth. I spent far too much time in dive bars during my 4 month study abroad in Australia and not enough learning about the country. I guess it’s part of the experience of being young and at least good memories were had 🙂

  • I never really did the really cheap holidays, but I am now trying to get my finances in order and save up for a flat, so next year’s travel won’t be as ‘luxurious’ as usually. I am still quite young, so it’s okay 😀 . It seems like you still had a great time then and I love the darker hair.

    Happy New Year! xx

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