How to Survive a Lads’ Holiday

Signed up for a holiday with the lads but now not sure it's your cup of tea? Apprehension is part of the package deal. Here’s how to survive a lads’ holiday.

A young person is standing in the street wearing glasses and a white jacket. He is sharing his story about being teetotal.

Now first things first – we know lads’ holidays come in all shapes and sizes. Not every lads’ holiday looks like a scene from The Inbetweeners. But for the sake of this article, that’s exactly what we’re referring to. You know the type – the ones where matching vests are compulsory and getting laid is the name of the game. For some lads, these holidays are their reason for being. But for others a week of non-stop banter and boozing is a little worrisome. From budgeting tips to navigating sandy sex and dealing with herd mentality, this survival guide has you covered.

Budget like a pro

You might have found yourself a stellar package deal but with all the extras, holidays can still add up. Here’s how to budget:

  • Try out a kitty where everyone puts in the same amount of money to spend on joint things like food and drink. This should help to keep things fair, it avoids having to chase people for money and it means stingy types can’t hide from drink rounds.
  • Get yourself to a supermarket to stock up on essentials like breakfast food, sandwich making stuff and pre-drinks.
  • Apps like Splitwise are great for keeping track of who owes who what.
  • Keep an eye out for deals. Buying a package holiday including flights, accommodation and airport transfers should work out a lot cheaper than booking things individually.
  • Make sure you can use your phone abroad for no extra cost. If you can’t, buying a local SIM card will work out a lot cheaper.
  • Don’t trash the hotel. Picking up the bill for a smashed window or not getting your deposit back is really going to bum you out.

Don’t be a sheep

It’s easy to get caught up in herd mentality on a lads’ holiday. Just remember, even if your mates use the old ‘man up’ line, there’s no need to get a tattoo on your forehead or run through the resort naked if you don’t want to. Learn to say no if something makes you uncomfortable – this might feel awkward at first but it gets easier with practice – the trick is to say it with equal measures of confidence and humour. Remember:

  • Follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right for you.
  • If a mate continuously makes you feel bad for not wanting to do something, think about whether that mate is worth keeping once you’re back home. Holidays are a great friendship test.
  • If you’re in a large group, stick with the people you feel most comfortable with and try sharing a room with them. Avoid the people who make you feel pressured.
  • Stand up for others being pressured. In return, they should stand up for you.  
  • Sticking to your morals and standing up for yourself is a greater sign of strength than giving into pressure.

Learn more about how to be assertive in this article.

Booze, booze, booze, lads, lads, lads

Beer for breakfast and drinking games by lunchtime sound familiar? Hangovers on lads’ holidays are to be expected but most will agree, the less time spent spewing outside a club you’ve just been refused entry to, the better. Here are a few tips for bypassing a spew-fest.  

  • If your mates buy a round of shots but your head’s already spinning, grab an empty beer bottle and spit the shot back inside. It’ll look like you’ve just taken a swig of beer but in fact this is a masterful act of self preservation.
  • Don’t forget the food. Big breakfast, lunch and dinner will do a fine job of soaking up the booze.
  • Within some groups, pressured binge drinking can be a means to display masculinity. Again, avoid the sheep mentality and read up about toxic masculinity and binge drinking.
  • For every alcoholic drink you have, have a glass of water. Not only a fine tactic for avoiding spew-fest but also a good energy boost.
  • If gender stereotypes are starting to weigh you down, Being Mankind is a project creating conversations about the unique issues that men and boys face in the 21st Century.
  • You might face some pressure to splash the cash while on holiday. Use the Money Helper’s budget planner to take charge of your finances.

Sun, sea and casual SEX

Whether that bumper pack of condoms you packed ends up getting any action or not, you’ll want to prep yourself for casual sex abroad.

  • Holiday sex can get pretty darn adventurous. Read up about drunk sex, sex on the beach, public sex and sex in club toilets.
  • Remember that predatory vibes aren’t sexy. Make sure you know what sexual consent means and make sure your partner’s as into it as you are.
  • On some lads’ holidays there’ll be pressure to sleep around. Manage expectations and try not to worry if you don’t pull. Enjoy the holiday and take an ‘if it happens, it happens’ attitude.
  • Sorry to get all schooly on you but STIs really aren’t fun. Remember to carry a condom in your wallet in case of impromptu sexy times.

Cheap lads’ holiday destinations

If you need some ideas for where to for cheap lads’ holidays, why not give these a Google:

    • Ayia Napa — Known as much for its sunny beaches as its bars and clubs, Ayia Napa is a great location for a party holiday where you can recover by the sea after a night out. 
    • Greek Islands — Whether it’s Crete, Mykonos or Santorini, you can’t really go wrong with Greece’s islands when it comes to great clubbing destinations. Or, if it’s world class foam parties you’re after, try the Zeros Club in Zante.
    • Magaluf — Renowned for its 24 hour nightlife, Magaluf has plenty of experience with lads on holiday and the Punta Ballena is lined with about 100 thumping bars and clubs.

Next Steps

  • Being Mankind is a project creating conversations about the unique issues that men and boys face in the 21st Century.
  • Use the Money Helper's budget planner to take charge of your finances.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.

By Holly Turner

Updated on 15-Mar-2023