Traveller looks over the city of Split below

There’s no denying it, a week in the sun with your closest mates is a tempting prospect, but are you doing those months of toiling hard for a minimal payout justice? Retrospect is a wonderful thing, but the following are 3 reasons why I urge you to reconsider your first “away-from-the-parents” holiday destination:

You’ll see more than just a bar-lined street:

Most club 18-30 destinations consist of a resort surrounding the main strip. The allure of bar after bar pumping out summer anthems while offering fishbowls that would be more appropriate as aquariums attract flocks of young party-goers. As you walk by you’ll be descended on, and before you know it stood at the bar as you’re poured two bottles of spirit into an unidentifiable glass of red liquid. After nursing a heat-intensified hangover the following day, you’ll venture down tothe pool and reflect on the night before. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of “eat, sleep, rave, repeat” isn’t it?

Two young British lads partying hard while covered in foam..

Two drunk British lads party hard at a wild foam party.


Alternatively, city breaks offer a myriad of streets, lanes, alleys and open spaces, each offering something unique. In a large, vibrant city like Berlin, there’s something different on every corner, including bars and clubs that offer a chilled-out atmosphere or gigantic sound systems playing anything from the latest techno to old school punk. Hangovers are brushed aside for taking to the streets to explore abandoned buildings, vast green spaces and quirky cafes.

By night: Bright lights of Berlin's clubbing scene.

Berlin’s cool Bohemian clubbing scene.



There’s a small fortune to be saved:

After paying for the convenience of an entire package holiday, you’ll need to save up for your budget. Depending on the destination you’re likely to need around €100 per day. You may get the usual £20 to spend in the airport from your grandparents, but after the obligatory airport breakfast and pint that’ll soon disintegrate.

Flights from many UK Airports to European cities can be as little as £30 both ways. That’s right, there and back! Download the Airbnb app or book a hostel online and your accommodation could be as little as £7 per night. Consider this alongside dirt-cheap drinks prices in cities like, where a pint averages £1 in a casual bar, and it makes complete financial sense. You’ll see an unforgettable place for a fraction of the funds.

You’ll get the “freedom” you’re looking for:

Ready to take the plunge, your only desire is a weekend away from your irritating parents with friends. If you’ve ever seen Kevin and Perry, you can relate to Kevin’s plight with his authoritarian father and overbearing mother. It’s your first chance to be independent, take charge of your finances and spend them wisely (or not so wisely). Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll undoubtedly be welcomed by a rep preaching about cheap drinks, messy nights and exclusive events (among other wrongdoings). Now, this sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Before you know it, you’re bombarded with events for every night of the week, and your friends have unanimously agreed to the boat, paint and frat parties just to name a few. Who suddenly took charge, and why am I handing over €200 for a bunch of t-shirts and wristbands? You’ve signed an invisible contract and left your fate in the reps well-bronzed grasp!

Although you’re in no way obliged to participate in these events you naturally want to follow the crowd. Other destinations can offer the party atmosphere without an itinerary you must adhere to. It’s possible to avoid the whole package system by booking flights on Skyscanner and finding accommodation online, or if you’re really brave even by just turning up at a hostel! Either way, you’ll learn much more about yourself and other countries by organizing more of your own trip. They say spontaneous nights are the best, and you’ll only ever find this out by letting them happen. Looking up different destinations allows you to take control of the trip of a lifetime, giving you the experience of finding things out because you have to.

By no means would I discredit a party holiday as a bad experience, as it’s still a break from reality; something we all need from time to time. It does, however, raise the question: what do I want from my first holiday with friends? If a week of nonstop drinking combined with relaxing around the pool and beach appeals, then go for it! It remains a great experience you’ll talk about for years later. Just be aware of the alternatives. There’s a lot more out there than the big fellas’ everyone talks about, like Magaluf, Ibiza, Zante and Kavos. If it’s a city break you’re after, bear in mind that you can see even the largest European cities in about 4 days. To go for a week, consider breaking it up and travelling somewhere else. How do 3 days in Croatia’s coastal, historic city of Split followed by Ultra Europe festival sound?