Before you step on the plane, they’re your friends. Sure, they each have their own personality, but put them in a foreign country on a group holiday, they transform into the perfect(ly annoying) travel companion. Hazel MacMahon takes us through each type.
The Game Maker.
They’ve pretty much organised the entire trip. From flights to hostels, they’ve co-ordinated it all. They’re your saviour, a walking tour guide in every city you visit. Usually the one who tries and fails to get everyone up and alive at a reasonable hour, (usually 3pm by the time the night’s before been scrubbed off). They do manage to get a few sites in, but not without being somewhat despised by those who don’t have any affinities towards the culture of a new city.
This role is given to anyone who sorts out shit, brings you food and generally looks out for everyone as you travel, all the while rocking a very practical fanny pack. While these traits can usually be found in a few people on the trip, the Mum stands out by having several snacks in their bag, as well as plasters, sun-cream and everything else you forgot to bring. Where would we be without our Mammies?
They bring the banter; whether it’s running jokes or turning a dodgy situation into a funny memory, and are an essential asset to your trip. Travelling, while possibly the best thing in the world, can also be incredibly stressful. Things get lost, money disappears and food is abysmal, but as long as you’ve someone to take the piss out of the ridiculous situations, you’ll survive and have loads of stories to tell when you get home. Just make sure it’s all legal, yo.
No matter what country you’re in, and how little the prospects are of pulling, there’s always one who’s able to get someone to fall at their feet, no matter the language. You kind of wonder how they always manage to pull, when you can’t pet a stray cat without it hissing at you. Eventually it gets to the point that you don’t even bother asking them about their conquers anymore, mostly because you know all the details anyway. There’s no secrets on a group holiday…
Any high-adrenaline activity you can think of; they want to do it. Whether it’s walking back to your hostel through the area you were warned to avoid, sky-diving from a cliff, or tobogganing with some seriously questionable safety measures, they want to do it all. It’s difficult persuading them not to, and the only thing you can do to make it more interesting is bet whether or not they’ll actually do it. Always try travel with more than one, because then that way you won’t be roped in to doing something that may or may not result in your death.
Without fail, every time you go away, they come home with at least 15 crappy souvenirs. Everyone jumps on board and promises themselves they’ll do the same, though few will actually carry these missions out to the end, and mainly come home with unexplained bruises instead.
This person does not understand the phrase “a quiet few”. There may even be more than one in the group. Every night out is a “big one”. They consume masses of cheap vodka and pretty much end up falling asleep in the club, or on the toilet. It comes to the stage where you’ve got to do what’s best for the group and water down their vodka, minimising their drunkenness, and helping with the hungover moans of “I hate myself” the next morning.
They constantly have their phone out taking scenery pictures, or memorialising your awkward dancing. You have a love/hate relationship with them, as your kind of want to smack them and tell them to put their camera down for two seconds, but when your parents text asking for proof of where you are, they do come in handy.
Not a single day or night passes without them asking you to take a few “candids” of them looking out onto yonder, or pretending they aren’t fake laughing at you brushing your teeth while you take their picture on the toilet. But when you try take an actual candid photo of them, they always hate it and force you to take at least 7 more that don’t include their turkey neck. Eventually you have to stop indulging them because every single one turns into a photoshoot, and you’ve no more memory on your phone for the same pose fifty times.
You can’t go anywhere without them finding a friend. They always seem to have the chats with other travelers. While sometimes all you want to do is be antisocial, listen to your music and think about your Mammy’s fry, but instead you’re forced to listen to these people and their stories. Stranger danger? Not with this guy.
You can’t do anything without them asking if it’s okay to blare this song that you have to listen to. They play remixes of songs that just don’t need to be remixed, and drag you to random DJs they “love” (even though they know about 4 of their songs, which all sound the same). It results in a lot of “songs of the trip”, which you still can’t distinguish from one another.
The Big Spender.
They spend copious amounts of money unnecessarily, like buying shots for 10 people at the bar. They have to buy a crappy present for someone in every city, which have to be doled out between the group’s luggage. Eating out every day and buying some touristy shit surely couldn’t add up to that much, could it? But there comes a point when they realise they have about €100 left to last for two weeks, and have yet to pay for accommodation and food. The result usually ends up in leeching off their fellow travellers. Sucker.