There are three things us British people do extremely well; feeling soul-destroyingly self conscious at the mere thought of someone singing happy birthday to you in a restaurant, making it clear that you want the last roast potato at Christmas by trying to force everyone else to take it, and going on holiday.
The ‘going on holiday’ one is something we do really well though. So, inspired by this fab ‘Are You a Typical Brit Abroad?’ quiz*, (which, by the way , I got ‘Royal’ in – time to step up to the table, Harry) here is my four step guide to enjoying your summer holiday in true British style…
Step 1 – At the airport
Irrespective of what time your flight’s at, if you haven’t ordered an all-day breakfast and a large glass of hard alcohol on arrival, then you’re not doing the airport right. It’s also crucial that you get there early enough to take full advantage of the duty free – 200 cigarettes for £40? You might not smoke, but at that price you’d start… or at least shiftily sell them out of the boot of your car to guests at family weddings and christenings.
If worst comes to worst and you find yourself delayed at customs, (invariably due to the Nazi youth that make up the Ryan Air staff making you ditch half your possessions to comply with ‘checked baggage allowance’) then the good news is that you can still hit the duty free whilst on the plane – because, as we all know, the only place to buy perfume is 23,000 feet in the air in a metal tube.
Step 2 – At the hotel
I think it was Genesis 2:2-3 that said; ‘On the fifth day God created hotel pool bars and, behold, it was very good.’ I’m pretty sure that’s the case anyway, I didn’t get much further down the religion route than my holy communion. The point I’m trying to make is that the hotel pool bar is there to make your life better – and if it wasn’t OK to start the day with a Bloody Mary, then why would it open so early?
Step 3 – At the beach
As a Nation, we Brits tend to have strong feelings about covering ourselves up, (generally due to the weather) - so, whilst at home opening the door in your underwear would be unthinkable, on foreign shores a bikini and see-through sarong absolutely constitutes ‘sightseeing gear’. Your on your jollies, let it allllll hang out.
Step 4 – Sightseeing
Speaking of sightseeing, you’re going to want to soak up as much foreign culture as physically possible while you’re away. And that doesn’t just include visiting the major landmarks; when your in another country you really want to live like a local – so if you’re in France you want to embrace the wine culture and enjoy one with every meal. Including breakfast. The same goes for excessive carbohydrates in Italy and chocolate in Switzerland.
One thing you absolutely mustn’t be seen doing, however, is something as vile as pretending to ‘prop up the tower’ in Pisa or kissing the Sphinx. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Happy Great British holidaying x
*they’ve got all kinds of quizzes on the site – how long you’d survive on a desert island and the likes. Evidentally I wouldn’t survive very long, but I could have told you that. Anyway, if you want to have a nose through here’s the link.