‘Why I lasted only 36 hours on my Club 18-30 holiday’

As soon as we were eligible, my friends and I went on a Club 18-30 holiday. It was something we’d long ­anticipated – a rite of passage into adulthood, the moment that signalled we were ­independent, in charge of our lives, wild and unleashed at last. Spoiler: I lasted 36 hours.

I’d committed a trilogy of classic teenage girl errors:

– booking thousands of years in advance (so I could pay it all off in the titchiest monthly ­instalments possible)

– with two girls who were my best friends

– who I then started seeing less and less of over the following months because that’s what teenage girls are like, which is fine… until you get to the airport.

So the holiday was pretty much doomed from well before the off – but then we landed in Magaluf.

We stepped off the transfer coach at dawn into a scene of carnage and devastation. People in various states of undress, covered in a plethora of fluids (the least revolting of which was puke) were staggering around like zombies, cowering from emerging sunlight.

It was like a warzone, but the casualties were self-respect, dignity and innocence. My friends and I looked from the view to each other, and I quickly had to ­rearrange my expression.

“Isn’t this GREAT?!” they gasped, eyes wide with glee.

I’m not proud of how I dealt with it – but in my defence, I was fully frightened, and young and foolish. Honesty is, of course, always the best policy – I should have simply admitted to my friends that I’d made a mistake and this wasn’t for me.

What I actually did was pretend my nan had had a stroke, and – well gutted – I had to go home. Lucky we weren’t close friends any more or they might have ­remembered I didn’t have a nan.

With such a rewarding memory under my belt, you’d imagine I greeted this week’s news that Club 18-30 holidays face the axe with largely disinterested pleasure. Au contraire, as they don’t say in Magaluf, because no one speaks anything other than English (while eating egg and chips) there.

It would be extremely depressing if there was no Club 18-30 any more, if not ­potentially disastrous.

The reason 18-30 is on the chopping block is that nowadays its target audience don’t care about much other than what they put on Instagram. They want what’s been dubbed an Ego Holiday (when surely it should have been Ego Trip?) full of things that will play well on social media

They’re not interested in silly, tacky, non-aesthetic fun. They’d rather have a ­carefully curated image than an experience.

What they’re going to miss out on is a break from worrying about – or even considering – what anyone thinks of what they’re doing… and also a brief period of glorious irresponsibility they’ll remember fondly for ever. Ego Holidays are the antithesis of freedom, and actually quite sad.

For the record, if I could go back in time, I’d force myself to stay in Magaluf – at least for a couple of days… I bet it would have been character building. And also, anti-bacterial hand wipes have been invented since then, so I could fill my suitcase with them.

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