Here's how to make it to your Balearic party destination in one piece.
This article was originally published on THUMP UK.
There you are, tucked tightly into seat 17B. To your left, gawping out of the window, is a middle aged bloke in a Donnay polo shirt and slightly too tight cream short shorts, his portly paunch popping out over the belt strap. To your right is a bloke with a League One striker's haircut and a bottle of Ciroc. He's talking very loudly, shouting pretty much, howling down the aisles in fact, about house music. "I fucking love it," he says over and over again. "I love house music. I fucking love it. House music. I. Love. It." Welcome to hell.
Welcome to your flight to Ibiza.
While we're still hanging onto EU membership—and currently it's like watching an eight year old boy flick a very, very loose tooth with the tip of his tongue before reeling it back into place again—there'll be those of us who want nothing more from the summer than spending a few days ambling from super-club to super-club, or bulk-buying "I'M IN IBIZA BITCH" vests on the San Antonio strip. After all, few combinations in this life are as winning as sun, sea, and sub-bass. But you've got to get there first.
No one, you'd hope, would be churlish as to let the banter boys sully the fine reputations of Europe's various budget airlines, but anyone who's ever trudged onto an 8pm flight from Stansted before a weekend where the most nutritious thing you're likely to ingest is a €20 bottle of lukewarm water in a club, will know that these are less bog standard flight, and more nightmare turned waking reality. With added travel pillows. And minirig speakers.
You've seen them, these marauding hordes, these twelve headed beasts clad in tank tops and flip flops. You've seen them keying ket in the seat in front. You've heard them bang on about squirters and jaegerbombs. You've witnessed them take the planet's atmosphere hostage. They're a braying bunch, intent on letting everyone on board know just how fucking fucked they're going to fucking get and how fucking fucked they already fucking are.
With all that in mind, here are five easy to follow tips that'll hopefully soothe your mind and mean you arrive at your destination ready to dance the week away rather than ending up in a Spanish court, charged with manslaughter.
1. Be as English as Possible
Just sit there. Don't say a word. Tut internally. Maybe, at a push, as a last and very much final resort, turn your head slightly to the source of commotion before going back to being unable to read the easyJet magazine and sucking very, very, very hard on a boiled sweet. This is what we do best.
2. Drown Them Out
You can do this in one of two ways. Either you just put headphones on and settle back with a podcast or you could try emitting a very high pitched squeak for as long as you're physically able to. The noise may be slightly disconcerting for your fellow respectful passengers, but it'll alarm the loudmouths and they'll stumble into a panicked, uneasy silence. You've won.
3. Embrace the Banter
Sometimes in life—every time you get your haircut for example—you've got to suck things up and become somebody you hate. It's difficult and dispiriting but occasionally it's the only easy way out of an untenable, intolerable situation. If the squad taking up the entire back half of the plane are doing the Will Griggs chant then join the fuck in. They're calling someone with glasses speccy? You better one up them with a swift "four-eyed tosser." Become the banter merchant you've pretended to hate since school but are secretly strangely admiring of. As soon as we make a bumpy landing—replete with whoops and cheers and chants from the lads with diamond earrings and grey jogging bottom shorts—we'll pretend it never happened.
4. Grass them Up
Despite what Phil and the rest of the Mitchell clan would have you believe, being a grass actually isn't the very worst thing that a human being could be—there are people amongst us who wear red jeans, for example. If you're seething with rage about Lee from Leigh having spent the majority of the flight dipping in and out of the toilet and then bounding down the aisle stumbling into every new mate he's made along the way, dob him in. Ring that buzzer. Summon the steward. Speak sotto voce. Watch the police roll up to the landing strip on arrival and feel yourself grow ten times your normal size, powered by righteous indignity. If that's not how all good trips start, then I'll be damned.
5. Just Deal With It
In the very grand scheme of things, there are far worse things you'll have to suffer in this life than a bunch of boisterous boys hellbent on disguising their patently obvious self-worth issues in a Cool Water stinking cloud of booze and boorish behaviour. It'll be over soon. In just a couple of hours you'll be stepping out of the airport doors into the warm embrace of the balearic isles. And you'll never see those troublesome lads ever again. Well, not until you get to the club at least.