Holidays: Foreign Office Tells Older Holidaymakers to Grow Up

By: Mark Lauterwein

The compelling spectacle of young, sunburnt Brits trawling and trashing bars in Ibiza, egged on by boorish tour reps, has been well documented in the media. In the cold light of day, it is a bit embarrassing, although the subjects of these studies, one feels, are unlikely to see it that way. A recent communication from the Foreign Office indicates that this general shamelessness can be attributed to their parent's tendency to conduct themselves in a like manner.

Drink fuelled aggression is nothing new, but when this stems from the excesses of people in their fifties it really does lend credence to the adage, "a leopard doesn't change its spots". Another problem outlined by the FO relates to the recent vogue for adventure sports. Obviously when the patently unfit try something like bungee jumping there is health risk associated with this. But set against the background of holiday revels, people often blithely disregard this risk. Government surveys indicate that a fifth of British holidaymakers in the over 55 range try out these activities for the first time on holiday when they would normally not be tempted to at home.

It's not just alcohol that causes problems. Overeating, combined with too much of the southern sun, is a combination that often results in sickness or, worse still, death. There are a number of incidences of tourists drowning after going swimming too soon after leaving the buffet.

The kernel of FO advice for older people contemplating holidays in the sun is to consider the consequences of excess, have a good time and take out insurance should the worst come to the worst. Many taking cheap holidays neglect to do this: a decision that can easily prove a false economy.

20.3.2008

Holidays
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