The Sunday Times magazine column: Holiday!

It is a universally acknowledged truth that everyone would live like a millionaire rock star if they could. Where holidays are concerned, my friends take this dictum to heart. In their real lives, they may be borderline bankrupt, lugging student loans, worrying if they’ll make the rent, or even be working next week. But when we go away, we act like the Rich Kids of Instagram.

We want to stay in designer lofts with circular beds and seafront penthouses with surroundsound systems. We want to get picked up at airports by pink limos and driven to villas with an infinity pool, crowded with blow-up dolphins. We want not just minibars, but bespoke breakfast baskets and chi-chi cocktails, delivered to our sun loungers by Chippendale-esque staff. We want log fires in ski season, and pools on the roof for city summers. We want swim-up rooms, swim-up bars, swim-up nightclubs. Our dream holiday is a 1980s music video starring George Michael on Duran Duran’s yacht.

My friend W and I are the worst (or best) at this. Last year we took a holiday in Berlin’s nhow hotel, where your room comes complete with electric guitars, which we played while dancing on a bed, necking champagne until we felt sick. The year before, W insisted we stayed in a hotel because it was on a volcano with its own nightclub. This year he has demanded a villa in Gran Canaria with a hot tub, even though he’s 5K in debt.

We are like this partly because we’re a generation of mature travellers with childish tastes. Unlike our grandparents, who watched the first hotel chain, Holiday Inn, open in 1952, we are children of cheap travel: confident, globe-hopping. We may have grown up in families content with a week in the Costa del Sol, but we expect at least a fortnight in Thailand and a few city breaks a year.

Meanwhile, as our lives are saturated with cheap flights, bucket lists of dream destinations and Instagrammed beaches, it’s no wonder we expect to take holidays straight off glossy travel-magazine pages. We want to travel to jetset locations: Christmas in Cambodia, the new year in Goa, weekends clubbing in Berlin. I might settle for a week caravanning in Somerset but only if we’re glamping at Glastonbury in an Airstream.

Read the full column here:

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