How to survive a group holiday (part one)

Part one of The Trashy’s Guide to Group Holidays: how not to kill each other

So you’ve booked a holiday with a large group of friends. The Trashy suspects it seemed like a fabulous idea at the time. But The Trashy also suspects it was booked around 2am when you were all butt-faced on wine.

If the booking is non-refundable you’re going to need some help navigating the minefield that is other people.

Fortunately, The Trashy has compiled a two-part guide to the range of personalities that will reveal themselves to you after five days of sunshine, boozing and living in unnaturally close proximity with people you usually only see once a month:

The Control Freak: Recognisable by their broiling frustration and encyclopaedic knowledge of the resort, the Control Freak will not settle unless all logistics are planned in advance and nobody strays from the itinerary. Frequently outraged by those who do not share their passion for order, the Control Freak carries the constant threat of exploding, which is the only thing that makes the rest of the group comply with the CF’s exacting demands. If you have a Control Freak in your group there will be no mistakes or surprises on your holiday, but there won’t be much chilling out either.

SURVIVAL TIP: Give the Control Freak advance notice that you won’t be joining them at the stamp museum, do not spring it on them last minute unless you want to wake the kraken.

The Martyr: Sighing and huffing at their lot in life, the Martyr can be found scrubbing the toilets on day two, doing all the cooking and shopping and will always be the first to offer to buy a round. At first this will appear to be kindness but the fascist nature with which the Martyr insists they should be the one to re-tile the villa’s roof soon becomes suspicious. A bit like someone building up to an orgasm, all the hard work is essentially foreplay to a self-righteous tantrum. After around three days the Martyr will either throw an enormous strop because they have mucked in 1000 times more than everyone else, or will quietly slag off the The Sloths in the group until a rift emerges and everyone is on edge.

SURVIVAL TIP: Make a grand display of doing one big task early in the holiday and then join the eye-rolling sigh-fest.

The Sloth: The Sloth’s special skill is lying prone, moving only to raise their arm when someone asks if anyone wants a drink. The Sloth claims it is happy to help but in truth can’t see the point when the Control Freak and the Martyr seem to have everything covered. The Sloth can be made to muck in but will need specific instructions on what to do and will then execute the task badly and slowly. First at the food and last to clear up, the Sloth’s life is an unhurried one whose very existence boils the blood of the Martyr and the Control Freak. But the Sloth either does not notice or does not care.

SURVIVAL TIP: Do not partner the Sloth in any activity unless you’re happy to do it all yourself.

The Turbo Drinker: Shit-faced by breakfast, the Turbo Drinker is tons of fun until 2pm when they will be peeing in an alleyway in broad daylight, in front of a school, at break time. Later there will be tears and intimate revelations about the Turbo Drinker’s personal life that makes everyone uncomfortable. The TD wakes late and usually hits a wall at high speed at 9pm when everyone else is just getting in the mood for fun. Two of the group will need to haul the Turbo Drinker off the bar, disentangle them from a fight, drag/carry them home and  spend the rest of the night making sure they don’t choke on their own vomit.

SURVIVAL TIP: Hang with the Turbo Drinker until around 1pm then discreetly move away.

The Covert Pervert: Recognisable by shifty sliding eyes, the Covert Pervert can’t believe they get to ogle all their pals in swimwear for two solid weeks. Outwardly they behave like puritans but inwardly they are a throbbing mass of perversions and will spend hours masturbating quietly in corners. The Covert Pervert is the kind that hugs their partner close so they can eyeball the other members of the group without being caught.

SURVIVAL TIP: Knock before you enter their room.

The Overt Pervert: The Overt Pervert is a whirlwind of hands and innuendo. They openly lech at other members of the group and any passing person with a pulse. Constantly touching others arms, backs, shoulders and thighs when emphasising a point, the Overt Pervert is careful to tread the line of what is acceptable so they can plausibly deny any accusations of groping. If there are two in a group it’s highly likely they will get it on.

SURVIVAL TIP: Keep them at arm’s length unless you fancy a fondle.

The Crushing Bore: This deluded fool will regale the group for hours, without pausing for breath, on any topic that interests them. The Crushing Bore has no self awareness and so little emotional intelligence that they do not even attempt to read others to see if they are interested in their stream of consciousness. They regularly interrupt others’ conversations with something utterly out of context and will hold forth on the railway bridges of Northern Ireland until others work out ways to excuse themselves.

SURVIVAL TIP: Offer to get them a drink and stay away until the Crushing Bore has moved on to another victim, then breeze past dropping the drink off on your way to someone more fun.  

The Puppy: The Puppy is so enthusiastic, optimistic and eager to please that even The Sloth wants to get up out of their sun bed to slap them down. Their sunny, can-do and attitude exhausts everyone and makes them feel bad for not wanting to try out every water sport and visit every church within a 45 mile radius. The Puppy will collect every tourist leaflet in print and will lobby the Control Freak to add a thousand activities to the already tightly controlled agenda. Paradoxically, the Puppy’s joie de vivre sucks the joie out of everyone else’s vivres.

SURVIVAL TIP: Tell them that the Sloth has shown an interest in climbing to the top of the bell tower and set the Puppy off in their direction. 

The Frightened Bystander: This is the rest of us watching the others in open-mouthed fascination, waiting to see how the car crash will end.

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Now meet the Garbo, the Foodie and the Clubber in part two of The Trashy’s guide to surviving group holidays.

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