It’s that time of year again. The end of the college year is in sight and planning your summer is a top priority (mainly to avoid exam study). Unforch, it’s always a bit of a pain in the arse to organise. These struggles are evident in pretty much every friend group trying to organise summer. The list goes as follows...
1. Deciding Where to Go
Around January (in an attempt to get over the post-Christmas blues), you talk to your friends about where you’re all going for summer. Everyone’s agreeing their next four summers in college pretty much go along these lines:
1st Year = Interrailing
2nd Year = Canada
3rd Year = America
4th Year = Thailand
And you’re just there like I don’t really care as long as we get out of here. Eventually, after contemplating whether or not to mix up the pattern, you ultimately decide that you’ll just follow whatever your older bro or sis did.
2. Money Stresses
You go through periods where you’re like 'ah sure it’s grand, I’ll obviously be able to fork out 1k to go take the piss around Europe for a month.' However, when February rolls around and you still haven’t gotten a job, this naïve optimism is somewhat minimised. The realisation kicks in and you break down and decide to forgo numerous nights out in order to save for the better ones awaiting you in summer. Priority number 1 is to book a flight before it suddenly goes up 200 quid and you have no choice but to find some airport in the back arse of nowhere in an attempt to get a cheaper flight home.
The numbers of the group fluctuate regularly and it seems like every day someone’s dropping out or joining. It was touch and go there for a while and you question whether or not you’ll even get a viable group to go away with you.
You get everyone going to ask all their friends about “that really cool hostel they stayed in three years ago” and how expensive it was. Everyone pretty much says the same one, probably the one that would be the first result on Hostel World anyway but effort of searching that.
You all meet up regularly to discuss all the plans and set an agenda. But when D-Day comes, you do anything but organise. You spend most of the time gossiping or talking about possibly going skydiving in Lake Bled, because, you know, it’s like such a great experience. You move on to the topic at hand: genuine organisation. You might get a Google Doc out of it or a loose budget plan, if you’re lucky.
6. Attempting To Book
Finding out who is coming and for how long is always a stress. It seems that everyone is weaving in and out. Questions fly around about the best accommodation – hostel or apartment? Since when was Airbnb so expensive? You talk about how funny it’d be to splash out on a random castle in Germany. Although, on second thoughts, better not. WhatsApp’s are exchanged asking if anyone wants to book soon. These pretty much go ignored until it gets to a point where everywhere is pretty much booked out and you’re struggling to find even a dingy hostel in Amsterdam. When finally you decide to book, money is being transferred all over the place and IBAN’s become the focal point of your bank account.
Always a nerve-wrecking situation when applying for visas. You don’t really think any of you would be denied access to Canada or America or wherever. But when someone suddenly messages into the group their application has been rejected, everyone’s a bit taken back. You start to wonder about this person and how well you really know them. It’ll probably turn out to be a “clerical error,” though, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.
Of course, putting effort into organising summer holidays is really a form of productive procrastination from impending doom (i.e. exams). Although ironically, if you spend too much time avoiding exam prep in lieu of holiday planning, you’ll have to come home early to study for repeats anyway. Probably best if you half and half the effort at least.
Video: HOW I PLAN MY VACATIONS/ HOLIDAY
Credit: Patricia Bright