Not in front of the parents
How can we ensure Teenagers learn their limits on post-Leaving Certificate holidays
The loss or theft of passports is probably the most common reason young Irish holidaymakers seek consular assistance, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. However, at the time of writing, a spokesman says it is not aware so far of any requests for consular assistance from post-Leaving students in Mallorca.
Local travel agent
Sheila Naughton, who did her Leaving Cert at Cross and Passion College in Kildare, knew a lot of people were going to Magaluf but she and three friends were guided by their local travel agent, who offered a package to Malia in Crete, which they booked before Christmas.
The eldest of two girls, she says her father was “not as happy as my mother” about it but he reasoned that she would be off on her own to college a few months later anyway. And they were pleased that at least she saved up her pocket money to pay for half of it.
Departing just nine hours after her Leaving music exam, Naughton was “wrecked” but too excited about the trip to feel the tiredness.
She believes the excesses of holidaying teenagers portrayed in the media are a bit exaggerated.
“Our first night, we all got very drunk and we went mad,” she admits, not coming in until 5 or 6 in the morning. “But the next day we were like ‘Okay that is the only night we are doing that’.”
Although they drank every night, they came in earlier and slept later. “It takes a toll on you by the end of the week.”
The only bad experience they had at the hotel was being charged for damage that they didn’t do.
Two of her friends had to pay for a chip in a chair that was there beforehand and she and her roommate were told they had broken the glasses in their room but they never had any glasses.
“They had our passports and they wouldn’t give them back until you paid,” says Naughton who advises people to report any damage they see in the room when they arrive.
Other guests did damage rooms, she acknowledges. “I know there were a lot of young people in the hotel who did awful things, like throwing chairs off balconies. It was mad. But we were good.”
Making a friend of the hotel security guard is also a good tip, she says. “We felt very safe because we knew the security man so well and it was the same one every night.”
The trip was great from the point of view of independence, she explains.
“I am really bad – I can’t cook or clean. Over there I was forced to because we had a little kitchen – things even like putting noodles on.
“By the end of the week,” she adds, “as much as I loved it, I texted my parents and said, ‘I’m looking forward to coming home’.”