Club 18-30: livin’ it large in Ibiza

Famed for selling cheap package holidays abroad for young people, with copious amounts of sun, sand and, erm, sex, all washed down with gallons of alcohol, Club 18-30 reached iconic status in the UK.


Arguably at it’s peak in the 1990s / early 2000s, UK travel agent Thomas Cook is now thinking about letting go of the youth holiday brand.

It reached notoriety when a TV documentary series was aired in the UK between 2001 and 2004, showing exactly what the drunken youth got up to on their holidays. Let’s just say there was a lot of drinking and a lot of nudity.

It may surprise you to know that I once went on an 18-30 holiday.


We have to go way back to 1998 (yes, twenty years ago), back to a time when I didn’t yet have a mobile phone, and social media didn’t exist.

My best mate and I went for a week in Ibiza, along with another mate we knew from the pub, for a lads holiday.

We booked a week on Ibiza, the Balearic island famous for dance music, drugs, and drunkenness.

We were about 24 years old, so we fell perfectly into the Club 18-30 demographic.


We made the mistake, though, of going too early. We went to Ibiza in June, so everything felt a little bit quiet; nothing was crowded, and our apartment building was half empty. In a way we missed out on the full 18-30 experience; we should have gone during the peak season in July or August.


We still had fun, though. Looking back, I’m surprised by my appearance; was that really me, playing soccer in the sea, wearing Adidas t-shirts and shorts?

I was genuinely excited to visit Cafe Del Mar, the famous beach-side chill-out bar, and the iconic clubs. I realised, though, that clubbing wasn’t really my thing. I didn’t like being surrounded by people off their heads on drugs, in a club somewhere, drinking overpriced bottles of beer.

The music, however, I loved. Here are some of the tunes from Ibiza in 1998.

Yes, we got drunk, yes we danced, yes we sat on the beach. Yes, we took part in a few of the Club 18-30 activities, which were mostly bar crawls through the town, and a coach trip to one of the clubs further along the island. Nothing debauched happened (much to our disappointment).

This was the most memorable thing that happened; I got sunburnt feet. It hurt. A lot.


I made a big decision in Ibiza. I was sitting on the beach and realised that I wanted to live and work abroad. A year later, I was on a plane bound for Japan, where I would spend the next three years of my life.

I suppose I should thank Club 18-30 for that.

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