By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent
Dressed in bizarre costumes, downing cheap pints of lager and knocking back a variable smorgasbord of alcoholic concoctions in a ‘Britain abroad’ location, the stereotypical lads holiday has long been a debauched and unruly affair.
I remember my first trip away with the boys. 18 years old and spotty faced my friends and I graced the party town of Kardamena in Kos, living the antics that were later documented in the Inbetweeners’ hilariously accurate portrayal of lads on tour, finding that no matter how much we drank or how ridiculous we tried to look, we never quite fit in.
So the annual trips became more city breaks, whisky trips, beer tasting and camping. We spent more time touring distilleries than we did rolling around at foam parties, and I can confidently say that I haven’t touched a Woo Woo in years.
But according to new research, that may be the norm.
A study into the social habits of 2,000 men shows the traditionally raucous weekends of donning fancy dress and downing pints are losing their appeal.
The research, commissioned by Grant’s Whisky, found that 32 is the average age at which males replace the unruly escapism of their youth in favour of higher quality ‘man time’. In fact, this time away has emerged as absolutely vital, with three quarters of men saying they feel the experience does them good overall. And far removed from their rowdy reputation, six in ten said they’d prefer to go camping, surfing or on an activity-led weekend break than spend all night in a club.
Ali Cloudsdale from Grant’s Whisky said, “Men in their 30’s and 40’s seem to be more focused on spending good quality time with their friends and enjoying real experiences rather than the hedonism associated with their twenty-something counterparts.”
The research also found that 55 per cent of men admitted they had felt pressure in the past to ‘act blokey’ while away. And 45 per cent described the idea of going to a strip club or a drinking holiday in somewhere like Magaluf as “a nightmare” and a quarter think that men in groups are always deliberately trying to outdo each other.
Seven out of 10 felt that the traditional ‘laddish’ activities associated with a typical stag do or boy’s trip away are now outdated. A food or beer festival was deemed the best reason for a weekend escape, while bar hopping or sporting events are popular.
Exploring some culture surprisingly finished in the top five, while paintballing, camping or driving experiences appear inside the top 10 perfect weekends for men. Visiting a whisky distillery or brewery holds appeal, as does a golfing trip, while visiting a strip bar was just the 12th most popular activity.
Other reasons for time with the boys’ were to get away from the pressures of everyday responsibilities and domestic duties. One quarter of men said they needed a man escap’ to be silly and boyish in order to get it out of their system. Time off from a partner was also voted as healthy, making the importance of a man escape even greater.
Ali Cloudsdale added: “These results might seem surprising, but these newly growing up men are hardworking and ambitious, and they need to escape and have quality time with the boys.”
Top Ways For Men To Spend A Weekend Away
- A food and beer festival
- Bar hopping in a city
- Sporting events
- Music Festival or Event
- Visiting a foreign city and exploring some culture
- Paintballing followed by food in a local pub
- Active sports like biking/hiking followed by camping in the wilderness
- Driving experiences
- Going out on a boat trip and fishing
- Visiting a whisky distillery/going on a whisky tasting tour
- Golfing weekend
- Going to a strip bar
- Extreme sports like rock-climbing/abseiling/kayaking etc.
- Surfing lessons and a night out in Newquay
- Tough Mudder/ competitive activity