Brits Abroad

Terrible tans and dodgy tattoos have given Brits abroad notoriety.

According to the National Statistics Institute, over 11 million of us Brits take to the skies annually and spend our well-deserved holidays in the seaside town of Benidorm. Out of these 11 million, 70% were football hooligans, 90% voted for Brexit and 50% had at some point been on Jeremy Kyle. Well. Okay maybe this isn’t exactly true, but what is true is that us Brits flock abroad in our masses annually, and over the years we have managed to secure a pretty rowdy reputation. We are hardly angels – in fact, we are the complete opposite – to the point that we have made a name for ourselves.

‘Brits abroad’ all begins at the airport, where mums have got their head in a mess over who has and hasn’t got their passport, about the lost boarding card for Uncle Bob, and about little Timmy whose bag is too big to be classed as cabin baggage. The pasty dad whose tan has been left in the 70s, who has no idea what’s going on, and then the kids who are screaming as loud as possible. As you walk through an airport, no matter what time, us Brits will be drinking – whether at 3am or 3pm, we are on the drinks. We are on holiday, after all! This carries on during the extortionately priced drinks trolley on the plane, to the point that Sarah, 43 from Birmingham, is hitting both sides of the stairs as she stumbles into the cramped bus waiting to take her to arrivals at Alicante airport. But, we already know she’s British because she clapped as the plane landed, what other nationality could she possibly be?

We have the ability to go to any exotic place one could ever want. The ease of catching a flight and travelling to any part of the world seems taken for granted, but it is a privilege that our little red passport, and aeronautical advances, have gotten us. The availability for us to try new delicacies from our chosen country is almost overwhelming, so we do what us Brits do best: we stick to what we know. The chicken nuggets and chips need replenishing every five minutes when we roll into town. With likeliness to our nan’s living room walls, we are attracted to the colour beige – it zombifies us. You can offer us anything – fajitas, paella, sushi, but we would – ever so politely – decline it all; we have an innate desire for bland, tasteless mush. 

When we go on holiday, we are instantly recognisable. But if you are unsure of how to spot a Brit, here is my comprehensive, 100% accurate guide to the physical indicators of a Brit abroad.

Number one: The dodgy tan. This one is found in most Brit-invaded holiday destinations; we don’t know quite when to stop, we more often than not leave the sun-cream bottle in the room, unopened because we think something along the lines of ‘the sun can’t catch me in the shade’ or ‘it’s okay, I don’t burn’. Oh, but we do. We burn badly. We burn a lot.

Next up and second on this list are the dodgy tattoos that we Brits somehow decided at one point in our lives looked good. If your dad doesn’t have three lions somewhere permanently inked on his body, is he really your dad? Don’t get me wrong, the patriotism is admirable, but the look of that faded tattoo is definitely a reason to cringe a little on the inside. At some point, people make a fundamental decision that getting ‘MAGA 2K19’ tattooed across their rear end would be “bants”. And it’s not just guys who are easily identifiable; the British women are just as bad.

Third on our list are the ‘Primani’ slogan t-shirts with ‘mugged off’ or ‘I’ve got a text’ (or any sentence uttered on Love Island over the past three years) scrawled across the front, or their ‘personalised’ Love Island water bottle, that nobody can actually read because instead of looking like a £20 over-priced piece of plastic should, it just looks like a pink squiggle done by a two– year- old.

We definitely have our downsides, yes. Being British means waking up at an ungodly hour in order to grab the best sunbeds by the pool or being angry because somebody doesn’t understand our weird obsession with queuing and so cuts in front of us at the all-you-can-eat buffet. We’re hated globally for our tourist ways, we are dreaded and despised by locals, but we’re Brits and that won’t ever change. We’re Brits, we’re a nuisance. We’re Brits, we are annoying. But we are Brits and we are patriotic. We are Brits and we are enjoying our well-earned holidays in the only way we know how.

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