While staying with a friend’s family in Barcelona last year I was shocked when they told me about the stereotypical British traveler often talked about in Spanish media.
“They [British travelers] come down on cheap flights and they don’t even make hotel reservations,” said my friend’s father.
“You mean they sleep on the street?”
“No, they just stay out drinking all night and once morning comes they just take a nap on a bench. No need to pay for a hotel I guess.”
He pointed out that obviously not every British traveler behaved in this manner, yet it was unfortunate, because it gave all of them — even those with hotel reservations — a bad name. But apparently he wasn’t all that wrong. According to the annual “British Behaviour Abroad” report by the Foreign Office, excessive drinking has led to the increase in arrests of Brits traveling abroad. In Spain for example, arrests have gone up by 32% to 2,032 in the period reported.
With a powerful British pound, drinking in other countries doesn’t make a huge impact on the average Brit’s wallet, so holidays can easily turn into drinking days. In response to the report, the British tabloid the Daily Mail pointed out that “drunken and loutish holidaymakers have sent Britain’s reputation abroad plunging to new depths.” Again, we should not stereotype — I have met many Brits while traveling that don’t behave in such a manner — but maybe it’s time to consider whether or not to down that last pint. You don’t want to get arrested…