6th November 2023
Okay, okay, so I know what you’re thinking – what’s a third year doing jetting off to Tenerife during term time? You’d be right to wonder! But I’d finished all of my uni work for the week and even attended my seminar the day I flew. Let’s normalise treating your weekend as just that – the weekEND. If you’re fortunate enough to have a bit of money saved up, I think a long weekend abroad is what we could all do with right now.
My fellow third years, we’ve had it rough! A first year cut short, a second year riddled with lockdowns, and a final year where we’re expected to just slot back into uni life as if nothing ever happened. This trip gave me the relaxation I needed after a stressful whirlwind of term starting, as well as the motivation required to crack on with coursework now I’m back.
The first thing you have to consider before travelling abroad are the COVID restrictions in your destination country.
Unfortunately, the government website is a bit of a minefield, but still give it a browse. We actually found airline websites to be the most helpful. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re clued up. You don’t want to arrive at an airport with the wrong documents – or worse, without any documents. This is coming from a girl who’s turned up to an airport before with the wrong passport; believe me, it’s not fun!
Our getaway dates (14-17 Oct) meant that we had to pre-book a ‘Day 2 PCR Test’ to take once we were back in the UK. We booked ours through Randox and had an easy experience being tested at the top of Liverpool One.
Price: £50 (use an airline discount code if you can!)
Luckily for you, from the 24th October the government will no longer require this expense. Instead, you can now take a standard lateral flow test once back on British soil. Your bank account will be so grateful.
To travel to Tenerife we also had to have proof of vaccinations, a Spanish Travel Health Form (for arrival in Tenerife), a Passenger Locator Form (for arrival in England), and we had to wear masks in public places once there. This will differ from country to country however, so do your research!
Obviously, this is up to you. But if your trip away, like mine, starts with you being at UoL, I’d suggest flying from Manchester. We got a bus to Liverpool Lime Street, and then a train on to Manchester Airport. It was nice and easy and meant we didn’t have to rely on anyone for a lift.
Enough of the boring rules and regs… onto the good stuff!
25-30°C and not a cloud in sight.
We opted for an Airbnb and did not regret it. We had a small apartment in a place called Los Geranios with a balcony, sea view and a pool. What more could you possibly want? For me, it doesn’t get much better than breakfasts on a balcony with my best girl mates, not to mention the gorgeous sunsets.
We were a five minute walk away from the beach, restaurants, bars and the supermarket. Ideal for short legs and strict budgets alike!
The priority for our holiday? Chilling. From pool to beach, tapas to paella, sangria to cocktails, you name it – we were zen! Except for the night out in Las Américas that is, where we were easily convinced by the deal of 2 fishbowls, 2 shots and 4 drinks each for EUR 15. Need I say more.
Our main luxury, spending wise, was a trip on a catamaran to spot some pilot whales. Getting a glimpse of these animals was ‘guaranteed’, and the company didn’t let us down. Seeing these beautiful creatures’ little fins pop up was one of the most magical things I’ve ever witnessed. The sailor was very respectful and gave the whales their space, whilst allowing all us tourists on board to stare in awe.
Afterwards, away from the whales, we were sailed to a bay where we could jump in and enjoy the crystal clear water.
We paid a little extra to get beds at the front of the boat (taking our total cost to EUR 35 each), and for someone who usually gets very sea sick I had the most amazing experience.
I truly believe this trip away was everything I needed. It’s given me that glimmer of hope that things are getting back to normal after COVID, and it bonded me and my friends like nothing else. Plus, a Thursday-Sunday trip was the perfect amount of time where we didn’t feel too guilty for abandoning our studies for too long, but equally had enough time to do everything we wanted to in Tenerife. Happy booking!
Featured Image Credit: The Author