Entrepreneur hits the infamous Ibiza opening parties sober as holiday company reports a rise in ‘balanced travel’ to the White Isle

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As party people flock to Ibiza for the club’s opening parties over the next few weeks, one young British entrepreneur is bucking the trend of hard partying and hitting the dance floors on the island sober.

Derby-based former party animal Max Poynton, 31, founder of Project Donut prioritises exercise, sobriety and nutritious food on his lads trips to the party isle.

Keen to experience Ibiza early on in the season whilst the opening parties are taking place, Max booked a hotel room with First Choice and for six days opted to explore the island’s stunning beauty spots with his friends, enjoying sunrise runs and daily trips to gym over the conventional booze-fuelled breaks many British tourists are famed for indulging in on the island.

Max said “I enjoyed six days in Ibiza booze-free and it was a real eye opener to experience the island with such clarity – you get to see a whole different side to it, it’s SO much more than late night parties, and heavy drinking. Me and the boys got up at 6am each day and over six days we completed three sunrise runs which were amazing. I ran my first 10k in 9 months and completed another two 10k runs and a 6k run whilst I was there. A few years ago, I would have still been up partying from the night before, so it was really refreshing to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the island and explore some stunning spots I had previously had no idea about.”

Max continues “After breakfast, we hit the gym for weights and strength training every morning then as me and the lads are self-employed, we wanted to get some work done so visited a fantastic co-working space called The Hub, which is open weekdays located in the centre of the island in Ca Na Negreta.”

“Good food is a must for us lot, so we made sure to visit some of the best restaurants on the island. We sampled delicious Argentinian food at a highly sought-after restaurant called Social Point, as well as trying out the seafood at a new fish restaurant and a smokehouse for some incredible steaks.”

“We enjoyed a boat trip around the island, and even popped into the Ushuaia opening party and enjoyed the music, fuelled by soft drinks – it was great fun. One of our friends called Kai works as a concierge on the island, and he took us to some really cool places – he knew where the best spots were to run and the best place to see the sunrise. One of these was the salt flats parallel to the airport – there are flamingos and loads of wildlife, then you run up through the hills and do a loopback. You get to see lots of wildlife, and it was a different side to the island.” 

“After seeing my photos on social media, there were loads of people messaging me asking for recommendations on healthy activities to do in Ibiza – it seems there is a huge amount of people now wanting to know how to holiday like that. The rise in popularity of fitness and wellbeing has changed people’s perspectives and people are awakening to the fact that you don’t need to go to Ibiza and go crazy on the booze, causing horrendous hangovers. I have not drunk alcohol for a while, and I have no plans to drink in the future – you get to experience so much more when you aren’t weighed down by a savage headache. I thoroughly recommend it.”

He concludes, “I’m already keen for another trip back, and in the spirit of doing Ibiza a bit differently, I’d love to visit some other places on the way and travel using Byway and First Choice’s new flight-free route. Maybe I’ll aim for a 10k in every city along the way!”

Max’s experience mirrors findings from recent research by First Choice that detected a notable shift when it comes to *how* people are planning to party this summer, with more balanced breaks becoming the norm:

beach cala Gracio in Ibiza,Baleares,spain

The Fear: Pre-holiday hangxiety

They have age on their side, yet it’s surprising that half of Gen Z sun seekers are concerned about returning from holiday feeling like a mere shadow of themselves (read: exhausted, drained, hungover AF), which is not a dissimilar sentiment held by millennial holidaymakers [54%] who also admit to harbouring the same worries. 

Interestingly,research shows it’s the 34-year-olds who suffer the worst hangovers. Poor millennials, no wonder hangxiety kicks in before the holiday even begins.

However some savvy travellers are embracing a more balanced approach to their summer of fun.  

Whilst the parties remain, they are now coupled with self-care and wellness for the back end of their holiday. In fact, a quarter of Gen Z are planning to decompress with a hike or leisurely stroll around local markets before returning to the UK, and 15% are opting to swap the dance floor for a yoga retreat in the final few days.

Discovering a new route of travel: slow travel

It’s a known fact that life is not just about getting from A to B as quickly as possible; it’s about savouring every moment along the way. 

Nearly 70% of Brits are open to considering more “slow travel” experiences which also offer more eco-conscious travel options (such as ferry, train, bus, carpooling, among others) when it comes to planning their holiday this summer, with over three quarters of Gen Z [82%] leading the charge.

This comes as First Choice launches a new partnership with Byway, the UK’s first 100% flight-free travel platform.

Say goodbye to your run-of-the-mill direct flight to the dance floor; you can now enjoy a picturesque voyage to the White Isle by train and ferry, with stops in Girona, Barcelona, and even Paris before the party kicks in. 

The perfect fusion of culture and party vibes, relax in your own cosy cabin onboard to unwind and recharge as you sail towards the island paradise. Plus, this route boasts approximately 85% fewer emissions than flying – a win-win for both travellers and the environment.

Culture connoisseurs

Let it not be said that party animals can’t savour the finer flavours of travel too? In fact, it’s a cultural revolution, and we’re here for it. Fresh findings from First Choice have revealed that over half [58%] of those planning their holiday will ditch the relentless 24/7 party grind in favour of a more enriching cultural plunge, and nearly two thirds [67%] are going to also enjoy sightseeing thrills over clubbing spills. 

But that’s not all—7 out of 10 holidaymakers are saying “cheers” to local cuisine and “see ya” to boozy binges while soaking up cultural gems abroad.

The post Entrepreneur hits the infamous Ibiza opening parties sober as holiday company reports a rise in ‘balanced travel’ to the White Isle appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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