‘He really wanted to do it for a Facebook status’
A party-animal dad spent £25 jetting to Ibiza for 24 hours of raving – with nothing but a change of clothes in a carrier bag.
Andy Armstrong had recently returned from a holiday to the Spanish island when he was egged on by his workmates to go back for a night out without paying for a hotel.
Andy – who frequents the holiday isle four times a year – accepted the challenge and bagged cheap Ryanair flight from Newcastle Airport to Eivissa Airport, Ibiza, on 21 August at 5pm.
Armed with nothing but a spare change of clothes in an Asda carrier bag, the 63-year-old from from Yarm-on-Tees, Stockton-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, set off – touching down at 9pm.
The raver made his way straight to San Antonio – famous for its lively nightlife – for a pint, before heading to famous nightclub Pacha at midnight to party the night away.
Andy left the club at 6am and decided to soak up the early morning sun while walking three miles to fancy hotel, Ushuaia, in Playa den Bossa.
After a quick one-hour kip on the sunbeds, Andy splashed out £50 on a slap-up hotel breakfast including – salmon, caviar, chicken kebab and fresh fruit – washed down with fresh orange juice, champagne, and “lots of coffee”.
Then he got on a flight home at 130pm, which cost him £130, and saw him land back in the UK 24 hours after he left.
Andy, a steelworker on North Sea oil rigs, said the trip came about after he returned from a week on the island and told his workmates he could return for a night out, without needing a hotel.
“They disputed it, and the challenge was on,” he said.
After arriving in Ibiza, Andy said he got changed, “threw my travelling clothes in a bin”, and hit the dance floor at Pacha.
There, he sunk a few beers at £ 13 a bottle and had a £23 gin and tonic, “ouch”.
Despite the pricey drinks and breakfast, Andy said the trip cost him £300 in total.
Recalled how the adventure started, Andy said: “It started off as a bit of banter with workmates, but I had an absolutely brilliant time, with a story that I will be able to tell for many years to come.”
Andy fell in love with the party island in 1981 whilst on a lad’s holiday at 21. He returned a few times later, with his wife and daughters, but when his partner passed five years ago, he was unsure if he would ever return.
Then, his eldest daughter, Tiffany, 32, persuaded him to return in July 2018.
“I was unsure, as I had the impression that it would be full of youth, but how wrong I was.
“There was lots of people of a similar age to me, who like me, had a love of music and for the island.”
Two months later he returned with his second daughter, Ellie, 24, as you’ve “got to treat them equally.”
“And that is how my love affair with Ibiza started, returning many times alone or with friends.”
Andy – whose daughters have always “encouraged and supported” him – has visited the island four times this year.
He said: “My daughters think it is hilarious and Ellie made a great TikTok video of my adventure, which I believe has done rather well.
“They both encourage, support and help me in anything I do, including a solo trip I did around the world last year.
“We often all go out together when circumstances allow, and to be honest, I think that they think they have a rather cool old man.
“I’m 63 and growing old disgracefully.”
Ellie, a social media manager, said: “To be honest there is no one like my dad – he’s such a character.
“When he first told us the idea we didn’t believe it but we found it hilarious – it was so funny that he went with an Asda carrier bag
“We told him to be careful but he really wanted to do it for a Facebook status.
“He’s legend – he’s so funny.
“We try and go pretty much every year to Ibiza.
“We went on family holidays – I’ve been with my dad, my sister and my boyfriend proposed to me there – it’s such a nice island.
“I told him I had to make a TikTok of it as I thought it’d do well and he’s always asking about it.
“He’s definitely down with the kids.”
Timeline breakdown of Andy’s trip
– Train from home to Newcastle Airport for 5pm departure
– Arrive in Ibiza at 9pm – Taxi to San Antonio to meet friends who were on holiday for a drink and a bite to eat
– Around midnight, disco bus from San Antonio to Pacha in Ibiza town for Flower Power, a 60s, 70s and 80s night
– Leave Pacha at 6am and walk three miles to Ushuaia in Playa den Bossa
– Sleep on the sunbeds before breakfast at 8.30am
– Taxi to airport at 11am
– Flight back to Newcastle at 1.30pm
– Landing back in Newcastle at 3.30pm
– Train home