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Things Americans travelling to Ibiza should know

Planning to make the journey across the pond to Ibiza? Here's what you need to know.

Opportunity to travel to the mystical island of Ibiza as an American comes along infrequently.

The trek across the Atlantic is a long one and flights aren't exactly cheap. Although, with the dollar the strongest against the Euro as it has been for some time, now is the ideal time to take advantage.

Us Americans tend to have this idea, this picture of what the White Isle is supposed to be like: beaching all day, boozing all night and possibly hanging out with Carl Cox at some point to tell him how cool you are.

However, when you actually make your way to the island, you might find yourself surprised by just how different everything is from what you imagined.

Whether you're a student studying abroad in Italy, a couple backpacking through Europe or just an electronic music junkie looking to get your first taste of the Ibiza scene, here are some things you should know about the island.

The island isn't all uhn tiss, uhn tiss

Let's start by clearing the air with the most popular misconception of the island that it's nothing but non-stop parties. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton (multiple day and night and across the week to be exact), but there is much more to it than just that.

Ibiza has an extensive history, rooted in the hippy culture that dates back to the flower power movement of the 1960s. To this day you can find traces of it. Take a walk off the unbeaten path at the Es Vedrà viewpoint and you might discover some of those signs in nearby caves.

If historical sites tickle your fancy, then exploring Dalt Vila is a must. Located in Ibiza Town, the fortressed walls of Ibiza's old town contain a maze of restaurants, bars and monuments that will keep you on your toes with amazement.

On top of this, the highest levels of the citadel provide unrivalled panoramic views, taking in sister island Formentera.

Finally, if you're planning to spend your days hungover under the sun, then you may as well veg out on the various hidden beaches around the island. Ibiza is known for its pristine sands, but you won't find them hanging around your hotel in Playa d'en Bossa or San Antonio.

The picturesque shores are a cab and a half away from the bustling parts of the island, quiet and quaint for those who don't want to deal with the masses. This brings me to the next thing you should know…

Ibiza is family-friendly

For a destination that is often compared to Las Vegas, Ibiza is considerably more family-friendly.

Families from all over Europe make their way over to the island for a much-needed vacation. While Sin City has its own fair share of attractions to keep children entertained throughout their stay, everyone knows that you're not really experiencing Vegas until you're 21 years old.

It's much different here in Ibiza, where the legal drinking age is 18.

While families may be here to relax, don't be surprised to see some antsy youngsters getting down with their parents. Some people aren't here to party at all. In fact, most tourists have no intention of going clubbing, though, let's be honest, a considerable percentage still are!

The age gap isn't the only discrepancy you'll find when comparing the clubbing scenes, which brings me to my next point.

Dress code? Here? Hardly.

Perhaps one of the most noticeable differences when I first started clubbing in Ibiza was the dress code or lack thereof.

While it's almost unheard of to get into the major clubs in Las Vegas, Miami or NYC without dressing up to a certain degree, the rules on Ibiza are much more relaxed. The only exception is if you're going as VIP or to one of the high-end establishments like Lío or Club Chinois.

As for the rest, shorts, t-shirt or vest, and even espadrilles are absolutely fine.

It makes sense when you really think about it: an island in the middle of the Mediterranean gets hot and the people who go out, go out to dance, not sit and look pretty (that's not to say that the clubs aren't filled with beautiful people though, eh!).

Men, ditch the pants and fancy button-ups and go with some garish, loose-fitting Hawaiians or cut-off shirts instead. Ladies, I really can't speak on your behalf, as long as it's comfortable and makes you feel good, go for it.

I will, however, definitely recommend scrapping the heels for flats or sneakers that you'll be capable of dancing in all night.

Ubers aren't a thing

With Uber's aggressive global expansion, we almost assume we can hail a ride at the push of a button anywhere we go. Well, Uber doesn't have a licence to operate here. Instead, there is a local app called Taxi Click, which is available for both iOS and Android and if you can't get a taxi, here some useful tips on how to get around on the island.

Explore by car, vespa or buggy

If you really want to see all the aforementioned places in style and on your own terms, then you're better off renting your own mode of transport. Many of those hidden beaches and secret views are either too difficult or just flat-out expensive to get to by bus or taxi.

Renting out your own car, quad, buggy or whatever will not only give you the freedom to explore the island in its entirety. It'll also give you an exhilarating thrill while you're at it. If you're not sure where you'd explore, then you can go on a number of different guided tours, that'll take you to the island's hotspots.

Now about those parties...

You might have heard, but the electronic music scene in Ibiza isn't comparable to its American counterpart.

While Tech is gaining momentum in the States, our scene is ruled by big room, Trap and Reggaeton – mainstream music which you will learn Europeans collectively call EDM (although you may get frowned at if you refer to underground dance music as "EDM" here).

Some of the hottest parties on Ibiza are the ones with music that we Americans might not be too familiar with. For example, "Tech" (Techno or Tech House) is really hot on Ibiza.

For a thorough exploration of all the different types of dance music found on Ibiza, give our extensive guide a read.

Don't get me wrong, you'll have an extraordinary time watching Martin Garrix or Hardwell throw it down at Ushuaïa, but if you really want to see what Ibiza is about, then you'll make your way over to Pacha for Music On, Amnesia for Pyramid or hit Afterlife at Hï Ibiza.

Check out the full party calendar to see for yourselves.

Look beyond the obvious

What do I mean when I say this? I mean, look for the parties you've never heard of, at the venues you don't know, with the DJs you're unfamiliar with.

You'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised with what you find.

Parties like Woomoon at restaurant/club Cova Santa will often fly under the radar to those who aren't familiar with the island, but it's one that will provide a mental, physical and spiritual experience that will go beyond dancing till your calves cramp up.

If you're really in the know then you'll be able to find more intimate parties on rooftops or smaller lounges held by companies like Beatport or Orbit. Finding these parties often takes more effort, but that's all a part of the exclusivity that makes the White Isle experience.

Take the Time to Meet Everyone

The last piece of advice that I can impart to you is to meet everyone and anyone.

No matter if you're travelling with friends or solo, it isn't difficult to make friends here. Everyone is amiable. Ibiza is full of interesting people from interesting places, so you never know who you may run into or what kind of shenanigans they may lead you to afterwards.

Going off script from your itinerary after meeting new people, is all part of the fun of being here and it will make your experience all the more unforgettable. Check out our comprehensive guide to Ibiza's hotels to book your dream accommodation.

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