Karl Pilkington in a taxi ()Karl Pilkington in a taxi () © Copyright

Karl Pilkington: Holidays? Not for me

It’s a weird thing, going on holiday. Everything about it makes me anxious, from getting to the airport to pulling up outside a shit-hole hotel and praying the coach driver doesn’t call your name.

Going on a plane is better than walking, I suppose, but the whole experience puts me on edge. Are you going to miss your flight? Is the plane going to fall out of the sky? Waiting to see who’s going to sit next to you is like waiting for a blind date – you don’t know what you’ll get. As long as it isn’t a screaming kid, a fat bloke who’ll kick you with his elbow or an old person who sleeps the whole way through so you can’t get out to take a piss, I’m alright.

I’m always puzzled when the pilot comes out to join the queue for the loo, so there’s just one person flying the plane, but no one lets him go first. It’s in everyone’s interests that he empties his bowels before anyone else, so he can go back to doing his job. Then there are the people rushing to get off. You’re coming in to land and you can hear seatbelts clicking already.

Karl Pilkington in his boxers ()


I don’t find holidays relaxing at all. Everything is a gamble. When I was doing An Idiot Abroad, some of the places we stayed were horrendous because it was done on the cheap, and Ricky [Gervais] and Steve [Merchant] like to annoy me. If there was chocolate on the pillow, it was because the last person had left it there. Most places had shared bathrooms, too, so you had to queue for a shower. How can you relax without having your own toilet?

I went to Ibiza with a mate once and got an abscess. All I remember is playing cards, getting burnt and drinking whisky to numb the pain. Holidays as a kid was going to Wales in a caravan. I was happy with that. I had mates on the campsite and that was enough. I’ve been to India five times but I’ve never been to Stoke-on-Trent.

Most of the world is the same nowadays. I’ve visited tribes where the chief had a feather in his hair and a smartphone in his hand. As much as I hated it when I first went, India is the only place I’ve been to that was a proper eye-opener. Everybody should go and witness it before it gets overrun with Pret a Manger outlets. All your senses are being bombarded at once – the noise, smells, sights. On top of that, you’re pretty ill within 24 hours of arriving. Normally when you leave your house, you check for keys and wallet; in India, you need to remember a spare pair of pants.

The mortgage is paid now, so I don’t have to go anywhere else. I’m grateful that I’ve been all around the world, but I didn’t love any of it. I just like pottering about me house, looking after me lawn. I haven’t got a lifestyle where I need a lot of money for fancy clothes and nights out. A dinner out once a month will do me fine.

I like watching sports like snooker, tennis and golf, but I’m never worried about finding a bar to watch the football when I’m abroad like many of you will be. I’ll be interested to see what the score is, but I’m not fussed about Euro 2016, really. All it means to me is that the soaps will get moved around when the football is on, so my mum will probably call me more.

That’s just me, though.

More moaning Karl Pilkington book ()

More Moaning by Karl Pilkington now available in hardback, Canongate £20


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