Written by Victoria McEwan
Alcohol and traveling go hand in hand. Think about it. You’re gearing up for a well-earned trip away and it usually goes something like this. Last day of work, head to the pub to start the holiday early with a few cold ones. Get to the airport, check in, and grab a drink to celebrate the official start of your holiday. Jump on the plane, another celebratory beer as you head off into the clouds. Arrive at your hotel to be greeted with welcome drinks. Well it would be rude not to right?!
So what happens when you decide to take a break from the booze or cut it out altogether?
As travel bloggers, the scenario above was all too familiar. At the beginning of 2015, we decided to make a lifestyle change and kick the grog for 12 months. One of our biggest challenges to date has been changing the way we associate our traveling lifestyle with drinking.
It wasn’t easy at first. In fact, it was pretty challenging. However, we’re glad to report that our travels have become even more incredible without the champagne than they ever were with it!
So, with that in mind, here’s what we’ve discovered to be our top 5 benefits of traveling sober!
1 :: You’re much less likely to miss your flight
I don’t know about you, but we’ve missed a fair few flights in our time (about 20-30 in total!). The majority of them as a direct result of feeling a little worse for wear from a boozy ‘last night’ out on the town. No booze means less chance of oversleeping and missing your flight!
2 :: Your holiday dollars go further
Yep, it’s true. No booze equals more money. This is awesome when traveling as you’ll have more cash to spend on epic activities like bungy jumping, skydiving, white water rafting or even a spot of shopping. Better yet, use the cash you’ve saved to extend your trip! You’ll also be surprised how cheap your dinner bill is without all the booze on top. Bonus!
3 :: More time to enjoy your holiday
Saying goodbye to hangovers means saying hello to early mornings. This means you’ve just scored yourself a few extra hours each day to enjoy on your holiday.
Our first trip away without drinking was to New Zealand, camper vanning around the South Island. Initially we didn’t think two weeks would be enough time there but waking up hangover free every morning meant we had way more hours to get out and explore. Two weeks ended up feeling like two months!
4 :: Less excess holiday kilos
Swapping your wine for soda water means saying goodbye to a few kilos, without much effort at all. Overindulging is the norm on holiday and we all know that hangovers equal high calorie greasy food the next day.
Not drinking can help you make massive improvements in what you’re eating and drinking, not to mention how great your skin will start to look. Plus, the added bonus of being more active on your travels means you’ll be much more likely to keep those extra holiday kilos at bay!
5 :: You’ll make awesome friends…and be able to remember their names
One of the best things about traveling is the people you meet along the way. Take drinking out of the equation and some may think it’s harder to make friends. Not having a beer or two to relax with might freak you out when it comes to chatting to new people but it’s amazing how many other people are on the same path.
When it comes down to it, it’s actually pretty easy and enjoyable to talk to people sober! Another great benefit of making new friends without added alcohol is that you can have great conversations and remember everything the next day…including their name!
Stay up to date with our adventures over at thefreedomtravellers.com or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
3 CommentsAdd a comment
Love this! And I can totally relate to everything you have written. Travelling sober at first was very daunting for me, but now I realise I can do so much more with my time and feel so much better in my mind, body and soul. Thanks for sharing! Anita x
I stopped alcohol ingestion almost 2 years ago and I am so glad. Shit is poisonous to your body. For the brief buzz the hours of hangover recovery is not worth it. I and my spouse both ceased alcohol and we have saved over $6000.00. That’s a lot of coin to spend elsewhere. Booze makes you stupid and irrational. Brings the evil out of you. Alcohol really is devil’s juice.
Oh my goodness I so agree with the above posts, more and more I am discovering how many people are feeling the same way, and have made the same discoveries as me.
The absolute FREEDOM of not drinking alcohol is liberating!! Initially I also thought how would I cope socially, without having a few on board. And indeed the biggest challenges are people bothered with the fact that you are not drinking, they almost become defensive, as if you are counting their drinks, the only thing you are counting is how many times they have said the same thing!! My life is no longer consumed by reading flyers and joining wine clubs, how to get to an event or party in terms of drink driving! Travelling was an absolute pleasure, there is no longer this desperation of having that first drink (even at 9am) to celebrate the start of a holiday. Only going to restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages, spending hours in a pub, instead of sight seeing, the whole idea of the holiday in the first place, enjoying conversation for what it is, instead of waking the next morning, thinking uh oh, who did I offend last night and how controversial did I get. Sheer cost of drinking in restaurants, from the hotel bar fridge, and remembering the entire holiday, the sights, who you met, what you loved!
The same with going to music concerts, no standing in queues for hours to buy the booze that the sponsors are allowing you to buy at an exorbitant fee!! Stuck in one area while you gulp down your drink, desperately clutching your second, as theres no way you are doing that queue again. And again, remembering the performance instead of passing out half way through it.
Strangely enough, all my anxieties, fear of heights, flying, going anywhere new, have all but dissipated, replaced with massive weight loss 30kg in one year, daily walks and yoga and enjoying so many things in life placed on the back burner as alcohol had become the sole important thing in my life.
On finishing, would like to also say how fantastic it is to go to a really good expensive restaurant and enjoy delicious food, which is strangely cheap without the added on amount of 100% marked up bottle of wine.