For a long time holidays and vacations have gone hand-in-hand with drinking booze (often, excessively). The thought of going on a holiday and not drinking can even seem ridiculous to consider. There is a lot of work to be done internally and also externally in preparation for a sober trip. We will go over some reliable ways to turn your feelings of deprivation into thoughts that allow you to realize how much better the holiday will be without alcohol, and focus on the great memories.
What you have to gain from an alcohol free holiday
Noticing seeing others drinking early in the morning, or going out of their way to drink more than they may typically do at home, is not uncommon when you are on a vacation. You have the opportunity to change this and challenge the status quo. The benefits you will reap along the way will be well worth it. Here are a few to consider:
Getting to choose experiences and opportunities that might be a bit different or align with who you are learning you really are
Retaining memories from the quality time you spent doing things that spark joy
Being far more engaged and present in each day and moment of your trip
Reclaiming so much of your time and flipping the script of “I don’t have the time” to do an activity
Building confidence to take family on a holiday away on your own
Regaining your independence instead of having to be codependent on family to be present on trips
Feeling empowered and a positive boost to your self esteem and self worth
Spending money on treating yourself to self care without guilt because of the significant savings you will have by not drinking. Pamper yourself!
Best of all, returning from holiday fully relaxed and rested
Identifying triggers in the lead-up to vacation
In order to realize the potential gains of a sober holiday, it is important to identify and address triggers that might make it challenging to stay committed. Always reminding yourself that you are good enough to do this is key.
To help, here are a few common culprits:
The anxious build-up to traveling i.e. remembering documents, schedules, luggage, etc
Airports being closely associated with alcohol consumption
The popular vacation mindset of “doesn’t matter what time of day it is, it is time to drink”
How to navigate through a holiday sober
Set yourself up for success and make a plan to face possible triggers and beat temptation, just like you would make a plan for attending a social event sober. Below are some well-tested tips to ensure you are prepared for a fulfilling and sober holiday:
Ensure the type of vacation you’ve chosen to plan will not be triggering– could all-inclusive deals or a cruise not be a good fit?
Determine before you leave, whether you are going to need to set some time aside to be alone during the trip
Research and decide what activities you would like to participate in
Build a rough itinerary to disrupt the usual routine of drinking and instead, establish a new one
Prepare to build up the alcohol-free days, pick them out ahead of time
Start to get excited about exploring local alcohol-free drink options
(Fun Fact: Spain has the highest percentage of bars with alcohol-free drinks in Europe)
Try and choose destinations where the focus is not on the cheap alcohol, but on potential adventures and exploring
Get involved in the culture, instead of sitting in a dark bar when the world outside is so beautiful
Keep reminding yourself that you are capable of not only committing to a holiday sober, but showing up for yourself so that your trip can be enjoyed to its fullest. Safe travels!
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