Your Out of Office is on, your passport is packed and you’ve found your bikini. Now there’s just one thing left to decide: are you going to drink on holiday or not?
If you’re newly sober, or trying to be, then your first alcohol-free trip abroad can feel like a big deal, because most of us associate holidays with alcohol. Airport bars are always busy, even in the morning; on the beach it’s perfectly acceptable to open your first beer before lunch; and the pool bar has more cocktails than you can shake a stick at. You couldn’t possibly order a mocktail. You can’t go on holiday and not drink, it’s just unheard of… right?
Alcohol-free holidays are absolutely brilliant. If you haven’t tried one yet then you really, really must do – I have a feeling you’ll love it.
Not only will you come home properly rested and refreshed, you’ll be able to remember every single moment.
Booze, hangovers and guilt don’t have to feature in your holiday plans. If you’re contemplating your first sober trip, here are a few things you might like to stash in your suitcase:
Now is the time to stock up on sober memoirs and self help books. They’ll help remind you why you’re doing this. If you’re too embarrassed to be seen reading that kind of thing by the pool, you can always download a digital copy or buy the audio version.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I love exercising on holiday – all those endorphins make you feel so good. Exercise doesn’t need to involve running or working up a sweat in the sun – a walk along the beach or a yoga class is great too.
3) A guide book
Feeling bored often triggers people to drink. The chances are that in the past, recovering from a hangover took care of quite a bit of time on holiday. Sober, you might discover that you can’t sunbathe all day, every day. Use this time to explore the local area and see what’s happening.
4) Your own drinks
If there’s a particular drink you absolutely love, that you just have to have at 5pm, take it with you. You can fit a few drinks in your suitcase. Or go to a local supermarket on your first day and stock up. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of options you like, close at hand.
5) A bit of extra cash
Alcohol-free holidays are about treating yourself and taking care of yourself. (Alcohol is not a treat. It’s a poison that pretends to be a treat, but makes you feel like crap instead.) You’re saving lots of money by not drinking, so if you want to book a massage or a beauty treatment, go for it – you deserve it.
Feeling hungry and thirsty can make you more prone to cravings. Drink lots of water and pack some healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruit.
7) Your phone
Yep, I know the idea of a digital detox is really appealing. But it helps to know you’ve got a way of getting online if you need support or motivation. (You can always remove the Facebook app from your phone temporarily!)
8) The right companions
Pass on the invite to go away with friends who you know do nothing but drink, drink, drink. If it’s your partner who drinks a lot, it’s a bit harder to leave them at home, obviously (!) but you can still manage expectations in advance. Don’t wait until you land to let people know you aren’t going to be drinking.
9) The right mindset
Definitely don’t go away without this! Your mindset is key. You get to decide how you feel on holiday. You can choose to spend the whole trip feeling as if you’re missing out and viewing everything through the lens of what you’re not doing. Or you can choose to live in the moment, and appreciate the fact that your holiday is pretty amazing, just as it is. Sunbathing, reading, playing in the pool, eating out … what’s not to like? They’re fun activities just as they are. Why would you need to add a mind-altering drug into the mix?
Got a great tip to share?
What are your must-pack items that you’ll be travelling with this summer? Have you got a holiday coming up? Let us know!