Travel and drinking used to go hand in hand for me.
It didn’t matter whether I was going on a weekend break, a camping trip or lying by a pool somewhere – I couldn’t imagine not drinking.
Without booze, I was sure I’d miss out on having a good time. Can you relate?
If you’re trying to decide whether to drink during your next trip, I have 3 questions for you to answer first:
Question 1: What didn’t you like about drinking during your last trip?
Write this out so you can see it in black and white. Your brain wants to keep you in your comfort zone, doing what is familiar to you, so it’s going to want to amplify the good, boozy moments and forget about the upsetting bits.
Perhaps you hate waking up with a hangover when it’s hot and sunny. Maybe you’re irritable with your kids or struggle to run around after them. Perhaps your last romantic getaway is a bit of a blur and you can’t really remember your ‘quality time’ together.
Question 2: Who will benefit from you being alcohol free during this trip?
Let’s start with you. If you don’t drink, you will come home feeling rested and clear headed. (You won’t need another holiday to recover from the first one!) How else will sobriety influence the things you do and the way you feel?
Who else will benefit? Perhaps you know that you show up for your kids better when you’re alcohol free. You’re more present with them, more patient, more fun. The same goes for your partner – how does your drinking affect your relationship?
Question 3: Are you willing to take a chance and experiment with something different?
You already know what happens when you drink. You’ve already had that experience. If you’ve answered the questions above and think drinking is still totally worth it, then great – you have your answer. There’s no need to do anything different.
However, if you didn’t love the results you got last time, why not experiment? This isn’t going to be your last ever trip away – you can always go back to drinking next time. If you take the risk of doing something different, you might be amazed at what you discover.
If you’d like some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.
I’ve been AF since your July 2020 class, but with the pandemic this year is the first time we’ve been on holiday. It was amazing! We went to Cornwall with family and everything was so much easier mainly because I’m feeling so good about myself. I was up early with the kids each day, slept great and can remember everything. Really felt as if we made some good memories.
Love this Ali – alcohol free holidays are the best! Well done on nailing your first sober trip away. It sounds a total success ❤️
I love these questions. My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniverary soon and we’re going away for a mini break. That’s the kind of situation where we’d normally drink a lot and I’ve been thinking about how strange it will be not to. But I also like this idea of taking a risk and seeing what happens. I’m 3 months AF and don’t want to ruin it for this.
It sounds like this will be a big sober first for you Kelly Ann. The first time we do something sober, we’re bound to notice it. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be brilliant. I think you haven’t come this far to only come this far. There will be other anniversaries… so why not experiment with this one? Who knows what you might just discover! 🙂
Hi. Actually on holiday now travelled Saturday and it was so strange to not drink at the airport and not order wine by the pool. I’m feeling ok so far. Husband is drinking though and that’s a bit of a challenge. Enjoying feeling good though actually used the hotel gym today!
Well done Yvonne! We all get to make our own choices and it’s great that you’re doing what is right for you. I recommend you start a list (on the notes app on your phone would be fine) of all the reasons why staying alcohol free is making this holiday the best one ever. That will help focus your brain in the right place as it gets to work thinking about everything you’re gaining right now 🙂
These are good questions to keep in your sober tool box. I still ask myself these types of questions after 2 1/2 years alcohol free. I have experimented a few times in that two years but the results never change; headache – check, self loathing and anxiety – check, wondering why oh why do I expect a different outcome? – check. Thank you for the gentle reminders showing up in my email box just when I need them Kate. Alcohol never, ever made a holiday better. With many sober holidays under my belt, I know this to be true. Best wishes to all of my sober sisters.
No problem Tracey. It can seem like a good idea to drink if we let the romanticising and glamorising of alcohol creep in – and drinking a lot on holiday is certainly very normalised. But as you’ve discovered, the best holidays are the AF ones 🙂
Had a week away in Devon drank cider and gin every day
Today is the first day I haven’t bought any wine or cider
If you’re happy drinking every day, then that’s one thing. But I suspect you’re not happy Sarah, and that’s why you’re here, checking out blogs like this. Well done for not drinking tonight – I hope that continues. You can break this pattern and you deserve to experience sobriety 🙂
Next week is our 33rd wedding anniversary and will be our first night away since I went AF 4 months ago.
This post has come at the right time as usually I would be buying wine and nibbles for the hotel room before we go out.
I am looking forward to my first sober city break, wish me luck.
Have a great time Louise. The whole experience will be so much better, alcohol free. What a wonderful way to celebrate your marriage 🙂
Was AF for 5 weeks I went to Great Yarmouth didn’t drink on the Friday had all good intentions not to drink and ended up getting drunk the Saturday night and turned on a family friend my sister said I was really horrible to her swearing and all sorts . I don’t remember unfortunately was all in front of my kids so I feel pretty rubbish !! I’ve really let myself down I really want to be AF all the time don’t know what happened everyone forgave me but I feel terrible I’m on list to join the next course to stop drinking .
Well done on reaching 5 weeks Bonnie. It sounds as if there are some thoughts about alcohol that we need to work through and untangle for you. I look forward to helping you do that on the next course!
Thank you Kate, I’m on the waiting list I’m determined to do this !! Bonnie
Next week will mark two years of alcohol free living for me! Vacations were always a big worry of mine until I took your course and was outfitted with the proper armor and mindset. It ended up being not as difficult as I thought. When I first quit drinking I thought about it every day for the first six months, after that it began to fade and I don’t think about it much it all. Thank goodness for tasty alcohol free beverages like spiritless, AF beer, and AF wine. I still enjoy a good cocktail hour, just with alcohol free beverages, a clear conscience, a clear head, and no regrets! One of the best realizations I have had is that people really don’t pay attention to my drinking or not drinking as it were.
I love this post Barb! Congratulations on your upcoming two year anniversary as well. That is fantastic, well done ❤️
This came at a perfect time Kate. Im doing the July course ( im behind but reading as much as I can everyday). Im going on holidays next Saturday, I never imagined id be going AF. Apart from two pregnancies, this is the longest time iv ever not had an alcoholic drink since my late teens. Its 4 weeks now.
The idea of having a few drinks seems nice, I’ll be honest but the ending and next day are just not worth it anymore.
What would be the pleasure, benefit or service that ethanol would provide for you Susan? You have a great opportunity here to get out ahead of this and manage your thoughts. Unpick them one by one – that’s how you have the big breakthroughs. And of course, just post in the classroom if you need any help with that!
I recently started seeing a counselor about my drinking. I am turning 50 in September & have a girls trip planned for October. I want to put off my outpatient rehab until after the girls trip by my counselor thinks the sooner the better. I know it sounds as if I am making excuses but I would like to wait until after the trip. Any advice??
Your counsellor is right. There will always be a reason to delay this. By putting this off, you’re going to miss out big time – you’re missing out on your sobriety and missing out on the opportunity to discover that girls trips are totally doable, alcohol free. (In fact, they’re better). If you need any help to quit drinking and feel good about it, here’s how I can help you: https://thesoberschool.com/course/