Kate's Blog

Why You Need An Alcohol-Free Holiday This Year

This summer feels like it’s going to be the first ‘normal’ one in ages.

Travel is back and holidays are on.

Whether you’re going away for a weekend or a few weeks, it can bring up the same question: “How do I do this… sober?!”

You might be curious, nervous or overwhelmed at the thought of an alcohol-free holiday.

So let me show you why it might be the best break you ever take…

Key points

The best kind of upgrade

An alcohol-free holiday is better than travelling in business class and better than getting a big, fancy room with a sea view. None of those ‘upgrades’ matter if you’re a bit out of it and can’t really remember it later. Holidays are about memories and experiences… and alcohol interferes with all of that.

Can’t picture it? No problem

If you’ve always associated holidays with drinking, it makes sense that you’d rather do what you’ve always done. We can have compassion for our brain (which loves certainty and doing the same thing over and over) whilst still choosing to do something different.

Alcohol isn’t the secret to a good trip

Here’s what most people miss: holidays are relaxing in their own right. Reading on a sun lounger is relaxing. Not having to work is relaxing. Being somewhere else, trying out new food, cultures, sightseeing… that is all special and fun in its own right.

So many benefits

An alcohol-free holiday will leave you feeling properly rested with crystal-clear memories. And who knows what else you’ll do or discover about yourself? When you ditch alcohol, you free up space for all kinds of adventures and new experiences.

Looking for help to create an alcohol-free lifestyle that feels good whether you’re at home or on holiday? Click here for details of my online coaching programme.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


39 responses

  1. Kate,
    I was really nervous about an upcoming cruise to the Bahamas I have lined up with the family this month and your video was a great reminder to me on the reasons why I want to stay sober. The last cruise we went on I was not myself and drank the entire time, this time I want to remember every second and your video really helped me to put that into perspective. Thank you for your words and guidance, they are really felt and appreciated!

    1. You are most welcome! I hope you have an amazing, relaxing cruise and make many wonderful memories too.

    2. I just wanted to say I love your passion in this blog, Kate. I’m sold! My last alcohol-free holiday was not good, but I realised that’s because it was fraught with problems and tensions. It wasn’t actually anything to do with not drinking, it was just a bad holiday! Definitely ready for another try.

  2. Hi Kate,
    Just back from a week away visiting my daughter and son in law. It was great to be sober and enjoy every day. Was wonderful to sit on the balcony every morning with my coffee enjoying the sea views and not lying in bed with headache missing the sunrise.
    The best part was my son in law was so proud of me not drinking even tho they were and he said how much nicer I am. Also they are having a break from alcohol as they could see how much better I was!
    Just hit 70 days today and going strong.

      1. Thank you for your encouraging message and your time. I must admit I was a little leary at first. But knowing I’m not on the journey alone makes a huge difference. The Best upgrade indeed.

  3. Hi Kate, This email was so timely. I’m off to see my sister and her family for the first time since I went alcohol-free. In fact I went alcohol-free 8 months ago on your course the day after visiting my sister for the weekend.
    I don’t think I’ve ever been with my sister and not drink as she constantly drinks socially. I’m going because my nephew is getting married and I am going to be in the middle a huge boozy reception.
    Your video has reinforced the fact that I can do the next week alcohol-free and create a new experience for myself. Alcohol-free has been ok up till now so this will be a realchallenge.
    Thank you

  4. Thank you for the video Kate,
    I am back on the sober wagon and feeling great. You are so right about how our minds work, and want to do the same thing over and over, and I am keeping my sober tool box very close.
    I love the beautiful back drops in your videos.
    Love, Jean Higgens.

  5. I am fortunate enough to live out in the country with a big back porch and a great view. To relax my roommate and I regularly (almost every day) sit on the back porch, listen to music, and drink. This week is my first week of trying to be sober, and my hardest challenge has been that relaxation time. Your video helped me to realize I just need to do more than just sit on the porch to relax. I have been feeling guilty about not being able to participate with him in this tradition, so I have just been feeling unhappy and anxious. That’s not very relaxing! Maybe I can find something to do “while” enjoying the porch to take the place of drinking. Thank you for all the great insights!

    1. How about making yourself a delicious mocktail or try a new alcohol free drink – there is a much wider and better choice these days. It doesn’t matter what is in your glass, the relaxation comes from enjoying the view, listening to music and spending time with your roommate.

      1. So true Kate! What I learned in the Getting Unstuck course…….. same glass, different liquid! I make a beautiful G&T with out the G! Lots of ice, tonic and a slice of lime!

  6. Literally just booked a week in July and was thinking about this!
    I’m going on my own so I think I’ll be okay because I have planned what I’m going to do each day, and it doesn’t include alcohol! lots of reading, swimming and soaking up the sun!

  7. Hi Kate, just back from a reunion! Was A/F. Had a wonderful time with great memories!! Before I left I reviewed my list of “ what I like about A/F living, from your Unstuck Course! It’s a great reminder!

  8. As always, thank you Kate. You are there for all of us who are learning how great alcohol free living really is in a way no one else has been able to do. ♥️

      1. Love the video Kate, this has been an eye opener for me! I am going to the Lake District soon and will now set myself the challenge of not drinking. I love the idea of coming back feeling refreshed and with crystal clear memories x

  9. Thanks Kate just come back from first trip abroad since Covid and being alcohol free and your words are so true!
    It was fantastic- I used to feel I needed a detox after a week away feeling sluggish and tired from daily excesses. It was so different this time no hangover/headaches meant each day was enjoyed to the full – truly an upgrade !
    I had a fabulous mango and lime nojito watching sunset on a rooftop bar and a few AF beers when I wanted to make the holiday connections that were familiar x
    Just love ❤️ the freedom from not constantly having to think about when how and what to drink.
    One decision made sorted and then so much more space and energy for all life has to offer
    520 days sober and loving AF life and planning next trip ! Thanks to getting unstuck course and Kate forever grateful x

    1. That’s fabulous to hear Claire, what an upgrade indeed! Congratulations on your 520 days of freedom too, sobriety is the gift that keeps on giving 🙂

  10. Hi all
    I went on a cruise ship alcohol free package absolutely excellent I couldn’t believe how much respect I got from the bartenders when I asked for alcohol free or virgin they liked to call it you can take the same Photos ,
    What I did notice was how much everyone else was drinking and not even finished and ordered more with no respect a real eye-opener
    I hopefully will be on your course in July as when things go really wrong I turn to wine and I don’t know how to deal with it well done to you ladies and I think you will be surprised as I was.

  11. July 2020 graduate here. After a few stops and starts I’m celebrating 192 days A/F today and just bought myself a beautiful ring for 6 months. 1st post-COVID and 1st sober vacation coming up June 21. I am so excited for this totally new experience. It took about 5 months for the awesomeness of sobriety to really sink in. It is so so so worth it and though it took me a bit your course is what turned me around so thank you.

    1. I’m so pleased it has clicked for you Doni and you are enjoying the ‘awesomeness of sobriety’ – love that!

  12. Hi everyone! This is really fab for me to listen to right now! I’m originally from London but now live in the Netherlands. I’m flying back to the UK on Friday to stay with my daughter in London and see all my close family including mum, my brother Andy and Ryan, my son, and his new wife! The first thing I’ve noticed is that I am so well prepared ahead of usual as normally when I’m drinking it’s a scramble to pack my case the day before and i always forget something. We have made lots of plans for days out including Going on a day out swinging in the treetops like apes! Lol! Also a spa day! I would never have done that before, every event was linked to drinking in pubs or restaurants. I’m really looking forward to making new memories instead of being able to remember little but lots of headaches. A real upgrade!

    1. It sounds like you have a great trip planned Sue and lots of memories to make with your nearest and dearest.

  13. 100 days sober today! I am so happy, couldn’t have done it alone. I’m an April 2022 graduate so still early in sobriety but I have decided to never go back, Kate, you are such an inspiration I love listening to your blogs and reviewing the lessons it really helps me. My new goal is another 100 days which will take me over the summer and a lovely cottage vacation with my kids and grandkids AF!

  14. It is difficult when you are having an alcohol free alternative such as 0.O% and people say if no alcohol would rather have water !!

  15. I haven’t done a full holiday but I’ve recently had some long weekends away without alcohol. I thought I would miss it but I did more and saw more. After a full day, I woke up fresh with a good night’s sleep.
    Not to mention the money I saved not stopping in every pub I passed. Trips and long weekend breaks are more affordable when you aren’t adding up the booze budget in your head.

  16. Hi Kate – This blog interests me because we travel a lot to Italy, one of the major wine-producing regions of the world! We often include a wine tasting in our trips, whilst sipping wine in piazzas and on terraces or having a beer with a pizza is a is a big part of our experience. I’ve watched a lot of your blogs and videos but I haven’t seen so far any reference to actually really liking the taste of a good wine or a cold beer – could this be explored? I realise that whilst the above description of our holiday buys into the glamorisation of alcohol and I’ve had enough days dragging myself around places on trips abroad all day or just wanting to sleep whilst travelling through stunning views all because I’ve drunk too much the night before to know that this is only one side of the picture. However my personal motivation to drink isn’t always about relaxing, de-stressing or feeling more confident etc but that I actually enjoy the product! I’ve found one or two alcohol free beers that are ok for drinking at home but I really don’t like soft drinks like juice and coke etc. I have a lot of occasions and trips coming up so it would be useful to get your take on this.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences Kay. My take on this is that one glass often leads to another and another and before you know it, one has become many and the hangover, guilt and dragging yourself through the day, as you describe, follows. These days, the non-alcoholic drinks market has boomed so there is a wide variety to try. Holiday trips are enjoyed even more with a crystal clear memory of them.

      I wrote a blog about the taste myth just after Dry January last year, but I think you might find it helpful: https://thesoberschool.com/taste-tolerance-and-triggering-posts/

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