Spring is fast approaching, and with the recent news about travel restrictions and isolation easing, it looks like we can all start thinking about holidays further afield again. I’ve been fortunate enough to get away on a few trips recently – one to Phuket and a few mini-breaks within the UK, which I’ve enjoyed immensely. I love to travel, and I’ve been lucky to see some beautiful places in my lifetime. But it’s only since becoming sober that I’ve truly come to appreciate the beauty of exploring new cities and cultures without the memory zapping effects of alcohol.
For those of you newly sober, the thought of alcohol-free holidays might seem overwhelming. It’s no surprise. After all, holidays are intrinsically linked to drinking. The pre-flight prosecco at the airport (the only place it’s deemed acceptable to drink at 6am), the G&T’s on board, and the cocktails during happy hour at the hotel are all symbolic of a trip to the sunshine. In fact, British holidaymakers have such a reputation for binge drinking that certain resorts in the Balearic islands brought in new laws limiting Brits to 6 drinks a day.
Sober holidays may seem intimidating, but speak to anybody who’s given up drinking, and they’ll tell you that holidaying sober is the best way to enjoy your travel adventure. There’s no denying that your first sober holiday will need some preparation work (keep reading to the end for some helpful sober holiday tips), but once you’ve experienced one sober holiday, you’ll discover it’s the best way to relax and recharge.
6 incredible benefits of sober holidays
You rest properly
Isn’t it strange how people return from holiday and declare they need a holiday to recover?
But really, it’s no surprise that after a week or two of binge drinking, the body needs time to rest and recuperate.
The truth is alcohol plays havoc with your mental and physical health, and binge drinking is one of the worst offenders. Think back to your last boozy holiday. Did you throw in any alcohol-free days? I know I certainly didn’t when I was a heavy drinker. Holidays meant party time, and with alcohol by my side, I was the life and soul.
Yet binge drinking can cause serious damage, like Holiday Heart Syndrome and heavily impaired judgment.
Enjoying a sober holiday means you’ll be able to rest and relax fully. Giving up alcohol means your sleep patterns are more stable. So whether you’re lying on a beach or out exploring a beautiful city, you’ll have a clear head and a happier heart.
Enjoy a beautiful sunset or instill some calm into your life with a sunrise meditation. Sober holidays are the best way to create space in your mind while enjoying the sounds and sights of a different culture.
Create memories that you won’t forget
Ever looked back at photos of past holidays and wished the memories weren’t so hazy?
Sober holidays don’t only help you relax; they also leave a lasting impression. No more drunken thoughts of “What did I do last night?” or mornings wasted in bed feeling hungover, nauseous, and anxious.
When you’re sober, you realise that life is packed with opportunities. Different destinations open up a world of possibilities and experiences. Bars, nightclubs, or wine tastings no longer control your days. Instead, you’re free to try new adventures, meet new people and immerse yourself in the culture.
Try different activities like hiking, cycling, or water sports. Visit museums, sit out, enjoy a coffee at a little street cafe, or book yourself a spa treatment.
Whatever you fill your days with, sober holidays ensure you come back with a heart filled with beautiful memories.
If you’re looking for sober holiday ideas, use these suggestions to get you started.
Enjoy a flavour sensation
Is there anything more delicious than the taste of authentic Italian gelato or delicious mouth-watering Spanish tapas? During a sober holiday, you can taste all the local flavors without alcohol numbing your pallet.
Why not find some hidden gem restaurants or book yourself on a food tour. Without alcohol adding wasted calories to your diet, you can afford to splurge on some delectable edible treats.
If you want to learn more about the traditional foods of your destination, a cookery class is a great place to start. Or why not take a food tour and discover local culinary secrets that’ll wow your friends when you get home.
Save money to spend on other exciting experiences
Even during Happy Hour, alcohol doesn’t come cheap. The cocktails, bottles of wine, and cold beers soon add up and can end up costing a small fortune.
Enjoying a sober holiday means you’ll save money, making your holiday cheaper, or you’ll have more money to spend on extra special treats like restaurants, spa days, or adrenaline-pumping experiences.
Take yourself away from the poolside bar, and you’ll discover a host of other activities to help fill your day. For example, why not hire a car and get out and about to explore your destination. Being able to explore by car is a brilliant advantage to staying sober.
If you have kids, you’ll have more money to spend on family fun like water parks and theme parks. What’s more, you and the kids will have a more enjoyable time if you aren’t feeling worse for wear from a hangover.
Stuck for ideas? Look for some of these activities around your holiday destination and try a new adventure:
- Jet skiing
- Interactive museums
- Theme parks
- Ghost tours
- Spa day
- Bus tours
Being sober is safer
We’ve all been there – that sudden panic as you search in your bag for your passport, heart in mouth as you struggle to find it. Thankfully most of the time, it’s hidden at the bottom of your bag, but what happens if you have mislaid it?
Imagine how more difficult sorting out travel and new passport details are with a raging hangover. Anxiety kicks in, and rational thinking goes out the window. Whereas holidaying sober means that you’re 100% present to deal with whatever mishaps life throws your way.
Another worrying statistic is the level of danger holidaymakers put themselves in when drunk. When alcohol kicks in, inhibitions check out, which often leads to unsafe behaviour. It also creates tension with the locals as rules get broken, and drunken behaviour gets out of hand.
Having a good time on holiday is one thing, but not being able to find your way back to the hotel or wandering around drunk in an area unknown to you isn’t safe. Sober holidays mean you have a great time while also holding onto your common sense and dignity.
You’ll return from holiday with a stronger mindset
My clients often think that sober holidays are one of the hardest things to do after giving up alcohol. If alcohol is ingrained into your holiday vibe, breaking out of that mindset can be tricky. But once you’ve experienced your first sober holiday, you’ll come back stronger. If you can holiday sober, you can do anything sober.
It’s always good to have a plan in place for your first sober holiday. If you’re planning a holiday soon, my sober holiday tips are:
- Tell your friends and family that you aren’t planning on drinking BEFORE you go. That way, they know what to expect and are more likely to support you.
- Enjoy your pre-holiday time at the airport. Go for a bite to eat, or book yourself into one of the airport nail salons and start your holiday feeling fabulous.
- Organise activities for the evenings or happy hour times. You’ll be out and about enjoying new sights and sounds instead of pining for a drink.
- Get outdoors. Exercise is a great way to raise the feel-good endorphins. Go for a walk or hire a bike.
- Focus on the food. You’ll be saving hundreds of calories by not drinking, so make the most of the delicious food on offer.
Need help to strengthen your sobriety for sober holidays in 2022? Book a JOMO call and transform your mindset.
Getting and staying sober is a huge achievement and one you should be proud of. If you’d like some help to transform your mindset and life goals, why not sign up for my 12 week 1:1 coaching programme. Together we’ll map out a way forward for the new sober you, improving your inner wellbeing and helping you discover your true soul purpose.
Or book a Clarity Call for a 1:1 chat about moving forward with your sobriety.
Sober holidays are the BEST way to explore our fascinating world. Adventure confidently, knowing you’ll enjoy long-lasting memories for years to come.