6 Tips for Travelling Alcohol-Free

woman laying by pool

Let’s face it, for many of us the association between travel and alcohol is a strong one whether it’s for business or pleasure. Travelling alcohol-free can offer a pretty big punch, whether travelling alone or with a group of friends or business colleagues. Many of us feel like we are in the land of make-believe once the plane takes off and we are flying through the air and landing in a place that isn’t home. Decisions we made at home can seem fuzzy and far away… Travel can be truly magical. And a bit topsy turvy.

How do we stay grounded and committed in our choice to travel alcohol-free as we navigate past airport lounges, flight attendants’ beverage carts and the welcome reception at the hotel? Or if we are lucky we may find ourselves on tropical beaches, sunning by a hotel pool or dining in a charming restaurant at dinner.  The best advice is old, tried and true.  Be prepared. 

How do we prepare? The same way we already prepare to ensure comfortable travel and a comfortable stay once we arrive at our destination. We just add a few more thoughtful gestures as little “gifts” to ourselves.  Here is a list of our favourite travel tips:

1. Make a rescue bag (Ziploc works just fine!) that you can use en route to your destination. This might include some of your favourite teas (ask the flight attendant for hot water for your teabag) that you can enjoy in the air or throughout your trip. Include a hand cream, essential oil roller (yes, it counts as a “liquid” at the airport security check) and some mints. Tastes and aromas can be very soothing!

2. If you are travelling by car/bus or train, take as many of your favourite NA beverages as you can fit to enjoy while on your trip.  Keep a few on ice that you can crack open upon arrival.  (N/A beer, bubbly or spirits will give you a festive feeling upon arrival) 

3. Go online and peruse restaurant menus in advance of your trip.  Some restaurants might have a more exciting  n/a drink choice than others.  Go to those ones and don’t be afraid to ask for a special drink in the restaurants that don’t offer N/A choices on their menu.

4. Check for the hidden places where booze might pop up. Some vacation places offer a glass of bubbly upon arrival at the check-in desk, as part of the spa experience or during a boat cruise.  Call ahead and ask for a n/a alternative in advance. 

5. Take a look at all your destination has to offer for activities you may not have considered in the past. There are so many great places to walk, hike or take a local yoga class. Chances are you will be up early, enjoying those hangover-free mornings!

6. Most importantly, reaffirm your decision to remain alcohol-free before leaving on your trip. If you leave it up to the “moment” well, let’s just say, things have a way of happening. After all, travel can be truly magical.

Safe travels and happy sipping,

- Margaret


Margaret is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a Certified She Recovers Coach. She holds a B.A in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Education and has worked in the field of Education for over 30 years.

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