How to Drink Less on Vacation: 4 Tips For Cutting Back on the Booze

With the world opening up after COVID-19 and the warm weather in full swing, many people are planning to soak up the sunshine with a long-overdue vacation.

However, many of those impacted by stress during the pandemic found themselves drinking much more than they did before. And after so much uncertainty in the past year, it can be tempting to overindulge in alcohol while traveling.

Below, we’ll cover why you might want to cut back on alcohol during vacation, as well as some of the best tips for sticking to your drinking limits.

Why Drinking Less on Vacation Can Be a Good Thing

hand holding cocktail against the backdrop of a bright blue ocean
Photo by Ibrahim Razzan on Unsplash

It can be tricky to figure out how to stay healthy while traveling. You might feel bombarded with all the alcoholic drink options at restaurants, clubs, and even at the airport—but the truth is, there are several reasons to not drink when traveling.

For instance, cutting down on alcohol can help you stay present during all the activities you have planned. And less drinking means you’ll feel healthier and more energized during your vacation, too.

Aside from that, binge drinking can dampen your mood1 and drain you of energy. Vacations are a time for recharging and recovering, and too much booze can leave you feeling more worn out on your flight home than you were before you left.

Tips for Drinking Less on Vacation

Here are some easy-to-implement tips to help you stay in line with your alcohol goals while you’re on vacation.

1. Get Clear About Your Intentions

If you’re trying to drink less on vacation, it’s helpful to get in the right headspace before you even depart. While you’re preparing for your time off, think about your limits regarding drinking—and most importantly, why you want those limits in place.

If you have time, write down your drinking goals on paper or even in the notes app on your phone. Writing your goals down2 can help you follow through with them later on.

2. Space Out Your Drinks

If you’re aiming for responsible drinking instead of going totally sober, you can try to space your drinks out as a way to pace yourself.

Try alternating a glass or two of water between every alcoholic drink you have. This way, you can find a happy medium with your drinking, and you won’t end up feeling sick the next day.

It won’t feel like you’re completely depriving yourself, but you won’t be going over the top, either. To be extra safe, you can set a cap for how many alcoholic drinks you’ll allow yourself to have in total.

3. Fill Your Schedule with Exploring and Other Activities

You can try packing your schedule with adventurous and wholesome activities to drink less on vacation. If you keep busy, you might not even have the time to think about alcohol.

That said, feel free to get strategic with your itinerary. For example, if you schedule plenty of morning activities, you’ll have a reason not to drink during previous nights. And with a busy day, you’ll be too tuckered out to even consider drinking by the time night comes around.

4. Find Support and Stay Connected

two feet on the end of a dock with a lamp overlooking a lake
Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

The most helpful thing for many people traveling while sober is finding support from friends or loved ones.

Don’t be afraid to tell your traveling companions that you’re trying to cut back. You may be surprised at just how receptive and willing to help people are. And a close friend or family member may even offer to be your accountability buddy.

All things considered, having support makes the process of turning down the alcohol on vacation a whole lot easier.

The Bottom Line on Traveling While Sober

By finding support, setting your goals, and focusing on new experiences during your vacation, you might find out that you didn’t need or want alcohol as much as you thought you did.

If you’ve tried to get your alcohol use under control—whether that’s on vacation or at home—but struggled, Ria Health may be able to help.

Ria Health is a convenient online option that can help you reach your goals regarding alcohol, whether that means cutting back or quitting entirely.

You can access weekly coaching meetings, prescription medications for cravings, and more—all from a handy smartphone app. Learn more about how we can help or schedule a call today.

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Written By:
Minnesota-based freelancer and health advocate who aims to empower others through her work.
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