Not everyone enjoys drinking alcohol. There are various reasons why, but at the end of the day your choice is yours alone and no one should judge you for it. But sometimes they do. We asked a bunch of sober travellers to share their tips and tricks for enjoying every single moment while they travel (even though it’s pretty easy to argue every moment is infinitely better without a hangover!).
Spending time in the great outdoors was the most common answer that came up. After all, most outdoorsy activities don’t go hand in hand with consuming alcohol! Suggestions include outdoor sports, hiking, running, walking and swimming. Diving, free diving or scuba, is also the perfect activity for non-drinkers as you can’t be under the influence to do it.
Not into exercise or sports? Try photography! A shaky hand from a hangover is not a photographer’s friend, epically for night photography! Let your passion for photography shine and get super clear, crisp pics while capturing your memories.
The weather where you’re holidaying might be cold or it’s night, but either way you can’t always be outside, so the best tips for having a blast indoors include my personal favourite: people watching! Who doesn’t love people watching?! If you don’t you can indulge in an epic spa day and get a massage, or hit up local museums and art galleries. Sober traveller Van L. suggests people “focus on the things you love”. For example, she travels for food and not drinking has allowed her to eat more food when she goes to a restaurant. “I sometimes have up to 5 meals a day depending on what country I am in”, Van says. There’s a lot of extra room when you’re not drinking after all!
Meet new people
Liquid courage can help amazing friendships form, as many of us are shy when meeting strangers. Truthfully though, you don’t need to be part of the drinking culture to meet people! A great way to find fellow travellers is to get chatting to people on day trips. “They’re less likely to be looking for a party” says Nikki W. Annie K. agrees, she says meetings and connections are everywhere! “Don’t go to bars. You’ll meet people everywhere,” she advises, “Spend your evenings exploring your city/town. Real life doesn’t revolve around alcohol”. Van’s ultimate trick for meeting people AND getting great tips is to go to restaurants and sit at the bar. “It’s a good way to talk to locals i.e. the bartender”, she explains, “They are more likely to have a chat with you because you haven’t ordered an alcoholic drink and you are sitting alone”.
Keep yourself busy
You might be travelling with a group who likes to drink and not want to miss out, and nor should you miss out! You can still go to bars and clubs and have a blast without touching a drop. The trick? Occupy yourself. Still go to Oktoberfest and instead of drinking, be entertained by the songs, the fun rides and eat all the amazing food. It’s also a good idea to go to places that aren’t just about alcohol. Find a bar with great live music, dancing or food so you have things to do without a drink in your hand. An energy drink is usually enough to get anyone on the d-floor! If you feel awkward explaining to people that you don’t drink, don’t says Van. “When meeting people and I don’t want to go into the whole “I don’t drink” conversation, I order a drink that looks like it might have alcohol in it,” she says, “I always go for a soda lime and bitters or even just a sparkling water with a lime in it, therefore in a social situation you still have a drink in hand without anyone asking questions”.