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- Apr 22, 2024

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11 Tips for Navigating Sober Travel

Whether sober-curious or committed to substance-free lifestyles, a growing number of travelers are embracing sobriety on global adventures. While it may be hard to imagine navigating vacation environments without a drink in hand, it's important to remember that sober travel isn’t about what we give up, but what we gain: transformative journeys that emphasize the joy of fully embracing the present moment. Whether you’re jumping into a fresh round of Dry January or years into your sobriety journey, we've compiled 11 tips to help you maximize your vacation experience while staying true to your commitments: 

  1. Expect to Have Fun

  • It can be easy to fixate on our worries, but before you depart, take time to visualize the positive experiences you want to create. Set your intention to have a wonderful sober vacation.  

  1. Have A Plan

  • Know your triggers and plan to avoid and manage them, like relaxing in airport cafes instead of bars, or deciding how to decline drink offers or answer questions about why you’re not drinking. Maybe you simply say no thanks; order a mocktail or non-alcoholic beer; or ask for spruced-up sodas, like seltzer water with lime and a splash of cranberry. Plan an exit strategy in case any situation becomes uncomfortable, and don’t be afraid to reach out to your sponsor or established support networks. 

  1. Signal Sobriety

  • If you’d rather avoid the conversation altogether, inquire if your resort, cruise, or tour company offers sobriety bracelets to signal that you prefer not to be offered alcohol. 

  1. Taste The Rainbow

  •  Try regional nonalcoholic beverages, like Irn Bru in Scotland or authentic mint tea in Morocco. Research the best spots to experience regional flavors and culture, like smoothie bars or teahouses. There’s a whole world of alcohol-free beverages to explore, from Vietnamese Egg Coffee to Crodino in Italy!  

  1. Treat Yourself

  • Use the money you save by skipping alcohol for something much more fun: pampering yourself! Splurge on spa treatments, artisanal souvenirs, and local cuisine, from cooking classes to fine dining reservations. You deserve it! 

  1. Diversify Your Dining

  1. Think Outside the Bars

  • There is so much more to do at night than sitting at a bar. Expand your nightlife horizons: check out comedy shows, mystery dinner theaters, moonlit kayaking tours, dance performances, or something spooky, like an underground ghost tour of Edinburgh. 

  1. Make the Most of the Morning

  • Plan and pre-book morning activities to encourage yourself to resist late-night temptations. Sign up for morning fitness classes or go for a walk before the crowds arrive. Early mornings also often provide beautiful light for wildlife-viewing and photography.  

  1. Venture Outside

  • Consider trips that focus on outdoor adventures rather than bars. A sober state is required to safely participate in activities like scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking, trail running, biking, and so much more. From birding tours to outdoor painting workshops, nature offers something for everyone to enjoy. 

  1. Cultivate Community

  • Whenever possible, travel with like-minded, respectful individuals. Communicate your boundaries to create a positive environment and build a support network to hold each other accountable. Consider group travel companies that support sobriety. For example, Olivia Travel offers 12-step meetings on resort takeovers and cruise charters, giving travelers the chance to establish a support network among LGBTQ+ community. 

  1. Be Mindful of Wellness

  • Incorporate self-care practices such as yoga, meditation, and journaling into your travel routine. Consider travel experiences like Sum of Us Festival, a sober-friendly queer wellness event, or Olivia Travel’s resort vacations, where you’ll have the option to begin every day with Sunrise Yoga and Meditation while surrounded by palm trees and LGBTQ+ community. Prioritize your well-being to help make the most of your travels while staying true to your values. 

Sober travel opens doors to form authentic connections, embrace the present moment, and fully experience your adventures. With these tips and a bit of planning, you can set yourself up to make the most of your travels and bring home lasting memories.  

With Olivia Travel, LGBTQ+ travelers are welcome to savor every moment of your vacation, alcohol-free. We can say cheers to that!