Sober holidays – 5 top tips to help you enjoy your holiday alcohol-free

Sober holidays – 5 top tips to help you enjoy your holiday alcohol-free

If you were anything like me then traditionally, travelling and holidaying would go hand-in-hand with booze – and quite a lot of it too. So It doesn’t matter how much you love travelling, doing it sober might be quite scary to imagine, especially if your next trip is going to be your first one without booze. 

To combat any pre-travel jitters, I thought I’d share some of my best tips on how to have the best time on your sober holidays!

Get used to the fact that you’ll have so much time

Since you will no longer just be ‘boozing around’, you will have a lot more time on your hands to actually DO stuff. For me, that’s reading a good book (or two), chilling at the pool and sometimes more active things like canoeing, city tours, diving and cycling. Whilst it’s a really good idea to book some stuff in advance, I don’t recommend overdoing it because one of the many perks of not drinking during your holiday is that you actually get to go home rested! 

A word of warning: You may feel a bit lost or bored on the first few days of your first sober holiday. This is totally normal and inevitably will turn into feeling free, relaxed and f*cking amazing.

Make sure to stay connected

Always ensure that you stay in touch with people who understand and support your sobriety. If you are on holiday with them – great, but if you are not then I suggest that you check in daily with someone that knows you’re sober, even if it’s just a quick WhatsApp message. It is all too easy to get swooped back into the old normal – especially if everyone around you is doing júst that.

Take your own alcohol-free drinks

Not always an option but much easier on trips by car. Finding, bringing and drinking alcohol-free alternatives can be super fun. Ever since I stopped drinking, I’ve immersed myself in the world of ‘bubblypoptails’ – my made-up name for non-alcoholic cocktails!!

Holiday with the right people

Unless you’re going on a specific sober trip (it’s a thing! See my last tip!), it’s likely that you’ll be the only non-drinker in the group. This can be tough, especially in the beginning when you are yet to feel 100% confident in your sobriety. I´d like to suggest that if you think you might not be able to stay true to yourself and your choice of leading an alcohol-free life, then perhaps don´t go. Say no to that specific trip. There will be many more in the future and it isn’t worth risking your hard-earned sobriety for it.

However, if you do feel strong in your sobriety and you think you are totally ready – go for it! 

Choose the right type of holiday

Not all holidays need to revolve around drinking – there are other options!

1.All-inclusive Holidays without paying for booze 

You might like the idea of an all-inclusive holiday but are either feeling a bit overwhelmed about being surrounded by unlimited booze or you might feel cheated because of the fact that you´ll be paying for alcoholic drinks but won’t be drinking any. In this case, book a resort that offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic all-in packages and pay way less! Plus, bar staff won’t hand you any booze because you’re wearing the wrong colour bracelet, winner! Just Google “all-inclusive holidays without alcohol” and you can find dreamy destinations that offer this! 

2.Non-alcoholic hotels

Then there are hotels that don’t offer nor allow alcohol on their premises at all! Again, just Google and thou shalt find 😉 By staying at a place like this, you make it a lot easier for yourself not to be tempted by drinking alcohol. Plus, there will be a guaranteed array of great alcohol-free options!

3.Sober holidays

Then, last but definitely not least: Did you know that nowadays there are actual sober holidays being offered? Booze-free trips organised specifically for us! There are not a whole lot of options yet but the demand is growing. So much so that I actually decided to start organising Sober Paradise Retreats myself, right here in sunny Spain.

This September, I am hosting a Sober Paradise retreat in Marbella. If you could do with a break after these tough few years and are able to break free from your responsibilities for five days, then come and join me on this booze-free holiday full of sun, yoga, hikes, guided meditations, amazing (mainly) plant-based foods & complete relaxation…! Let’s get you ready for an amazing, sober & sobriety-loving Post-Covid YOU ❤️

As you can see there are many options of how to make the most of sober holidays, either with family and/or friends that drink, sober buddies or solo! The most important thing is that you follow your instincts in what feels comfortable for you and stay close to that feeling. Make sure to put your sobriety first for as long as needed and the rest will follow. 


Written by Isabel Van Zuilen

Isabel (Izzy) is an expat living in sunny Marbella with her little family. A happy non-drinker since May 2019, when she dived into the world of alcohol-free drinks and has made it her goal to try every non-alcoholic bubbly on the market! You can find her sparkly journey on Instagram at @sobertopia.

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