'I'm going on my first sober holiday to Europe. Here are the 5 "rules" I'm sticking to.'

For the majority of my adult life, vacations have been a chance to relax, drink cocktails by the beach, and on occasion, party the night away. 

Drinking is a big part of holidays, and it can be hard to picture one without a glass of wine in hand. However, it can be done!

This year, I'm off to Europe for a holiday. It won't be my first time visiting, but it will be my first time going alcohol-free. 

I'm looking forward to waking up early with a clear head, ready to "seize the day". There will be no more alcohol-induced dramas or regrettable 4am phone calls to my mum (sorry, Mum!).

Although this isn't my first rodeo, having enjoyed weekend getaways with girlfriends and even a romantic proposal in Fiji sober, I'm confident that this alcohol-free getaway will be equally, if not more, memorable.

So how do you plan and have an amazing holiday without the booze? Here are my five tips.

Watch: Your body after one year without alcohol. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

1. Choose accommodation carefully. 

When booking accommodation, don't pick a hotel that promotes partying 24/7 or is close to the main strip of bars. It's also probably not a great idea to book a party boat when the whole trip revolves around drinking. 

However, if that's your thing and you're not easily triggered, go for it - all the power to you.


If possible, book Airbnb's that give you a taste of what it would be like to live locally. That way you'll also most likely get a kitchenette so you can do some cooking and make your drinks at home. 

And if you're not spending your money on a night out drinking, you might be able to splurge more on the accommodation or dining out.

That leads me to...

2. Book restaurants before you go.

Try to plan and book a few restaurants before you get to your destination. That way you won't be rushing and picking places that might not have great alcohol-free options. 

If you haven't had the chance to book ahead, ask your hotel or Airbnb host for some suggestions.

If you're with a group that's drinking, take a friend aside at the start and make it known you won't be partaking. If anyone brings it up, they'll have your back.

3. Don't say no to partying just because you don't drink.

If the night carries on from dinner to a bar or club and you're in the mood, have fun. (You can read my 'How to party sober' article here.)

Just remember to stay hydrated, be comfortable and when you've had enough, leave (you don't need an excuse). 

4. Choose who to travel with wisely. 

When deciding on who to go on a trip with, picking friends or family who intend to spend most of their time drinking probably aren't the wisest people to travel with. 

At best, you'll spend your holidays sitting in a bar, bored, while those around you are tipsy to drunk, or at worst, it will trigger you to join in.

Pick people who are supportive of your decision not to drink, or at least happy to participate in activities that don't always revolve around drinking. It doesn't necessarily mean they can't drink - if it doesn't trigger you, them laying by a pool and drinking a cocktail while you drink your mocktail, then great.


Find a compromise that works for you and try not to get FOMO if you do need to go home to read a book after dinner instead of drinking till 2am in a bar.  

Listen to Fill My Cup, where host Allira Potter is joined by Sam Wilson, Founder of Sober Mates to share her sobriety story. Story continues after podcast.

5. Do the activities.

This will be different for each person and what they enjoy. A holiday for you could be laying on a beach, dancing the night away or hiking in a national park.

When you choose to holiday sans alcohol, you will inevitably have a lot more time for activities. So make sure you pack the extra book, take a cooking class, go canoeing, snorkel and have a siesta. 

It's incredible how much you can pack into a day when you're not starting it hungover and crawling to the coffee shop or to the pool bar to restart your day. 

If you need to plan out your days before you leave for your holiday or let each day take shape, do what works for you. Either way, make sure to find time for yourself. Even if it's a 30-minute walk along the beach or sitting in a cafe to reset. Be kind to yourself and remember it's your holiday too.

Best of all, when you get home from a sober holiday you'll most likely be well-rested, well-fed, and a whole lot more relaxed than when you started. 

I've never felt happier, healthier or more content than coming home from a sober getaway.

What are your tips and tricks to holidaying alcohol-free? Let me know in the comments below.

Featured Image: Supplied.

Love watching TV and movies? Take our survey now to go in the running to win a $100 gift voucher.