With 2021 drawing to a close, it now seems that the COVID-19 pandemic may finally become far less of a threat than it had been in the past two years. As a result, more countries are relaxing travel restrictions and more people are likely to start traveling overseas.
This increase in travel might bring positive changes for a lot of people. According to Dallas Drug Treatment Centers, the pandemic has seen a sharp rise in alcohol and drug-related admissions, as more people seek solace in substances to cope with the unique challenges of the times. Alcohol use disorders, in particular, have risen precipitously after a historic decline.
If you’re planning to travel soon, it may be well worth considering laying off the booze altogether. Especially if you’ve been drinking more than usual. Here are some reasons to consider a sober vacation.
You’ll Probably Remember More from Your Trip
When you travel for leisure, you generally want to remember as much of what you experienced as possible. Having alcohol can therefore be counterproductive, especially when binge drinking is involved.
Any amount of alcohol has a negative effect on your brain, especially its ability to retain memories. Even if you’re not the type of person to get blackout drunk, drinking alcohol generally makes it more difficult for your brain to hang onto experiences. Something that you don’t want when you’re traveling.
Non-alcoholic Drink Options Are Better Than Ever
There was a time that the only palatable non-alcoholic beverage options you could reasonably expect to get at most bars, hotels, and airports would be coffee, soda, and juice. Alcohol-free or low-alcohol substitutes for traditional celebratory drinks were often hit-or-miss and often not worth considering.
These days, however, craft breweries and distilleries of all sizes the world over are now creating all kinds of high-quality alcohol-free substitutes for beer, whiskey, and champagne. And everything else you could think of! What’s more, there have also been truly amazing developments in the world of mocktails. If you’re in a situation where a celebratory drink is called for, your options now are much better than they would have been just a decade ago.
It Will Be Safer
Travelers may sometimes take the kind of risks that they wouldn’t necessarily take at home. Being buzzed while one should be paying attention is a particularly egregious example.
Impaired driving is a very real danger, regardless of where you are in the world. Additionally, many criminals specifically look for inebriated tourists to target. They know they will be easily suggestible and have poorer judgment.
You’ll Have More Energy to Spare
Being a depressant, alcohol will make you sedated and less energetic, even if you feel otherwise. This isn’t usually helpful in most travel situations. Especially if you’re on a tight schedule or are especially susceptible to being jet-lagged. Also, being hungover anywhere that isn’t your own bed is usually not something you want to be.
You’ll Save Money
In the grand scheme of things, alcohol can be very expensive. Not only is booze itself a nonessential item that we can end up paying thousands of dollars a year for, but there is also a real opportunity cost when it comes to heavy drinking.
In other words, when you drink heavily, you have to give up some things like a shot at a better career or a more stable home situation. Additionally, the medical expenses for alcohol-related illnesses like liver, heart, and kidney diseases, cancer, and mental health disorders are non-trivial.
It’s Healthier for You In The Long Run
You probably already knew that drinking too much isn’t good for you. In the vast majority of cases, a reduction in alcohol consumption is beneficial and reduces the risk of alcohol-related illnesses. It will also allow your organs a chance to heal. And lead to an improvement in your mental health and relationships.
Note that experiencing withdrawal symptoms or extreme discomfort when ceasing alcohol use can be a sign of an alcohol use disorder. In these cases, please seek medical attention immediately.
Is it Time to Take a Booze-free Trip?
While going alcohol-free on one trip may not necessarily change anything in the long-term, it could provide you that push you need to sober for good. If nothing else, deciding on an alcohol-free vacation can be a great way to reevaluate your drinking. It might even help you understand whether or not you really need any help.
If you suspect that you have a problem with your alcohol consumption, you may need to see a mental health professional. Alcohol use disorder is a serious illness that could have lifelong consequences if left untreated. Thankfully, early diagnosis and intervention can reduce the overall cost of treatment and vastly improve outcomes.