Sober tourism: How to travel sober and alcohol-free in 2024
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/Pexels
As much as we love a fruity cocktail or a tipple of bubbly, sometimes we want to limit our alcohol consumption - either because of health concerns, we’re taking part in a challenge for a month or our taste buds simply aren’t in the mood for booze.
Abstaining from alcohol when out and about - particularly abroad - is an increasingly popular trend. Known as the ‘sober curious’ movement, Millennials and Gen Z are limiting how much alcohol they drink, with a 2020 study showing that alcohol abstinence is on the rise among these generations.
Younger people are drinking significantly less alcohol than older people did at their age - a 2018 report by Berenberg Research found that Gen Z are drinking 20% less alcohol per individual than Millennials, who themselves are drinking less than Gen X and Baby Boomers when they were their age.
It should therefore come as no surprise that the sober phenomenon has filtered through to tourism. It's been reported across Europe, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, according to Kantar. The increasing thirst for wine and beer that isn’t boozy has extended beyond Dry January and Sober October - the latter for Macmillan Cancer Support. An estimated nine million people in the UK gave up alcohol for Dry January this year, up from eight million UK adults the previous year, according to a survey by Alcohol Change UK showing that it's as popular as ever.
So if your trip happens while you're observing Dry January, Sober October, or if you just want to reduce the amount of booze you're drinking, fear not - there are so many options to choose from.
Travel company Expedia predicts ‘dry tripping’ will be one of the biggest trends for holidaymakers in 2024. In addition to beverage brands and celebrities releasing non-alcoholic products, like Kylie Minogue’s popular wine brand, the travel industry is also catering to sober-curious travellers by stocking minibars with zero-proof options or by offering mocktail-making experiences.
According to a poll conducted by OnePoll for Expedia, more than 40% of travellers say they are likely to book a detox trip in the next year and half of travellers say they would be interested in staying at hotels that offer easily accessible alcohol-free beverage options.
Of the 20,000 people asked from North and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific one in four say the top reason for drinking less on holiday is to stay in control and to feel better emotionally and physically.
Expedia has a massive library of hotels that are perfect for your dry tripping adventures.
For those looking for a UK-based excursion, Somerton Lodge Hotel on the Isle of White is a charming hotel that offers alcohol-free options.
While the Merrion Hotel in Ireland distils its own non-alcoholic gin. If you’re looking for something further away from home there are so many delightful options, like Rhadana Kuta Bali, which is a thematic boutique hotel and the first certified halal hotel in Bali. Plus, it has a pool!
Revival Baltimore in the city’s Mount Vernon neighbourhood launched a local zero-proof cocktail programme by a sober bar manager and mixologist.
Over in Florida, travellers visiting the Sunshine State can opt to stay at Ette Hotel in Orlando, which is home to stunning mocktails devised by a master mixologist.
But if you happen to be looking for a place to stay in Nevada, Wynn Las Vegas has “Drinking Well,” a zero-proof cocktail programme developed by a master mixologist at the resort with innovative ingredients like reishi mushrooms, lion’s mane, ashwagandha and maca.
Or perhaps you’re thirsty for a mocktail at The Rosewood Phuket, an upmarket beachfront hotel with a spa, near Tri Trang Beach in Thailand. Guests can take part in a daily mocktail workshop for free.
In addition to hotels offering mocktails and alcohol-free wine and beer, you could also try and find an excursion to satisfy your taste buds while remaining sober (and avoiding any sore heads or dodgy stomachs in the morning).
In Belgium, which is famous for its beer, there is a growing non-alcoholic beer scene. You can try non-alcoholic Belgian beer with Hoppiness Brussels, which is in the country’s capital. The sommelier will give you an introduction of Belgian beer culture and the craft beer scene.