Whether you’re going long haul or planning a staycation at Chez Moi, holiday season is beckoning to us so hard, we can almost feel the sand between our toes.  

OYNB On Vacation

Some people want unadulterated relaxation from their vacation, with nothing more to do than lazily lift a finger to turn a page on the Kindle. Others are desperate for some excitement, be it clubs, daredevil activities or the thrill of travelling off the beaten track.

Whether you’re just starting out with OYNB or already some way along your alcohol-free journey, then you might be viewing holidays with a sense of trepidation. Whatever else holidays throw at us: sun, sea, freedom from the old routine and so on, you can bet your bottom dollar that alcohol will be nearby as well.

All-you-can-drink cocktails by the pool. A burning mouthful of local firewater offered as a welcome. The persistent imagery of cold beers and wine on a hot day. It’s almost impossible to ignore the constant messaging…holidays = alcohol.  

No Alcohol? No Problem!

But it’s not only possible to get through a holiday without alcohol: ditching the booze can make the whole experience much more enjoyable.  

If you’re flying off to hot and sunny climes, then take heart. Where there’s sun, there’s frequently exotic, sweet, juicy fruit. Few things are more glorious than an ice-cold slice of watermelon or a bowl of chilled pineapple and mango when the heat is on. If you’re self-catering, take the opportunity of creating some amazing alcohol-free fruity cocktails, loaded with ice and sparkling water.

Remember that alcohol itself is dehydrating. It’s a diuretic, which means it disrupts hormonal activity and inhibits the ability of the body to reabsorb water. The reality is that hot sun and alcohol can be a perilous combination.

Let’s face it: a hangover in a hot place is about as much fun as realising you’ve forgotten your passport when you’ve just arrived at the airport. Lying in the midday heat with a pounding head and lurching stomach from one too many last night? No thanks. Sticking to alcohol-free drinks means that you don’t miss a moment of that precious holiday.  

Holiday Like You Mean It

If you’re planning a holiday at home, then you might feel the familiar pressure of ‘marking the occasion’ with alcohol. Think instead of what you really want from this time away from work, responsibilities or studying. Do you need to unwind? Get active? Indulge in a hobby? Be with the people you love? All of the above?  

You know what makes you happy, so organise it. If you’re a foodie, plan some incredible meals – even if you’re eating alone. Order ingredients, write down the menu and get excited about it.  

Want to hit some gnarly mountain bike trails? Read the stack of books next to your bed? Take the kids to the park and paddle in the stream? Plan and look forward to whatever makes you feel good.  

Why Ditching the Drink Helps You Do More

One stratagem that works brilliantly on any holiday when you’re doing OYNB is to arrange activities that celebrate being alcohol-free and full of energy. It really helps to drive home the positives of OYNB and focus on what you gain, rather than being duped by the illusion that you’re missing out. We’ve rounded up a few ideas:

  • The sun rises everywhere in the world. Plan a sunrise picnic, listen to the dawn chorus and see a whole new day unfold before your eyes. If you’ve never done this before, it’s a pretty amazing experience.
  • Do something (safely) by torchlight at night! Midnight feast, late night hike or nocturnal nature ramble with older kids.  
  • Plan an outdoor activity that starts early in the morning to catch the dewy beauty of a fresh new day.  

Another way to take the pressure off when you’re doing OYNB at holiday time is to remind yourself that holidays are, by their nature, enjoyable and relaxing. The pressure of the daily grind is off. Stress can take it’s own hike – you’ve downed tools for a fortnight.  

Remember Every Moment

Shape your holiday around the things and people you love. If anyone tries to press alcohol into your hand to ‘enjoy yourself,’ don’t think twice about telling them that you’re enjoying every single alcohol-free minute. OYNB doesn’t hold you back – it encourages you to embrace every moment of your life.  

Your holiday is precious. With luck, it will create fantastic memories to cherish for years. OYNB means that you don’t miss out on one single second of it.  


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