Written by TASMIN WABY

Is 2021 the year to try sober travel?

More travelers are choosing sober nights out when traveling, finding their experiences are richer, more memorable and they're more engaged with local culture than when they hopped between bars.

Not-drinking is one of the most surprising growing trends. A growing number of adults have realized the effects of alcohol on their mental and physical health often outweigh any benefits.

Perhaps a subset of the wellness movement, sober living is really about connection, rather than puritanism.

By giving booze a raincheck on holidays, travelers are finding they feel more authentic, are more present and start tapping into a sense of belonging that alcohol once temporarily provided.


Going out after dark is the obvious time when giving up on drinking could seem problematic. How does one dance, flirt, or abandon yourself to "where the night takes you" without a couple of drinks?

By not drinking when partying, you’ll quickly realise that music is a greater elixir than the green fairy (absinthe).

Get some travel companions on board and hit some nightclubs sober – you’ll find the right tune to get you on the dancefloor. And the messier the other patrons get, the less embarrassed you’ll feel.

What’s more, the next morning you won’t feel terrible, and you’ll have the energy to do all those daytime activities you planned as well.

Beyond dancing the night away at a roof-top bar in Bangkok or an underground club in Berlin, there are myriad nights out that don’t require a ready-made excuse if someone offers to buy you a drink.

Many of the world’s cities will have theater, stand-up comedy, spoken-word performances, readings, escape rooms, live-music gigs, and late-night bookstores.

There also plenty of after-hours events at museums and art galleries, or night-time walking tours to keep you busy and booze-free.

Broaden your idea of a fun night out and you’ll find sober travel may well make you more adventurous, not less.