Are you Ready To Have An Amazing Sober Vacation?

Here are the 10 tips you need to do to plan your next alcohol-free trip and enjoy a sober vacation (even if you’ve never done it before)

I know it’s possible that every trip you’ve taken since college has featured cocktails on the beach, wine tasting tours or boozy pubs, but I promise you that you’re going to love a sober vacation. 

Lonely Planet wrote about Sober Travel as a growing trend noting “More travelers are choosing sober nights out when traveling, finding their experiences are richer, more memorable and they’re more engaged with local culture… 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.” 

But in order to enjoy a vacation without drinking it’s important to plan for success, not self-sabotage. 

I asked Margaret Ward, owner of Alcohol Free Adventure Retreats, an alcohol free travel company for women to join me to share our tips and strategies that will help you plan and enjoy sober vacations, survive airports, business trips and visits with the in-laws without diving into a bottle of wine. 

Tune in to hear us share:

  • 10 tips for alcohol-free travel
  • How to find the best sober vacation destinations and activities

  • Strategies to navigate business trips, airports and hotels alcohol-free
  • How to anticipate and manage travel triggers to drink
  • Why to plan for morning activities and have your main meal at lunch
  • How to build a sober travel toolbox
  • All the great experiences you’re missing when you spend your time drinking on vacation

Here are the highlights…

10 tips for planning alcohol-free travel and enjoying your next sober vacation

  1. Research your vacation or destination with sober travel in mind. When thinking about an alcohol-free trip, it’s helpful to look for destinations that aren’t focused on drinking as the primary activity. Some destinations are less focused on alcohol than others and even in countries and places famous for wine, beer and spirits there are plenty of amazing things to do alcohol free. You can take a walking photography tour in Paris, go bike riding in Amsterdam, watch the sunrise with coffee in Mexico, do a morning hike in Hawaii and so much more. Research what activities are available and look at restaurant menus for non-alcoholic drink options when making reservations. Look at Pinterest for inspiration for alcohol-free activities at your destination. 

  1. Think through what situations may be triggering to drink. Sometimes airport bars are a big draw or wine in first class on an airline is hard to resist. Late dinners out with large groups can be a gauntlet to navigate in early sobriety or happy hour at a swim up bar can be overwhelming. Think through different scenarios in advance to plan around them. My favorite way to avoid airport bars is to get a massage at an airport spa.  It’s a bit expensive, but so is alcohol and there’s nothing better than arriving at your destination refreshed and relaxed! And happy hour is the perfect time to go for a walk on the beach alone or take some quiet time to read before dinner.

  1. Pack a sober travel toolkit to take with you. Essential oils can be calming on airplanes or in hotel rooms. Earplugs and eye masks can help you get more rest and the Insight Timer App is wonderful for free sleep meditations. Download sober podcasts and audiobooks in advance so you can tap into sober support on the go. Bring your journal to write down what you’re feeling and seeing.


  2. Email or call ahead to ask your hotel or Airbnb to remove any alcohol in your room. This is an easy request that hotels hear all the time. You want to plan for sober success and having a bottle of wine or beer in your room after a long day makes that harder. Sometimes Airbnb’s will even replace a bottle of wine with a lovely selection of sparkling water or other non-alcoholic beverages!


  3. Plan ahead for morning activities. There is a saying among people who have quit drinking that “joy comes in the morning” and that is especially true of sober travel.  When you’re not hungover and have had a good night’s sleep you often have a whole city or destination to yourself in the mornings. I’ve explored Venice when the canals were quiet and empty and taken a Vespa trip in Paris when all the other tourists were asleep. Margaret suggests trying a new coffee shop each morning, finding the best spot to watch the sunrise or planning an early morning run or walk (many cities have early morning walking tours available). If you have something planned in the morning it’s also a great reason to excuse yourself from staying out too late.

6. Stick to your routine: don’t overschedule and remember to have some downtime. If you’re used to getting up at a certain time or falling asleep at a certain time it’s great to stick to that schedule. We often make poor decisions when we’re tired so you’ll be stronger in your resolve to stay alcohol-free if you allow yourself some time to rest and regroup. It’s OK to take a nap and read a book.

7. State your intention to have a sober vacation or alcohol-free trip out loud and to someone else. Can you find a person who will support you in being alcohol-free on this trip? Maybe it’s your spouse or your kids, you don’t need to tell them why you’re not drinking if you don’t want to. You can keep it light and just say “I’m really looking forward to being clear, present, healthy and staying alcohol-free on this trip and waking up early to do x, y, z. I know I’ll be tempted to drink at times but will you support me in not doing that?”. Even if your partner is planning to drink it really helps for them to know your intention. On a business trip you can casually tell a work colleague you’re not drinking right now. And even if you don’t have someone with you, a friend at home to text with or posting and sharing in an alcohol-free group for support is great. Sharing what you’re doing, out loud and to someone else, will help you achieve your goal. It’s much easier to stick to your plan if you’ve told someone who is with you that you’re excited to take this trip and have this experience alcohol-free. 

  1. Stay hydrated, don’t get hungry and try to eat your main meal at lunch. Hunger is a huge trigger to drink and sometimes finding food when traveling isn’t that easy. Make sure you have snacks on hand to get you through the day. If possible it’s a good idea to switch your main time in restaurants from a fancy dinner to a lovely long lunch. It’s much more likely at dinner to be brought a large wine list or cocktail menu and to see others around you drinking. Having a bigger lunch and a light dinner is a great swap when traveling alcohol-free. 

  1. Make sure to enjoy lots of sober treats. I used to spend a lot of money on alcohol on vacations and I’m betting you did too. I didn’t realize how much of my time, money and energy was spent on drinking versus all the other amazing gifts and experiences I could be enjoying. These days I use the money I would’ve spent at the bar to search out beautiful jewelry from each place I visit. Instead of wine tasting my way through Venice I did a “gelato crawl” with my 8 year old son (and he loved it!). On a business trip I’ll see if the hotel has a spa to get a facial or massage, check out local workout options to try a spin or yoga class, or curl up with room service and a movie. There are so many wonderful things to enjoy when you’re not spending all your time and energy on alcohol. 

  1. Adjust your mindset: you are going to love your sober vacation and a big part of that is appreciating experiencing a new place with an open mind, energy and clarity! 

Listen to this podcast on how to stop romanticizing alcohol and how to start romanticizing sobriety. And this one with the authors of The Sober Lush: A Hedonist’s Guide to Living a Decadent, Adventurous, Soulful Life – Alcohol Free.  When you’re traveling take some time to appreciate the moments you get to enjoy because you’re not drinking and things you wouldn’t have done if you were hungover. It’s time to get excited and inspired about the amazing trip you’re about to take – no alcohol required! 

Ready to drink less + live more?

Get my step-by-step sober coaching framework in The Sobriety Starter Kit

It’s my signature sober coaching course, designed for busy women. The Sobriety Starter Kit will give you a new approach and help you change your relationship with alcohol in a positive and empowering way. To enroll go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com.

Grab my Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free

Sober vacations and alcohol-free travel in the media

Hold the Tequila. The Sunrise Is All Some Travelers Need. – The New York Times

Travel trends for the year ahead: sober travel – Lonely Planet

Sober travel: how to have a great night out in Europe’s top cities without alcohol 

A How-To Travel Guide for the Newly Sober – AFAR  

Podcast: Sober Travel: How To Take An Alcohol-Free Vacation | Hello Someday Coaching 

Podcast: The Sober Lush – Living an Adventurous Life – Alcohol Free | Hello Someday Coaching 

Connect with Margaret Ward

Margaret Ward connects women through travel – offering travel experiences that will allow you to rediscover and challenge yourself in ways you had not thought possible. 

Margaret is a wife, attorney alongside her husband, Bill, mom of four grown children and owner of Alcohol Free Adventure Retreats, an alcohol free travel company for women. 

Margaret believes that travel allows you to shed, even temporarily, identities and labels you may cling to at home. It allows for a vulnerability you may not otherwise be open to. Her passion is creating authentic opportunities and unique experiences to foster not only growth but also some really good memories. 

Margaret has been sober since 2017 when she finally kicked her beloved chardonnay to the curb for good. She wears flip-flops year-round, would waste a wish on having her golden retriever be able to talk for a day and is obsessed with all things French.

If you’re looking for one-on-one guidance on how to embrace traveling without alcohol, Margaret will help you discover how traveling without alcohol can enhance your experiences instead of being a stumbling block. 

Find your next Alcohol Free Adventure here www.afadventureretreats.com

Follow Alcohol Free Adventures on Facebook @af_adventure_retreats

Join the Teetotaling Travelers Facebook Group 

Margaret shares some fun sober travel resources:

How to Travel Alcohol Free 

Teetotaling In Tuscany

Summer Travel Toolkit

Connect with Casey

Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.

Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol-free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this is the best sobriety podcast for you.

A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 1% of podcasts globally, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol-free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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How To Have The Best Sober Vacation with 10 Tips For Alcohol-Free Travel


Sober Vacation, Alcohol-free, Sober Travel, traveling, people, trip, alcohol, airports, vacation, destination, wine, great, Airbnb, place, plan, Venice, stressful, day, favorite, women, incredible, Italy

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Margaret Ward


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

Hi there. Today we are talking about sober travel and how to plan the absolute best alcohol-free vacation. We need to do sober travel right. And I am so excited about my guest. She is a very good friend of mine. And she is the expert on sober travel going on one of her trips is a bucket list item for me. And I’m just trying to pick the right one. So, I’ll tell you a little bit about her.


Margaret Ward connects women through travel. She offers travel experiences that will allow you to rediscover and challenge yourself in ways you hadn’t thought possible. If you’re looking for one on one guidance on how to embrace traveling without alcohol coaching is the answer. And Margaret can help you do that. Her trips are incredible, to Croatia and Greece and Iceland and Norway and all the places and she helps you discover how traveling without alcohol can enhance your experiences. Instead of being a stumbling block. I could tell you so much more about Margaret, but I just want to bring her on and have her give us all the advice so that you can really look forward to traveling alcohol free. So, Margaret, welcome. I’m so happy you’re here.



Casey, you made me sound so good. Should I hire you for like my marketing? I’m like, is that me? She’s talking about? Yeah, I’m pretty good.


Casey McGuire Davidson  02:54

Of course, it’s you. And just so everyone knows Margaret and I have taken a trip together. We went on a yoga retreat at the beach in Mexico, which was amazing. And we spent a whole lot of time playing Uno and laughing hysterically like we were a 16-year-olds at camp. Is that about, right?



Yeah, if I remember correctly, though, we had to force you to play Uno. Yeah, that’s reluctant at first.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:19

That’s because at the time I had a seven year old who wanted to play Uno every night and I was on vacation.



Yeah, next time I’m now I’m now into backgammon. I’m a huge hugely addicted to backgammon now. So, I have to bring a bore. I’ll have to check a bag I think from now on because I just want to play backgammon nonstop, it’s so great.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:41

I’ve actually never played backgammon, so interesting, but that’s not what we’re talking about. So, I’m excited for this episode. Margaret and I actually were talking for about 30 minutes before we jumped on just catching up on all the things, but she is going to take us through how to do sober travel right how to be confident traveling without alcohol. I know for so many women, including myself, it is terrifying. It is something that even if you have some sober momentum, your mind can convince you that oh I’m just going to visit drink on this trip this week. And then I’m going to get back into it. And that is a really big mistake.


First of all, because I know many women who decide to drink per week, and it takes them months or years to get back on the sobriety path. It is not that easy once you drink for a while to draw that line in the sand. But also, because sober travel is amazing. My first trip alcohol free after I stopped drinking was, I went to Venice and Croatia with my whole family including my mother and my sister when I was four months alcohol-free, and I was a red Wine girl. So, Italy without red wine was pretty much unimaginable. I’ve been there drinking many times before. But it was amazing. My Coach told me that I would love sober travel. And she wished that she could do every vacation. She’d done drinking alcohol free. And now I couldn’t agree with her more.



Yeah, that’s so true. And I think for so many people I know, it was my experience that the idea of traveling sober was one of the biggest stumbling blocks that prevented me from gaining momentum and staying sober. Because I like you said, I would just say, Oh, well, how am I going to get sober if I have this trip coming up in two months, like, I’ll just wait until after this trip. But I also wanted to, before we get into talking about how to do sober travel, just say, explain sober travel, travel does not just mean, you know, going on a week-long vacation to the beach, or travel encompasses so many different things. I know, for a lot of women have to travel for work, a lot of people have to travel, you know, if they’re going to weddings, you know, so it encompasses so much more or a long weekend to visit parents or, you know, it’s so much more than just that, you know, summer vacation that we think about. So, I think it’s really helpful to have this discussion.


Casey McGuire Davidson  06:19

Yeah, absolutely. Because business trips, airports can be really a place where lots and lots of people drank. And I know I have a whole lot of strategies to go through airports and on business trips without drinking, I did it. When I was in early sobriety, I mean, even going away for the weekend, I have clients whose daughters or kids or sons are on sort of travel lacrosse teams and soccer teams or are just taking road trips and are in a hotel with their spouse. And oh, my god, don’t even talk about traveling for the holidays and going home to family. Yeah, exactly. There is a lot involved in I feel like it’s almost two subjects traveling sober and alcohol free vacations.



Yes, yes, I would agree that the two biggest things that I hear women talking to me about are airports, airports are a big stressor and traveling for business or with family. I mean, those seem to be like the biggest and going to you know, beaches, because beaches are always some for some reason associated with drinking. Right. Yeah, I mean, traveling in general is associated with beach, you know, with drinking, because of the advertisements and the way that it, you know, portrayed in the media. It’s all they show is, you know, people drinking their little pina coladas on the beach, but then they don’t show the after effects where you’re falling asleep, you know, at four o’clock and not being able to enjoy the rest of your vacation and then missing your plane.


Casey McGuire Davidson  07:49

Yeah. Oh, my God. I think well, I drink all the time every night, but like, morning, flights hungover? I think I was hungover for every morning flight in my life. So brutal. I mean, there is literally nothing worse, right? Oh, yeah. I mean, so I’ve had some strategies. Yes. So, we were going to talk about two different things. One, five things to do before you travel, five things to do when you’re traveling. Let’s dig into Oh, my God, your trips total bucket list, because I had to tell you that my seven year sober-versary was coming up like next week, and I had nothing planned. And I was feeling very bummed about it. And so, getting on the call with you and your energy, I’ve written down a bunch of ideas of things I can do you always get me out of my funk, which is awesome. And we’re going to talk about ideas, what we’re scared of hurdles to overcome airports, all the things.



Yeah, so I would say, so let’s dive into the five things to do before you go my number one piece of advice is do your research, you know, there are certain places to travel that are way better than… and it all depends, you know where you are in your sobriety to. So, you know, but we’ll focus on somebody who maybe is newly sober, you know, research that place you’re going to go maybe not going to an all-inclusive resort is the best thing to do when you’re maybe a month over or even six months sober. Fuckit even like five years sober up. I don’t know, I just have a thing against all-inclusive resorts. But if you’re thinking fine, there’s ways that you can go about traveling to one too, but I would say in the beginning, maybe not the best idea, but there are places that are more are maybe better.


For the newly sober, you know, ones, where you can go outside and exercise where nature is more of is the more easier to do. newly sober. Also places where drinking isn’t for religious reasons. You know, The Middle East are places there’s lots of places where we’re drinking is not to focus for travel, also Scandinavian countries, it’s very expensive to drink there. So, you’re not going to be that tempted to drink in those countries, but not just researching places, research all the different activities that you can do there, like do these things before you go. So, when you get there, you have an idea of the things you want to do what’s available. Look at restaurant menus, look at places that you can go for coffee, look at their drink menu so that when you go, you’ll know you know what your options are. And all this you can do. I mean, the internet is great, right? You can do all this online before you go so that you’re not shocked when you get there and say, Where am I going to go to dinner tonight? And you’re already hungry? And it’s more likely that you’re going to be tempted then to just stop somewhere? And oh, doesn’t that drink look nice?


Casey McGuire Davidson  10:49

I would. I completely and totally agree. And I mean, one of the things that I do when I’m traveling now, and this is domestically, internationally, business trips, anything at all, is look online, do my research, but also think about the destination and your schedule.


So, for example, you know, I used to go on every anniversary trip with my husband to wine tasting regions. And, you know, just in our state in Oregon, in Washington and California, Australia, Italy, you name it. And one of the things I do is when I’m traveling now that I don’t drink, I pick where we’re going to go, and I pick someplace that is going to be fun for me. So, for example, if you are planning a trip, don’t go to Sonoma or Napa, but they are beautiful. Now that I am a couple years out, I could definitely go there and enjoy it and not drink but go to a place where the entire experience isn’t centered around alcohol. So, for example, instead of going to Sonoma Napa, I would go to Santa Barbara. Or I would go to Laguna Beach. Of course, there’s wine available anywhere, but you can go hiking, you can go to the beach and hang up by the water. There are great sushi restaurants. I was a wine girl. Sushi is not the main thing. You can rent bikes, we went to Amsterdam, and went on a bike tour or go to Greece and go on a walking tour, you know?



Exactly. I mean, I’m not saying that you can’t go to those places. Because people always think like, say Italy, for example, oh, I can never go to Italy if I’m if I don’t drink anymore. That’s bullshit, because there’s so many things to do in Italy that aren’t focused on drinking, but you got to do your research. Research first, you know, boil testing. That’s what we did in Italy, instead of wine tasting olive oil testing, who would you knew?

Casey McGuire Davidson 

Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit.


The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 


Casey McGuire Davidson  12:48

Yeah, you know, love that. I love Pinterest. And what I like to do is, wherever you’re going, I search for a couple things. One thing I search for is the best coffee shops. Because that’s exciting. And I mean, I’m a coffee girl. But it also gets you to really interesting areas. I actually love searching for the most Instagrammable places. I’m a photographer, but undoubtedly, whatever the word is, it will get you to a beautiful destination that you can plan the day around. I mean, flower markets, farmers markets, just don’t get on Pinterest and look for the most romantic restaurants or the best cocktail bars or the best nightclub scene. You can get to those places. But like, you want a wealth of ideas that are not going to be centered around alcohol just to expand your horizons. I also love like going with kids like Paris with kids, then it’s with kids, not because you want to be surrounded by children all the time. And you don’t even have to be going with children or have children. But you will find a greater wealth of destinations that are not centered around alcohol and then you can decide if this looks great kids or no kids.



It will give you great ideas of things to do once you go there to like, I’m sorry scavenger hunts just start for little kids. It’s like grown up scavenger hunts are super fun like a scavenger hunt in the loo like to me, it’s like are you kidding me? No, but I want to.



Yeah, when I went to Paris, I went on a photography walking tour. And you know, just had my iPhone. I did photography in high school and college. And they showed us all the coolest like angles and reflections like you know the place you go in Paris to get the picture of the Ferris wheel in the background of the hotel sign in the reflection from that angle, and walking is incredible. So, like all of that stuff is pretty awesome. I love morning activities, too. I used to be so hungover. Like, when we were in Paris, we went on a Vespa Tour, where we got on a Vespa. Thank God my husband drove. It was supposed to be a big group, we were the only ones who showed up because it started at 8am. And we rode on the scooter turbo sigh and had lunch with this, like, ridiculously hot Australian Vestaburg guide that I was like, thoroughly amused by him had great stories. But you know, like, you do not have to drink to have an incredible time.



Yeah, another great place to look is it’s my favorite place TripAdvisor forums, you go in that, I mean, they have one for every single place in the world, if you just go on their forums, and you don’t even ask questions, I just go through, and search and you’ll get all your answers and great like advice on places to go and restaurants. I mean, you’ll get so much information. So, that’s it. Research.


Alright, number two. Number two is before you go list out all your possible triggers, like think of through now that you’ve planned your vacation, think through each day, and think of where you might, you know, have a stressful moment, or you know, what’s one area that you think, Oh, that’s a time when I might be thinking I want to drink, you know, think that out ahead of time, write it out and come up with a plan for those, you know, those possible triggers, like I said, one big trigger for people is airports.


So, think of just thinking in your mind how you’re going to be walking through that airport, where you’re going to go what you’re going to do ahead of time, so you’re not caught off by surprise. Airports can be stressful for a lot of people make them less stressful, like there’s things to do, to make these things less stressful. Get TSA, you know, I tell everybody, it’s inexpensive, it’s going to make your time in an airport. So less stressful. That’s just one idea. You know, airports are great places, there’s so many more things to do in them now than there used to be I was just in JFK, there were four massage places that I you know, within my one terminal for data is, that is my number one favorite thing to do, including when I used to go on business trips, which feels weird because you go with a group of colleagues, and we would always go to the bar, and we would always talk and regroup at when we were fine home. And what I generally do is be like, I will meet you there after I am a working mom, I never have time to get a massage. I’m just going to go put my name on the list. And those massages sometimes are really good. They’re a little expensive, but so is money at a bar. And by the way, you’re not drinking, and you need sober treats. So, I get the massage. I go and buy peanut M&Ms, which are my favorite. I go and buy novels. Sometimes airports have great little jewelry shops, to shopping in Seattle, there’s even a MAC store. I mean, I don’t get so much in a lot.


Casey McGuire Davidson  18:13

My latest find and this was in JFK too was they had an IV, you could get an IV for vitamin like and get hydrated. I’m like what I like I There’s so many things now popping up in airports instead of bars. I mean, they’re still there. But there’s so much to do in Paris, there’s a place in one terminal called the catnap area. It has a huge statue of a cat. And then the most beautiful lounge chairs where like you can just go and take a nap I can’t now. I mean, there’s so much to do. Yeah, and my favorite thing to do. I’m very strange, is I’d like to try and take pictures with people who were sleeping. No, that’s I do I swear to God, I get there was one reality TV guy, and he used to do it and post it on Instagram. It would crack me up. So now that’s my favorite thing to do is try and you got to try and get it without them seeing you taking it of course. Yeah, but you can. It’s really weird. It’s creepy.



It’s really creepy. But you can like literally spend hours just like going around and trying to find like people who are sleeping and like taking a selfie with them. Really funny. Now a lot of talking to kill in the airport.



Yeah, well, you travel all the time. But yeah, I mean, I think planning ahead. Also, I text a lot with my clients when they’re in airports after they plan ahead. You don’t have to have a coach to do that. There are tons. You know, my favorite free Facebook group is the Booze Free Brigade (BFB) you can find a guide to find it on my site, but people post there all the time. Like oh my god, I’m in the airport. There’s a bar in front of me. Don’t go hungry. And like when you get on, especially people say if they’re in first class or business school, last evening Coach, they’ll come by and be like, Oh, do you want wine or beer? I just say right off the bat. Actually, I don’t drink. What do you have? That’s awesome. That’s nonalcoholic. It’s that immediate accountability is not a giant label. And it’s really hard to ask for a glass of completely crap. wine in a plastic cup. Just saying that amazing. After you’re like, actually, I don’t drink what else do you have?



And you’ll, you just never know. You’ll have the best conversations with people on my last flight home just a couple of days ago. I said that to the flight attendant, right. As we boarded. I said I don’t, so don’t ask me why. And, um, she didn’t drink either. So, like, we had this little secret thing between us for the entire flight, you know, and we ended up having a great conversation, we took each other’s information. I mean, you just never know if you’re open about it. There’s so many other people who, you know, you’re not the only one.



You are, oh, you don’t have to worry about that. Only one. And like, you really connect with people. I mean, if you like people and talking to people, it’s actually kind of awesome.



Yeah, it is. The other big stressor, I find is and this is something you want to figure out ahead of time is if you’re traveling with family or friends who are also drinking, you want to plan that out ahead of time, you know, if you’re traveling with other people, either have a conversation with them ahead of time, if you’re comfortable doing that, or get your own place. You know, if possible, get your own room, get your own Airbnb, just have your own space to do that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  21:37

Yeah, I completely agree. Because I think the hardest thing is when people go with family, if they go on a vacation to the beach, or if they go with a group of friends, being you want your exposure to alcohol, because any kind of willpower is somewhat finite, to be limited, you do need a place to retreat. And you can use any excuse you want, like, your spouse doesn’t sleep well, or you’re really trying to do X, or your kids need to do Y, or you don’t want to impose or even like, oh gosh, I’m coming to this town. And there is the cool hotel, and I really want to stay there. So, I’m going to take advantage, you know, whatever it is, and just spend the money, you will be so much happier, because there’s nothing worse. I mean, it’s one thing to go over in the afternoon and to be around for dinner and for people to drink. And to bail out at 8pm. It is another thing to have to be around them till 11pm. And to be there all day with the alcohol lined up on the counter.



Yeah, and us kids. Kids are a great excuse too. If you have kids, say, You know what? Our kids go to bed early, you know, they’re in a different schedule. So, but if it’s impossible, if there’s like no way to have your own space, and at least have someone there. If not, they’re like on an online group who you’ve told ahead of time. I mean, it’s so powerful to say it out loud, and just know that there’s somebody who’s got your back for me, it was always my sister in law, and we’d be out, and she would just give me a little wink. You know what, there was a lot of alcohol around. And it would mean so much. And it would make all the difference. It would just be like, yeah, somebody’s there. Who’s got my back? Who knows that this is difficult. And who is understanding? You know?


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:30

Yeah, yeah, I completely agree. And even if you don’t make a big deal about it, meaning like, you know, it doesn’t have to be, Oh, my God, I’m not drinking because there’s some issue or some big deal. I mean, you can tell anyone. I told my husband, you know, hey, I’m, I’m still doing my alcohol free challenge. So, like, this might be a little hard for me, it would be really cool. If you could support me, you know, and do whatever it takes. Yeah, tell them anything.



Yeah. Does not have to be a big deal. All right. Yeah. That’s cool. All right. Number three is to packet sober toolkit. So, I call this sober travel toolkit, but it’s the same as its sober toolkit, you know, it’s things are going to help you on your trip, and this is going to be different for everybody. So, I’ll just go through some things that were helpful for me. I use essential oil, so I make sure that I pack my favorite essential oils. Make sure you don’t overdo them on a plane because I’ve heard that not everybody around you on a plane will appreciate the lavender that like you doubt yourself in but like I would put it on, like when we were wearing face masks, I put some on the inside of the face mask or I have lavender cleaning towelette, so I use you know, anyway, so essential oils, and that’s because lavender is calming, right calming.



Peppermint is also great because I’m prone to getting headaches from being dehydrated. So, like drops of blood From my temples when traveling is also really good and it feels nurturing, like you’re doing something to take care of yourself.



Exactly. Earplugs are big for me because noise can be stressful to me and like some, I have a miso Bonilla downs really bother me, like, during bubble gum and, you know, people chewing like the sounds are really…


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:26

Oh my God, by the way stressful. I did an episode on highly sensitive people and also ADHD, which people are really prone to struggle with addiction if you have ADHD, but also so many of us who drink and I count myself in this category of highly sensitive people, just the energy around us, but also to sound and being overstimulated. I think one of the reasons that we drink is to dull everything around us just a bit. So, 100% earplugs, I mean, when my baby was screaming, I used to put in earplugs while I was holding him just to like, take it down a notch. Right, which is what drinking does as well. So, I love that.



Yeah, and especially in a stressful environment, because I mean, traveling can be stressful. So do you just the goal is to eliminate as much stress as possible. So yeah, the earphones, the eye you know, the eye shields the make, bring a comfy blanket one that you know is nice and soft for yourself. If your phone is a great tool to have while you’re traveling, I download you know all the Quit Lit, Podcast, your favorite music. You don’t have that, so that when you’re out on a morning walk whenever you’ll have something to listen to and keep you motivated. But like I said, Everybody’s toolkit is going to be different. I packed my favorite teas, because most places I go don’t have my favorite tea. So, I make sure that I have them while traveling. Anything that is going to help you be less stressed while traveling pack in that toolkit.


Casey McGuire Davidson  27:04

I also would say pack, like snacks and food. For sure. hunger for me is like the worst trigger ever. Like I’m just your blood sugar’s down, you don’t make good decisions. Like my whole family. Like I’ll be doing something I’ll be like, I’m really hungry. And they’ll just be like, dude, go eat because nobody like you don’t make good decisions. But oh, my god going into an airport bar when you’re starving and like looking around for a table and then they come over and like just don’t be too hungry.



Yeah, that’s in my, “during your trip”, when it’s on my list. Stay hydrated and remember to eat. Yeah, because you won’t remember you’ll be busy and like those are two of the biggest triggers are sometimes you just need a fucking glass of water. But you are. You don’t realize that and so you’re like I need something you know a drink, but you really just need to hydrate and have a little bit of protein. You know? So yes, definitely pack like some good snacks for you. Not really good protein to like, sugary things. I love Swedish fish. I doubt when I’m traveling sometimes. But I also have some nuts. Good protein that’s going to fill you up, so you don’t get those pangs of hunger for sure.


Yeah. Okay, so on to the next thing. Ask your hotel or Airbnb ahead of time not to have wine or alcohol in the room. It’s such an easy thing to do. But a lot of people don’t think to do it. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times they showed up at an Airbnb and the host was just being nice with a bottle of wine there. But it would have been so easy to just message ahead of time and say, I don’t drink so no need to you know, have any alcohol.


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:41

Yeah, I do that. And it is really easy. And if you read the Airbnb descriptions, sometimes people will be like, they were so nice. There was a bottle of wine here, which is great. But I also write ahead like, you know, you sent him notes and just say, Hey, I don’t drink so if you don’t mind, please don’t include the wine. And if you have anything nonalcoholic, that would be incredible. Super easy. They all care about is that you’re happy. Truly, they don’t give a shit if you drink wine or not. I have to say that I also went to Amsterdam, and I had message to head, and we walked into this I mean my God, it was a sea merchant’s 1800 canal house. I mean it someone lived there. It was like we got a certain floor of it. It was incredible. And there was this bottle of wine with two glasses red wine on the table when I walked in Oh, and I was just I like you know, I was actually like five years sober. So, I just noted it and then I went to the restroom because I desperately had to go to the restroom. And I came out and it was gone. Like my husband’s the best ever. You know, he just took it away. Like, I wasn’t even like, this is hard for me. And the weirdness thing was I kind of forgot about it. And I came, you know, we were packing up and I’m double checking all the drawers and I pulled out this bottom drawer, and there’s a bottle of wine in there. And I was like, Mike, this is so weird, like I had forgotten, and he was like, Dude, I put it in there. But it’s better not to have it there. But if it’s there, just get rid of it. Just be like, actually, I’m not going to drink this. Let me hand it back to ya. And Hotel, they get that request all the time. This is not a big deal.



It’s not a big deal. I was just in a hotel a couple nights ago. And I walked in and there was a bottle of red wine there. And that nice little note saying and get this Casey it said, We know travel can be stressful. So, here’s some wine. I’m like, well, let’s just add fuel to the fire by having some wine like, yes, but they don’t get it. They’re trying to be nice. But instead of just saying, Oh, I just won’t drink it. I called down to Room service. I said, You know what, I don’t drink? Can I have something else, they brought up a beautiful couple of bottles of Seltzer instead. So, I’m like, you know, I still want something, you’re going to give me something, I want something. But you can just call it took like two seconds. And they took that away, give me something out.


Casey McGuire Davidson  31:12

When it’s the idea of just being trapped with alcohol in your room, it’s in the room, it’s within arm’s length. Like, just get rid of it. Like, just get there, you just want to make life easier for you.



Exactly. And that’s something you can do a heavy time, like super easy, you know, just eliminate that as even an issue. Okay, let’s see.


Last thing is to plan you already talked about this plan for morning activities, mornings are the fucking best when you’re sober, you will have the entire city wherever you’re traveling to yourself. And it’s a time when you will feel like not drinking the night before. You are superhuman, like, I feel like that. And when I wake up and I’m the only one out in a city, you know, I’m like, I engraved. It just like boosts you so much. And you can go and have coffee and like actually, like, sit with like people on the way to work who live there. You know, bring your journal, you can go for a run. I signed up for a running run once in Copenhagen and I was the only one who showed up and I was like, oh shit, but I had a private tour run, like watching the sun come up in Copenhagen. Like it’s something I’ll remember forever. But there’s so many activities that are great in the morning that you can plan and that’s something you can do ahead of time. And then if you haven’t planned ahead of time, you’re not going to renege on it, especially if you pay for it. You know if it’s an activity you pay for in the night before you’re going to say I have this to do in the morning. It’s also a great excuse to tell people I have this plan for the morning. So, I’m going to bed early. It’s just a win-win, win-win situation.


Casey McGuire Davidson  32:44

I completely agree and that’s something I did on my first trip sober like I said I was in Venice it for months. I mean, it was really hard for me. But I set my alarm early. I love photography always have and not because I’m like a fantastic photographer. Although I had pictures all over my house that I took in different places but got up and walked the canals when they were empty. Do you know how hard it is to walk in Venice without all the tourists? It was gorgeous. The morning light was gorgeous. There is nothing cooler than sitting in a cafe and having a fantastic coffee and breakfast alone just observing people. I mean, and this does not have to be an exotic vacation. You could go to friggin Minneapolis and walk around directly the quiet morning taking pictures of anything you could do it in Cincinnati, Ohio on a Business Trip. Still great Breck. I mean, breakfast is my favorite meal like waffles, eggs, coffee pastries, like anything, right? Like they always say joy comes in the morning when you’re sober. Joy comes in the morning.



Oh, definitely. I woke up on New Year’s Day in New York City in New York City is usually packed. There was no one like I was walking in the middle of the street alone. And it just like made you want to sing out loud. I was like, this is incredible. Like, this is incredible. I was seeing people coming home from the night before. And I’m like, I feel great. I feel great. And yeah, nothing like sober mornings really? Start today.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:27

Yeah, everybody worries about Mexico about resorts I’ve been there many times not drinking. To be fair also, like you were on vacation rest. So many people come back from vacation more tired than they left if they’re drinking, but I would just get up early and have coffee and go sit on the beach in this quiet morning. You know and get off the freakin best lounge chairs ever and just observe and walk the beach without all the people. I mean, incredible life is good.



I place is freaking good, right? Okay, moving on things you can do while you’re on vacation. It’s your routine, like, especially if you’re newly sober, like stick to your routine as closely as possible. Like, if when you’re home, you get up, you have your coffee, you take your vitamins, you go for a run, try, and stick to that, while you’re on vacation, too. If you try and throw your whole schedule off, you’re more likely to be susceptible to having a drink, you know, because it’ll stress your body out. So, stay as close to your schedule as possible. If you work out at home workout while you’re on vacation. If you go to bed at a certain hour at home, go to bed at the same time while on your vacation. It can be so tempting like to think I have a limited amount of time. I’m going to pack in everything and do everything. But in the end, you’re just going to really exhaust yourself. So, try to just enjoy everything you can but stick to that routine as much as possible. All right, moving on.


Do what we said before, stay hydrated and remember to eat. Like, a lot of the times you’re going to be tempted to drink and you realize it’s just because you’ve been going all day and forgot to drink water and forgot to have lunch. And then you’ll find yourself at five o’clock and you’re dressed and you’re hungry. And your defenses will be down. You know. So, stay even if you have to set reminders in your phone. I love your reminders.


Casey McGuire Davidson  36:25

I love it and eat before you’re hungry. Like for real? I mean, that’s one of the things that I think so many women because we’re raised in this diet culture, that’s so fucked up. Like, we’re like, oh, no, I don’t want to eat before I’m hungry. If you eat before you’re hungry, you will make better decisions. And that does not mean stuff yourself. It’s just, I mean, I honestly like 10:30 in the morning, if I get up early and workout and have a smoothie at 7:30 I’m like, I’m fucking hungry. I’m going to eat something, you know, like, so just don’t get starving. And also, when you’re traveling, I don’t care if it’s a business trip. I don’t care if it’s a vacation. It you will never eat at like by the time you’re hungry. It’s going to be an hour before you like full stop. So, if you’re going to a business dinner, eat something before you go. If you’re going out to a restaurant, eat something before you go not to ruin your appetite. But so, you don’t sit there for an hour starving.



Yeah, yeah. And that’s usually for me the hardest time I know what in the beginning of sobriety, the hardest part for me of going out to eat was that we’re ordering your food. And then that time when you were waiting for your food, just sitting there because that’s the time that I would usually have a drink to, you know, drink, whatever, whatever.



But so yeah, prepare yourself for that and order. Or there’s something fun, you know, or do something fun for yourself spirit.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:59

Just putting it out there. And I think this is like the whole normalized sobriety remove the stigma, think about it, like you’re a vegetarian, don’t take on all this weight around not drinking. Someone comes to my table, and I literally am like, I don’t drink. Do you have anything fun on the menu that’s nonalcoholic? Full stop. That is what I say. And if they’re like, I don’t know, I’m like, Well, you ask your bartender, like, yeah, boom. And also, I also like decaf coffee or cappuccino. Like it makes me feel all sophisticated. You know? Like, that’s cool, too, you know?



Yeah. And people, it’s not as big of a deal. Like, it’s really not that big of a deal. Like waiters, waitresses, they just want to make you happy to, you know, at least most of them most of them.


Casey McGuire Davidson  38:50

Yeah. And if the waiter is like, 18 years old, and has no clue or 21 and is like blank face, just be like, Fine. Have a Diet Coke, like just move on. You know?



I remember once we were at a restaurant up in it, and we were in the US, we were in Maine, and I asked for a ginger beer and cranberry. And she was like, had no clue what ginger beer was. And she was like, no, no, no. And I was like, yes. Can you please ask that? Like just asked. He was so excited that she found out she was like, oh my god, we do have ginger beer. And I can’t believe it’s nonalcoholic, and it tastes great. So, you know, just ask on the same lines, this is a tip I tell people is eat your main meal at lunch. And a lot of people were like, Why the hell would we do that? And I’m like, here’s why. For me, the biggest time of the day when I would be susceptible to drink was dinnertime. And it’s because you know, people are hanging around. It’s that time of day when you know that those voices started in my head. You’re out with a lot of people usually that’s when other people are usually drinking more that dinner time. So, I like going and having my main meal at lunch.


First of all, it’s less expensive, and you’re going to be less likely to be triggered to drink. And then you know, when nighttime comes, you can just grab a quick bite. If you’re an Airbnb, you can cook for yourself. You don’t have that. Sitting around with other people seeing everybody else drink. It’s just something I recommend. You know, I think that is great advice.



All right, let’s see. Two more things. Treat yourself. Like we’ve already talked about this a little bit, but I know you’re the still retreat queen. I mean, you’re on vacation, you’re not drinking, freaking treat yourself, you know, don’t get the spa treatment going do an excursion like that, you know, something you’ve always wanted to do, than the money on your own place. Like, treat yourself. You’re doing this great, big thing that is awesome. So, treat yourself.


Casey McGuire Davidson  40:46

No, yeah, I completely agree. And so, I always, you know, when people are going on trips, I want them to plan for the evening weather. You know, I work with a nurse who travels a ton and goes to hospitals and works for a really long time. And so, she looks at, you know, whether she likes orange theory, or she likes yoga or Pilates, she plans for a workout, you know, in the evening. So, you know, you eat something before you go to this workout, you get the great endorphins, you’ve done something for your health. When people ask you, you have something to say most of the time, they’re like, Damn, I should do that. Right? They’re like, aren’t you so incredible, and disciplined and amazing. Sometimes she bows out of stuff to say that she’s got a lot of work to do and goes to a fucking movie. You know, like, go to, I am the queen of white lies. So, you know, in terms of like, staying sober with people who want you to do shit you don’t want to do actually, I should say, I’m the queen of saying no to shit I don’t want to do and don’t mind giving a white lie to do it.


I have another client who’s going to Singapore, newly sober right now she’s there on a big business trip. I’m like, can you get out of anything? First reaction? Absolutely not. I plan all this shit. I can’t. It’s critical. And then, you know, suddenly she was like, actually, I could probably die out of this one dinner. And she’s going to the spa. You know? Yeah, yeah, you more than your knee jerk. This is going to suck, etc. Yeah.



No, exactly. I mean, boundaries are great. But you know, if you if you aren’t used to setting boundaries, then there’s other things you can do. You know, and that, that kind of leads into my last bit of advice, which is more, you know, not action oriented. But check your mindset, you know, a lot of us go into these vacations thinking, Oh, I’m not going to be drinking, I’m going to feel left out, I’m going to be depriving myself this isn’t going to be fun. And if you just lift that a little bit and say, You know what, instead of, I don’t get to drink, I don’t have to drink and I was just going to enhance my vacation, I was just going to enhance my work trip. It makes a big difference. You know, just like how you view things. yourself. didn’t make a big difference.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:13

Yeah, I completely agree. And I think part of that too. And I say this all the time is treat this like an experiment, right? Like, you know what drinking, vacations are like, you know, the good and the bad, you know, the romantic and the not just observe what it’s like to do it alcohol free. And another client of mine went to Hawaii with a girlfriend when she was sober. And she was observing it. And she wrote me, and she was like, Yeah, last night was kind of hard, right? Like, we went out to this beach restaurant. My friend was having a drink. I definitely wanted to. I didn’t. She had a couple. Yes, that was hard period. And we were supposed to go up a hike this mountain the next day. And the next morning, she was like, actually, I think I just want to relax. You know, I mean, I’ve pulled that move a million times. She just had had a couple of drinks, maybe wasn’t feeling all that active, didn’t want to go client went by herself, and sent me a picture and was like, I will remember this hike this moment for the rest of my life. And her observation was, I did feel like I missed out on X. But I never in my life would have done this. If I hadn’t not been drinking. I wouldn’t have gone on a hike by myself. I would have been like, Yeah, let’s chill and get cocktails at the swim apart. You know?



I love that story so much. It reminds me early on in sobriety, I listened to a podcast and it you know the person who said this, and he was talking about how each new experience treat each new experience. As you know, we’re creating new neural pathways and he was like to literally imagine in your brain, you know what is going on, as this new experience is taking place, it’s forming a new neural pathway. And he was like, think of it as like a dog running in the same path. And the more you do it, the deeper that group is going to become, the easier it’s going to be. So, every trip I went on in the early, you know, when I was newly sober, I would visualize literally visualized, these new neural pathways taking place, and it got easier and easier, you know.


So, you know, even if it’s maybe difficult the first time the next time, just think it’s not going to be as difficult because, you know, it’s not going to be something new every first is going to be a little challenging, but you’ll learn something and know what to do next time.


Casey McGuire Davidson  45:42

And you’ll be able to observe things in a new light. I mean, I remember I keep coming back to this because it was so early in my sobriety, going to Italy, we had a nice dinner with like, cousins, extended family, whatever, in Venice. And then, you know, dinner’s over, right. And we had a bunch of kids, my son was a cousin’s were 12, and 14. And, you know, all the ages, I think we had five kids with us, between the various families. And all the adults started getting really annoying, talking really loudly, ordering more drinks, I was, frankly, bored. Like, you get bored when you’re sober with people when they’re on drink three, and I was this person, right, just wanting to stay and drink. So, they all the kids all were over it, they went outside to this fountain outside, and I went out with them. And they were just sort of running around and talking. And I could see the people who are drinking through the window, my whole family. And it was rude. Like, it was rude to the kids, they were in there for an hour and a half. And we were far away from the hotel, so the kids couldn’t go home. And, you know, I was this person when I was drinking, but I like bought them these gifts that flew up and lit in the sky. You know, they’re all those vendors around. And I was so glad I was with them. And I also saw with new eyes, that just drinking kind of sometimes sucks when it goes on too long. And you know, they’re having the same conversation and telling stories that nobody you know, are embarrassing to various person about when they were 16. And you know, like it just kind of like, just, you know, drinking is not always the end all be all is all I’m saying?



No 100% True. My first sober trip. I was 60 days. So, Bert and I went to my nephew wedding. And it was super uncomfortable. I mean, I remember I was sitting there and being super uncomfortable because everyone was drinking except my daughter who was there. And I was like How the hell am I going to make it through this, and we left early. And my daughter and I went back to the hotel. We had the entire pool to ourselves. And just like, what your, the story you just told, I’ll never forget this night. It like makes me teary eyed because I was like, if I were drinking, I would be back at that wedding. I would be ignoring my daughter. And we had the most amazing memory building time alone in his hotel pool. We stayed out there for like two hours and talked and laughed. And then the next morning we got up early, we walked on the beach. I mean, none of those things I would have experienced. Had I been drinking weird. No. And it’s only in hindsight.


Casey McGuire Davidson  48:34

That when you’re drinking, you miss so much. And you don’t realize it. And it’s not that drinking vacations were always bad. I mean, I always talk about your drinking highlights in your drinking low lights, like my drinking highlights were craft of red wine, in the sunshine with my husband in Italy and like observing everything. And, you know, I think it’s disingenuous and you screw up your mind when you were like, Oh my God, everything about drinking sucks, like a lot of it is fun. And you are allowed to evolve. And there was also a lot of fun and good and memories. alcohol free and like you’re going to miss out and never experienced them. If you don’t try. Do you know what? 100%



I love that case. Yeah. 100% Is it true? Like not everything is black and white, right? I mean, it’s all in this gray area. So, I mean, sometimes a great sometimes a bad for me personally, too bad just started out way too good.


Casey McGuire Davidson  49:35

And the other thing I will say is what a lot of people try to do in getting that middle ground between the highlights and the lowlights is, quote unquote moderating. And I feel like when you try to do that you actually miss out on both ends of the spectrum, right when you’re trying to moderate, and we all know this. You are spending so much time and energy. Thinking about drinking, thinking about how much you’ll drink thinking about water in between thinking about when your next drink is thinking about whether you can have three, or four or just one, when you let that go is when the creativity and freedom comes in, I think it is so much better to do nothing than to try to do to do you know, well, I do know, because I don’t know where I read this, but it’s so true. It’s like when you commit 98% It’s so much harder than when you commit 100% Because 98% leaves at 2%. And that leads to decision fatigue, you know, you question yourself every single time. And that’s so, so difficult when you commit 100%. And you kind of close off that escape hatch that that 2% leaves in your brain to thing Yes, it just makes life so much easier. Because you don’t aren’t faced with redesigning every single day.


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:02

And there is there are so many strategies that you can employ to make it easier. Like I always am saying figure out when the hardest part is going to be. And this can be just going on a road trip with your family or staying with your family for the holidays, or a big beach, beach vacation or whatever. Typically, it’s around four o’clock, right? Like you need great to get through the dinner hour or five or six, whatever it is. And I always say like communicate that upfront, communicate it to your mother, your spouse, your kids, your girlfriends, just be like, and position it in the positive people are going to play off whatever you say. So, it is very easy to say, Hey, this is my holiday slash vacation slash whatever it is to.


One goal I have for this trip is to take a walk every day at 4:00pm. Or get some time to journal or get some time to paint or go to bed early. Because I am so excited to read two novels, you are setting a boundary, you’re letting them know what to expect. So, you say to your spouse, hey, I want to do this every day between four and five or five or six, will you take the kids, and I will switch you out and free you up at 10:00am. Or you can do XYZ? I’d love to do this. And then each day when you do it, it’s not like you’re asking a favor. Each time. It’s not like you’re inconveniencing them. Each time when you go to bed early. You’re just like, oh my god, this was a great day. And I cannot wait to bring my cup of hot chocolate or tea to the bedroom because I’m so excited to dive into this novel. People really just want you to be happy. And if you position it as a win, they will position it as a win. Do you know what I mean?



Yeah, and the main part of that is communicating that Yes. Like I think people are so scared to communicate our needs that we think we’re going to be like imposing on people, but you need to communicate these.


Casey McGuire Davidson  53:12

Yeah, someone to someone. And, you know, I mean, that’s stupid old phrase. Like, if Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy. I feel like so much of the time we grit our teeth, because of expectations that we think our spouse or our mother or girlfriends or whoever, like people are like, I just feel like it will be such a bummer for her if I go out to dinner with her and don’t drink. Okay, that’s crazy. You know, and it may be true. And if it is, she has her own issue with alcohol full stop, because people who do not have a slightly complicated relationship with alcohol really don’t care whether you drink or not. But same thing with your mother or your partner, like your partner probably wants a break from the kids too. And you get plenty of time together. So just be like, I’ll give you X, if you give me why your mother wants to spend time with you. But she doesn’t want you to be a total angry bitch, or resentful, whatever. So just be like, Hey, Mom, I am so excited to see you, period. And I’m really would love to do this for myself on X, Y, Z. Great. Most people will not have a problem with that.



And also, kids, depending on their age, kids are great. Like for holding you accountable or being supportive. Like I know when I got sober. I mean my daughter was 17 It was awesome. Like she was so supportive, like so you know, don’t be scared to tell your kid you know that you might need a little help. And they will be willing to give it I promise.


Casey McGuire Davidson  54:52

Yeah. And I have to say that like so when we went to Italy when I quit drinking my son was eight. Let me tell you in Dad, I’m doing my craft like I would ever craft or bread. My husband would have a craft of white my son would be sitting there bored out of his effing mind. As we got silly. We went to Italy and instead of doing like a wine curl, or wine tasting, I did a gelato crawl with him. We went to like, every gelato place in Venice. Not really. And he thought I was the coolest mom ever. We took pictures of us with every different gelato like it was awesome. So, you know, and I remember that to this day.



Oh my gosh, right. Yeah, we did that in Florida, too. I mean, how fun a gelato crock. Come on.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:46

So, it’s fun. So yeah. And so like, I there is a big difference in gelato.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:53

Yes, absolutely. I mean, I’m a chocolate girl. But you know, when in Rome, just Can you try all of them. It’s just fun and cool. And you the whole point is, it’s different. And it is also good. And I can’t tell you if someone don’t, there will never be a good time to not drink right? You will always have a wedding a holiday and the anniversary of vacation. And yeah, if you’re listening to this, it’s not all fun waking up with a headache and hangover and talking shit to yourself in the morning and having the judgey looks from people or people being like, oh is thinking about you this morning? How are you feeling? Like, don’t put off not drinking. And if you have sober momentum, it is so precious. Don’t throw it away for a week-long trip.


Yeah, we’re going to love sober travel. It takes creativity and effort, so does everything else that’s good in life. And you know, the idea of, I will just drink on this one trip, and then I will go back to not drinking. I am just telling you. It doesn’t always happen. And I would say more often than not, it doesn’t happen. Sure. I also knew if I went on this trip to Italy, I’d worked so hard to stop drinking, right? It had taken me 20 months of number of day ones and then stayed screwed on day four, that I knew that if I drank on this trip, I would always look back and be mad at myself. I would always look at every picture and be like, oh, yeah, that night. I tripped and fell or whatever, you know.



Yeah. Yeah. No, and I love how you said, you know, you know what it looks like drinking on vacation. Treat it as an experiment. Like, what does it look like? If I’m not? Yeah, I love that. Especially if it’s your first time. You know, I think that’s a great way to look at it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  57:51

Yeah. Anything Oh, first, tell me about all your trips. Because swear to God, it’s on the bucket list. I have. Tell us the name of your company. I’ve seen you go to Greece and Croatia and Iceland. And I know you’re going to Switzerland. Like tell me the name what you do why they’re incredible. The activities.



Yeah, so I came up with the idea because I love traveling. And I wanted to do more of it. And I went on, early on in sobriety, I went on one trip and was it was such a different experience traveling sober and I wanted to share it with other women. So, I looked and there was nothing out there. So, I said, fuck it, I’ll create it myself. So, my company is called afar, which stands for alcohol free adventure retreat. We go to lots of different places we’re going to Croatia, like he said, Switzerland, I just opened up registration for a Wim Hof retreat in Iceland in September, where they’re also going to Greece in September. We do all different kinds of activities. We’re going to Norway to see the Northern Lights next January, which I just came back from. And it’s an incredible place. We’re going to be going to the Azores, hiking. You know, my idea is just to, there’s a special thing that happens when women get together and traveled together specifically. It’s for a lot of people, it’s outside their comfort zone. And when you do that with other women and empower each other, it’s just really magical.


Casey McGuire Davidson  59:20

So, and I know you create such an incredible environment. The activities you do are amazing. I mean, the places you stay, I mean, I think you went to Tuscany, which most people are like, I could never go there and not drink. And the place you stayed was gorgeous. There was this incredible, you know, walking through the pads with the trees, olive oil tasting yoga pool. I mean, your trips are truly bucket list trips, in my mind, and that.



Yeah, well, I know the thing that I think I want to say is too though you can create those yourself like, it doesn’t have to be far away, it can be just for a weekend, you know, you can, you can do these things nearby your own home even you just have to become curious. You know, like sometimes I think when we’re in one place for a long time living in one place for a long time, we think there’s nothing else to do. But if you really actually start exploring, there’s so much within your own, you know, little space on earth that you can, that you’ve never thought of doing. Like my husband and I started hiking this past summer. There’s so many heights that we we’ve been living in Connecticut on with, you know, 20, 30 years, we never knew that you could read, you know, you can create these experiences yourself to you don’t have to go to Italy, even though I’d love you to come with me. But you can do it yourself, too.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:44

Yeah. And you do need, what I would say is we always talk about sober treats, we always talk about celebrating milestones. And that’s because it’s important. And there’s all this research on the importance of having something to look forward to. And Margaret, we were talking about this right before we got on this call, because I was like, I need something to look forward to. And it brings you happiness, looking forward to it, planning it, it brings happiness during it, and it brings happiness after I have to say during COVID I was like sort of losing my shit like everyone was. And I my best friend, I called her, and I was like, I fucking need to get out like, I am losing my shit. And she was like, Okay, I can’t go tomorrow. But what about Saturday? I was like, Okay, I meant in the next couple of weeks. Like I didn’t mean tomorrow, but I appreciate you. And so, we ended up I live in Seattle, we went to Whidbey Island which honestly is like an hour away. We rented a two bedroom Airbnb on, you know, just that little apartment, but it overlooked the water. We read books, we watched movies, we walked out in the morning and got pastries. It was February, it rained, it was amazing. And so, you need to do little things like that. Yes. And by the way, with people who are not your immediate family sometimes.



Yes, yes, I did the same thing. This past fall. I just needed something. And I hooked up with two other silver women and we went up hiking in New Hampshire and, like had a sleepover in a hotel room together. You know, I mean, it’s just fun stayed up talking until midnight. Yeah, yeah, sometimes you just need that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:02:31

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. So, did you tell us your website? And is it all women?



It is all women. And the reason for that is? I think it’s just a different environment. When you’re with all women, you know, you talk about different things. It’s just a different and I think it’s just really special. So yeah, for now, it’s all women. The website is www.afadventureretreats.com, and I also have a Facebook group called Teetotaling Travelers. Duh, I think Is that realistic?


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:03:02

Yeah. Yeah, I love that. And you also do Sober Travel Coaching. Tell us about that.



I do because I think especially for the newly sober traveling is one of those things that’s a stumbling block for people. And if you’ve never done it before, it really helps just to have someone to walk you through it. And maybe offer a little accountability while you’re on the trip. So, I offer both of those things.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:03:27

Yeah, I love that. Like just looking at your own trip. If you have sober momentum, it can be really important investment I know with my clients. You know, I’ve had clients go to Paris within three weeks of stopping drinking going away on a pre-arranged wine tasting weekend with their mother and girlfriends. One of mine went to Spain with her 20 year old daughter and two of her daughter’s friends or to Mexico or to family like driving the car that father and mother so big, small in between the coaching the preparation can be really helpful if you have a sober buddy does not need to be a coach. If you’re out of a country, I just use WhatsApp.


Oh yeah. BFB Facebook group, any Facebook group when I went to Venice, I posted on the daily from Venice on my sober trip. And by the way, like people will love that they will cheer you on they will want to see your pictures. They will support you when it’s hard they will laugh at your stories. And it’s free. The internet is everywhere. under percent remember it I have people who literally seven years sober and we’re like on the BFB and they’re like I remember when he went to Venice. I mean, amazing.



Well, and it also inspires people. Yeah, that it’s


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:59

good Part. I mean, all of the people who get it, they will cheer you on and they will lift you up and they get it. They I mean, I can’t say how much it matters to have people get it because my husband knew I wasn’t drinking. My mom knew I wasn’t drinking. They don’t get it, even if they ever said it.



No, I would say that is the single most important thing. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:23

All right, you know, I love you. You’re one of my sober besties. Thank you.


Thank you for coming on and sharing this.



Thanks for having me.


Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


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