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14 Aug 2022

Ditching booze is set to be the big new holiday trend

Ditching booze is set to be the big new holiday trend

There was a time when a pint of beer or a glass of bubbly were as fundamental to a holiday as a bucket and spade. But as we become more health and cost-conscious, drinking alcohol on an overseas break isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Michelle Tole, travel and wellness expert from BluePillow (bluepillow.co.uk), a holiday accommodation rental service, believes this reflects a growing trend for booze-free breaks.

She suggests this reflects “how Brits want to embrace and make the most of their holiday, rather than spend their time off feeling hungover and weary”.

Ahead of this year’s dry January, Alcohol Change UK estimated a record 7.9 million people were planning to quit drinking alcohol for the month. There’s also been a steep rise in the sale of no or low-alcohol drinks. According to research published in 2021 from the International Wine and Spirits Record (IWSR) Drinks Market Analysis, the sector is predicted to grow by over 31% by 2024.

The travel industry is cottoning on to this growing trend – and here are a few indulgent holidays guaranteed not to give you a hangover…

The teetotal hotel break

Launching on September 1, new hotel Sommerro in Oslo has developed an alcohol-free offering in response to guest demand. Bar manager Loukia Blouti has created an innovative menu inspired by the 1920s and 1930s, called The Prohibitionists.

“We are fully aware people choose not to consume alcohol for a variety of reasons, including health challenges, driving a vehicle, pregnancy – or even just for a change every now and then. But this should not be a reason to miss out on a social gathering,” says Blouti. “Taste, complexity and ingredient quality are guaranteed for every single drink, regardless of alcohol content.”

Rooms start from £205 per double room including breakfast. For more information, visit sommerrohouse.com

The meal with (almost) 0% guilt

A wine flight is the ideal accompaniment to a Michelin star meal. Thankfully, though, non-drinkers no longer need to miss out on the full culinary experience.

At Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland, director of wine and sommelier Amanda Wassmer-Bulgin has created a drinks match for dishes served in the two Michelin-starred restaurant, Memories, which is run by her husband, Sven Wassmer.

Kombucha is served with caviar and horseradish, while truffle dumplings come with a barley lemonade. Visit resortragaz.ch.

The super sober getaway

Some travellers might want to ditch booze for a longer period of time.

In Saudi Arabia, consuming alcohol is illegal, presenting a good opportunity to knock alcohol on the head for the duration of your trip.

Now the destination is opening up to western tourism, several operators run tours within the Gulf country. Corinthian Travel offers a 10-day Arabia Felix: Asir & Al Bahah trip along the scenic Sarawat mountains between Abha and Jeddah. Highlights include exploring Rijal Almaa, one of the finest historic villages in Arabia, discovering the troglodyte settlements on remote Shada mountain, and a visit to the traditional market at Moyhal.

From £4895pp (two sharing) including transfers, B&B accommodation, activities/sightseeing and a guide. Flights extra. Visit corinthiantravel.co.uk.

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