Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol – Choose Wisely – The Risks of alcohol use during your trip

Safe travel and the risks of alcohol use during your trip? It is sometimes underestimated what alcohol does to you and to your judgement. I don’t actually drink alcohol while travelling, to be honest I hardly ever do at home either. Yet there are many people who find a glass of wine or beer a must to relax. But try to stay safe while travelling and consciously choose where, when and with whom you drink alcohol during your holiday.

Safe Travel & The Risks of alcohol use during your trip

When you are travelling in a far and strange country, you want to stay on top of things. The dangers of alcohol during your holidays lurk if you drink too much alcohol and can no longer react alertly or make the right judgements. Besides, people like to forget that alcohol is a poison to your body. Your body does not like alcohol. So this was one of the reasons for me to stop drinking alcohol.

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip
Drinking a cup of tea in Jordan when I was hiking to the Monastery in Petra

If you want to minimise the dangers of alcohol on a tour, it is a good idea to drink little to no alcohol during your holiday.

How do you spend your money? Alcohol during your holiday

Of course, if you travel more often, and perhaps further afield, you can put all your money to good use exploring those places. One of the easiest ways to save money is not to buy alcohol. It is an expensive hobby that, what I said earlier, is also bad for you. Most happy and fun memories you make while travelling are mostly not those moments when you were tipsy or even under the influence. No, those are those impressive trips you took walking in nature, horse riding through a beautiful country or rickshaw riding through India!

Did you know that alcohol can worsen the effects of jet lag? A good reason not to consume alcohol at least those first few days on holiday.

Alcohol can worsen your jetlag - Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip

Alcohol during your holiday? Do think about when & where and with who

If you do decide to ‘go out’ for an evening while travelling make sure you don’t go alone. Go out with someone you know for more than a few days during your trip. Your boundaries start to blur and you step into a dangerous situation more easily because you partly lose this insight and ‘fingerspitzengefühl’. You more easily see challenges in activities you wouldn’t normally take on.

Take this into account in advance and limit your options that this will happen. So stay close to your hotel / hostel for example. In the Netherlands, you risk a fine if you are under the influence on public roads, especially if you cause a nuisance in the process.

Do you know what penalties are handed out in the country you are in? Be aware of local regulations.

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip

Do enjoy your vacation with a tea and a good view

Is alcohol available everywhere?

In most (predominantly) Muslim countries, it is not normal to drink alcohol and its consumption is very expensive. In addition, each country has its laws and rules regarding alcohol consumption such as age or use of alcohol in public.

Of course, in countries where alcohol is banned, you can get alcohol. This will be in a western hotel or in areas where you are not visible from the road. I had this experience with my father, who likes to have a beer with his food, in India. We were placed in special areas of restaurants that were not visible from the road.

  • Drinking alcohol in countries where it is not the norm

Just realise that it is not ‘normal’ to drink alcohol everywhere. If you do start doing so, you may find yourself moving in a different environment and therefore with a different crowd. Often this audience/these local people do not necessarily feel responsible for you. If you are in normal public life as a tourist, then there are always tourism people in your area who are committed to you and your safety.

These are often people who think beyond fun in the moment and thus also think about what you will tell about a country when you are back home. They hope you can then share a positive experience.

Did you know that the use of alcohol in Europe is highet then the rest of the world? Do read this item.

If this is the street scene when travelling, assume alcohol is unavailable or difficult to obtain - Pushkar, India
If this is the street scene when travelling, assume alcohol is unavailable or difficult to obtain – Pushkar, India

Safe Travel and the use of Alcohol

  • Don’t loos control of the situation

If you want to drink alcohol while travelling make sure you don’t get tipsy or drunk. You will lose some of your control, do things you might regret and face unwanted consequences. If you drink a beer, wine or local liquor make sure you remain responsible for the consequences of your actions at all times.

  • Make sure to stay accountable for your actions

Don’t drink so much that you can no longer be ‘held accountable’ for what you do. For example, that you have to hear from others the next day or see on social media what you did. You should avoid this just as much at home but when travelling, it matters a bit more. You are in a foreign country, may not know the local language and don’t know where you will end up if you just get into a car with someone who is nice at the time.

Safe Travel – The risks of Alcohol (during your holiday)

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip

Short term effects of the use of alcohol

When travelling, you don’t want to experience unpleasant situations but you don’t want them at home either. I share this blog with a view to travelling and being safe while travelling but I also see these short-term effects of consuming alcohol during my work. People who regret their actions the next day. People who have to go to the emergency room with a tooth through their lip or out of their mouth etc. You don’t want this during your trip but you don’t want this at home either.

That is why I still share the listing of short-term effects very specifically.

  • Reduced coordination/balance due to alcohol consumption

You know this but do you always realise it? Alcohol affects the central nervous system. This can lead to impaired motor function, coordination and balance. This increases the risk of accidents, falls and injuries. Something you don’t want while travelling but also at home.

  • Impaired judgement due to alcohol consumption

Alcohol can also impair judgement and decision-making. This can lead to reckless behaviour, such as drink-driving, unsafe sexual encounters or taking dangerous risks. Situations that you are certainly not looking forward to during an amazing trip in a foreign country.

  • Liver damage from alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver diseases such as fatty liver, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and eventually liver cirrhosis, where healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. You don’t want to contribute to this kind of problem while you are enjoying your trip, do you?

  • Gastrointestinal problems due to alcohol consumption

Apart from the fact that you don’t want to have gastrointestinal problems while travelling, this is also something you never want. Because alcohol can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. This in turn can lead to stomach ulcers, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and stomach bleeding.

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip
I still prefer a fresh pomegranate juice then – Colombia

Safe Travel & Risks of alcohol use during your trip
Choose consciously – Safe and Healthy Travel

What I always find odd is that many sporty people but also people who work hard on a healthy lifestyle then have a beer or wine when they want to relax. And from 1 often comes more…. Why? Does having fun and relaxing without the alcohol no longer work?

Its all in the mind…

That’s where the Mind over Matter principle comes in for me…. Feeling that the relaxation is derived from the alcohol consumption or from that particular situation. That’s the same principle as that cigarette that smokers smoke when they seek a break or take a break. Without that cigarette, that break is incomplete. And yet the non-smokers just stand there and experience just as much pause or relaxation as the smoker….

It is the same with alcohol. People always find it unsociable if I don’t drink with them. And yes, a fit of laughter or fun may arise a bit faster if you have some alcohol in your body but it is not the only requirement. The important thing is that the atmosphere is good, you sit together comfortably and share good stories.

I definitely do experience fun during a night out. However, I am more likely to feel like we shouldn’t be doing something or I am the one keeping an eye on things.

There are several reasons why people choose to drink alcohol anyway, while being aware of the potential harmful consequences.

And yes, I too used to drink alcohol and go out. I also had a lot of fun during the time when I used to go out and found that very fun but also important to be part of that part of life. This mostly took place in my teens and twenties. For now, that no longer has any value for me at all. I want to do what I like and also what is good for me and my body.

Besides, it is completely clear to me that alcohol does not make me happy in the long run and that I would much rather spend my time and money on something else.

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip
I would much rather see this sunrise than hang out in a bar late into the night – Cappadocia, Turkey

Why you choose it anyway..
Risks of alcohol use during your trip

  • Social pressure and alcohol during your holiday

In many social situations, alcohol consumption is common and totally accepted. For this reason, people may experience a certain pressure to drink alcohol, to belong or to strengthen social relationships that way. Witness the fact that people assume you drink and react with surprise if you don’t. And so you are asked the question, why don’t you drink? Whereas I then rather think, why do you?

  • Relaxation / enjoyment and alcohol during your holidays

As I mentioned earlier: for some people, drinking alcohol can be a way to relax and have fun. Alcohol easily induces feelings of euphoria and relaxation. This can be attractive for people who want to escape stressful situations or ease their worries. Know and realise that this is short-lived, truly escaping stressful situation you will have to take a more permanent approach.

  • Habit & addiction to alcohol?

Many people have become accustomed to drinking alcohol, sometimes as part of their daily routine. It’s precisely during vacations that breaking such routines can be beneficial. Is it necessary to strain your body for temporary mental relaxation? Can you achieve sustainable relaxation and eventually make it more intrinsic to your well-being?

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip
I’d rather drink a cup of tea at this spot in Jordan

Recognize that alcohol consumption can lead to addiction in some individuals. Acknowledge that even weekly use can result in dependency. The key is to ensure that your body and mind don’t associate relaxation solely with alcohol consumption. So, if every Saturday after football, having a drink is a ritual to feel complete and relaxed, it’s crucial to break that association. Your Saturday can be fulfilling and complete without relying on alcohol for that sense of closure or relaxation.

Rituals are meant to guide you through specific situations, but when they are linked to harmful habits,
it’s essential to thoroughly examine them.

Did you know that alcohol can actually intensify depressive feelings and worsen anxiety symptoms? This can eventually lead to mood swings and irritability. While we are discussing a more extreme case, it’s important to realize that alcohol consumption is not without health risks.

Be Aware / Alert and Mindful Travel

Many people are aware of the potential harmful consequences of alcohol, yet it has become quite normalized to consume it regularly. Excessive alcohol consumption is not something that many people immediately express concerns about.

If you notice that alcohol is having a negative impact on your life, it is advisable to make changes, perhaps even seek help. Support is available to help you change your drinking habits. Take a look at this alcohol information website for more details.

During my work, I witness the negative expressions and aspects of alcohol and its excessive consumption. I also work during nightlife events, visit homes where conflicts have arisen due to excessive alcohol use, and encounter individuals labeled as “alcoholics” living on the streets. Having a drink occasionally is certainly not wrong, but it’s crucial to stay vigilant and keep your finger on the pulse.

Safe Travel & The dangers of Alcohol - Choose Wisely - The Risks of alcohol use during your trip
Nighshift during corona – One person in a surveillance car…

You want to minimize the risks of alcohol use during your trip.

When you’re traveling, you don’t want to lose control and have to rely on the kindness of someone you barely know. Therefore, I recommend consuming little to no alcohol during your distant journey.

I prefer to spend my hard-earned money on enjoyable, worthwhile, and healthy activities while traveling.

Want to read more travel inspiration?

A local stay at the San tribe in Namib

Adventurous hiking on the island of Karpathos – Greece

Hiking in Turkey on the Lycian Way

Visit the highlights of the Sierra Subbetica – Spain

Explore Singapore by Foot – 8x Hiking in Singapore

Or take the ultimate challenge in India

Rickshaw Challenge MumbaiXpress – 3 women, 1 autorickshaw and a 2000 km ride through 5 states of India

I hope you enjoy this beautiful world as much as I do