Doing Dry January? The ‘dry tripping’ travel trend is for you

Alcohol-free tours and hotel mocktail menus prove you don’t need to drink to have fun.


Millions of drinkers around the world plan to give up booze as part of ‘Dry January’.

But the trend is beginning to stretch beyond the New Year. Only about 38 per cent of young adults are regular drinkers, according to analytics company Gallup.

The tourism industry is starting to take note.

“It is no longer commonly accepted that you need to drink alcohol to have fun,” says Lauren Burnison, owner of UK alcohol-free travel company We Love Lucid. 

“People have started to question this narrative, which is why we have seen an increase in demand for alcohol-free drinks and alcohol-free events and activities.” 

Burnison launched her travel company in 2018 focused on providing alcohol-free itineraries. “Adventure travel was such a life-changing and integral part of my own recalibration after getting sober that I felt compelled to share it with others.”

While baby boomers have slightly increased their drinking habits, according to Gallup, only 42 per cent of millennials claim to drink. For Gen Z, the total is even lower, with only 21 per cent drinking regularly.

What is ‘dry tripping’?, a leading global online travel agency, predicts that ‘dry tripping‘ will emerge as a significant trend among vacationers in 2024.

This will see travellers shunning activities that focus on alcohol, such as pub crawls, and seeking accommodation and restaurants that offer creative nonalcoholic beverages.

Teetotal travellers are realising they no longer have to be content with water or fizzy drinks. 

Research conducted on behalf of Expedia Group brands found that 50 per cent of travellers say they’d be interested in staying at a hotel that offers easily accessible alcohol-free options like mocktails or nonalcoholic beer.

The global shift towards nonalcoholic drink options is not just a passing trend but is gaining momentum worldwide.

“We just returned from an all-inclusive vacation in the Dominican Republic, celebrating my mother’s 85th birthday,” says US food blogger Adriana Copaceanu of Recipe Idea Shop. “We reserved the hibachi restaurant and ordered virgin Mojitos, Mango Tangos, and Pina Coladas because we don’t drink alcohol. We were able to celebrate and feel special without alcoholic drinks.”

A recent IWSR Drinks Market Analysis study shows the global market values non and low-alcoholic beverages at over €10 billion.

Why are more people opting for sober travel?

Expedia’s research also reveals one out of every four travellers mentioned their main reason for decreasing alcohol use on vacation is to stay in control. They also aim to improve their emotional and physical well-being.

“Wellness is a much more considered, integrated experience at hotels now,” says Rhiannon Jones, future forecaster at Kantar. “When people go away now, they want to come back feeling healthy and rested.” Wellness tourism is the fastest growing sector of the wellness industry.

“I only order mocktails now because I’m kind of over drinking. I never feel good after having a drink, so I enjoy mocktails when I go out with friends,” says clean eating guru Tiffany McCauley of The Gracious Pantry. “It still gives me that communal feeling of drinking with friends without feeling bad afterward.”

Other travellers cite religious beliefs for not drinking. “I always order a mocktail drink whenever I go to a restaurant because I don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons,” says Devy Dar, a frequent traveler and owner of So Yummy Recipes. “Eight out of 10 times, the mocktails I order are so good I often end up ordering more than one glass.”


Germany is the leading producer of nonalcoholic drinks

Germany may be the leading beer producer in Europe, but it’s now brewing up a new batch of customers with its commitment to creating the finest non and low-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits on the market. The country is also the leading producer of nonalcoholic beverages in the world.

Rouven Richter, co-owner of BOAR Distillery, says he and his two business partners, decided to craft an alcohol-free beverage so their expectant wives would have something to drink while others consumed alcohol. The result is BOAR Zero, a nonalcoholic alternative that’s 100 per cent distilled, and free of preservatives and artificial additives.

German vineyards are crafting alcohol-free wines, and breweries like Alpirsbacher Klosterbraeu export nonalcoholic beer to more than a dozen countries worldwide. While the percentage of sales is low compared to their alcohol products, there’s no denying the growing global appetite for these sober alternatives.

As long as the market continues growing, new product lines will emerge, and the sober tourism trend will flourish, with Gen Z leading the way to a healthier, alcohol-free lifestyle.

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