Ditching booze is set to be the big new holiday trend – Scotland on Sunday Travel

In search of clarity and wellness, some travellers are swapping beer and wine for alcohol-free alternatives, writes Sarah Marshall.

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 and you might come back feeling twice as refreshed.

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 among travellers.

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”.

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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 in general year-round. 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 per cent by 2024.

The travel industry too is cottoning on to this growing trend and is adapting its offering to suit the needs of alcohol free travellers. Here are a few indulgent holidays guaranteed not to give you a hangover and the feeling that you’re somehow missing by choosing booze-free options, proving you can still have all the fun and fizz to celebrate your holiday and toast your very good health.

The teetotal hotel break

Launching on September 1, new hotel Sommerro in Oslo has developed an alcohol-free offering in response to guest demand which proves that it’s not just a passing trend to dodge a drink-fuelled break. At Sommerro the bar manager Loukia Blouti has created an innovative menu inspired by the 1920s and 1930s, called The Prohibitionists.

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Healthy drinking options. Pic: PA Photo/Alamy.

“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) no guilt

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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 being enjoyed by their fellow diners.

A room at Sommero in Oslo. Pic: PA Photo/Preferred Hotels.

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.

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The super sober getaway

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Pic: PA Photo/Ragaz Resort.

Some travellers might want to ditch booze for a longer period of time or may simply not drink alcohol at all, for various reasons.

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

Now that 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

Rijal Almaa in Saudi Arabia. Pic: PA Photo/Alamy.

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Soft drinks served in the Memories restaurant at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Pic: PA Photo/Ragaz Resort.
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