3 Ways to Choose Your Drinks Wisely on Your Next Vacation

You’re embarking on your next vacation and it’s time to relax, often with a drink in hand. On your next holiday, you could have unlimited access to some of the world’s most enticing coffees, lemonades, cocktails and even artisan sparkling waters.

There are ways to simultaneously bask in every beverage without overindulging. These are the foolproof ways to choose drinks wisely throughout your vacation, so every sip is gratifying and adds to the luxury of your time off.

1. With Your Budget in Mind

One way to do this is to create a list of approved drinks and the prices you’re willing to pay for them. It can include a financial budget or even a sugar budget. Have a roster of pre-selected drinks to ease decision-making. It will also help you determine what you discern is worth your money. A great mental model to use is asking yourself if the drink is worth the amount of time you would have to work to earn that amount of money.

For example, if milkshakes are not part of your budget but your travel group wants to get them as a treat, feel free to enjoy the company but not partake. Instead, you can enjoy a guilt-free caramel latte tomorrow morning because that was a predetermined allocation of your five dollars.

You could also try creating a specific drink budget or only bringing cash when going out to eat or drink. This could drastically reduce spending and excess consumption since there is a definitive stopping point. It also ensures you choose each drink with intention — is that $7 shot worth your money?

Spending habits could coincide with outside influences, such as what holiday it is or peer pressure from friends and family at a destination wedding. Be sure to consider these influences while creating drink budgets.

2. With Your Health in Mind

The most obvious way to guide drinking decisions on a vacation, whether on a cruise or in a mountain cabin, is by considering health first. Every drink can affect our body for better or worse, alcoholic or not.

When deciding what to drink next, consider these areas of your health that the contents of your glass could influence:


  • Sleep: The quality of your sleep is directly related to your hydration levels. Though drinking too much — even water — could cause disruptions from frequent bathroom trips, but high intake of alcohol could reduce rest by as much as 39.2%.
  • Blood sugar: Especially if you are a person with diabetes, it’s best to avoid sugary drinks. However, this can influence anyone, resulting in energy fluctuations or acne.
  • Weight management: Calories could be a factor when choosing drinks to maintain a healthy weight or diet regimen.
  • Intolerances: Maybe you are a person with gluten or lactose intolernace, causing adverse side effects like bloating or more severe allergic reactions. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean it’s time to experiment, even though the beer or milk-based smoothie is tempting.
  • Dental wellness: Red wine, sodas or coffee can stain teeth with their intense pigment. Sugar-laden mocktails could cause cavities. You could keep your teeth in check on vacation by limiting certain types of beverages to prevent money spent on future dental visits.
  • Water intake: When prioritizing more enticing beverages to add to the vacation feel, it’s critical never to let it subtract from required water consumption. Keep reminders to alternate between vacation drinking and adequate hydration.


Anything humans consume affects our physical health and can also influence our emotional and mental state.

3. With Your Happiness in Mind

You may need to consider the stability of your mental health when choosing drinks. Do you experience physical anxiety symptoms after drinking two cups of coffee? Do you know you’ll have a depressive hangover if you drink more than two cocktails? This line of questioning can help reveal how to still enjoy drinks but choose them smartly — not adversely affecting your happiness.

With this in mind, creating mentalities that are too restrictive can eliminate joy from drinking altogether. Vacations are a time to embrace leisure, to step away from the excess stressors of work and home responsibilities. The benefits of choosing food and drinks based on your happiness alone can significantly improve your mental well-being and the enjoyment of your vacation — this is called the food-mood connection.

The key to deciding on a drink based on happiness is immediate gratification during consumption compared to long-term gratification after the experience. Consider how it makes you feel. Do you regret the drink choice because of the ABV? Did you choose to finish the energy drink even though it didn’t have a great flavor?

No matter the response, every drink should feel emotionally worth it, providing only joy as you relish in your responsibility-free itinerary.

Drinking Responsibly — In More Ways than One

Making wise drinking decisions includes more than finding ways to avoid a hangover. If your goal is to be responsible and happy while drinking on vacation, consider how the types of drinks we consume affect our lives. It costs a lot of money to have certain drinking habits, which can affect our mental and physical health. Prioritize enjoyment alongside reflection — there are ways to have delicious experiences on vacation without shifting other priorities.


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