Backpacking Travel Tips


One of the best things about Contiki is its party scene. And even if you’re a solo traveller, you aren’t really going to be solo – which is so much safer than drinking alone!

With my Contiki tour coming up soon, I thought I would use this opportunity to delve into the big question – Drinking while travelling – is it worth the risk?

“Why not, we’re on holiday?!”

For many, travelling and drinking just correlate – especially for the younger, hence why Contiki is such a conductor for this type of travel. While having a couple of drinks are perfect for relaxing, getting drunk while away from home can post various dangers – most of them are the same as the dangers you could face at home, just amplified. Being somewhere you are unfamiliar with, where you know few people,  it’s not hard to understand how threats can arise.


Some of the dangers posed;

> Your Medical Insurance may not cover you.

Not too long ago, a girl I know was all over my local news. She had been injured while intoxicated overseas, and her medical insurance refused to help her out. Many people do not realise that most travel medical insurance companies will not cover claims that involve your intoxication. Of course, every incident is looked at and considered in relation to their guidelines, but its better to limit your alcohol intake than to risk it.

How much is too much when it comes to alcohol and travel insurance? Having a drink overseas can be enjoyable, but it’s worth understanding what your insurance has to say about it – otherwise those few drinks could become very expensive. For example, my current travel insurance plan claims that they;

“will not pay for any claims under any section of this policy arising directly or indirectly from the influence of alcohol or drugs (other than a drug administered or prescribed by a registered medical practitioner and taken as prescribed).”

> Loss of belongings.

> Getting lost.

> Being turned away when boarding flights.

> Getting arrested.

> Becoming vulnerable to crime and violence.

> Not recognising age limit laws (they are different all over the world)

> Having your drinks spiked.

THIS IS A SERIOUS THREAT worldwide. You should always keep your drink covered and within eyesight to ensure that no one can drug you. I know from experience that it is somewhat impossible to spend a night out and just stare at your glass ensuring that no one spikes you, but it’s better to be precautionary. Use a napkin or a coaster to cover your drink or just hold your hand over the top.

As someone who has personally had their drink spiked (don’t worry I’m fine!) – I don’t mess around when it comes to protecting my drinks. Ironically for me, I was spiked at my local pub, not while travelling overseas or even travelling solo. Though this was safer for me (I got myself straight home), knowing that this could happen overseas is incredibly intimidating.


Drinking on a plane? Here’s why it’s a bad idea;

> Cabin air has less oxygen than what you are used to on the ground, so sometimes consuming alcohol on planes can cause you to feel more intoxicated.

> It can accelerate the effects of altitude sickness.

> You’ll need to visit the bathroom a lot more. (Let’s hope you don’t have the window seat).

> With lowered inhibitions, you will never be ready to brace yourself for turbulence.

> You can be turned away when boarding flights – make sure you can get onto that connecting flight.

> You might get arrested.

> Your fellow passengers probably won’t like you very much.

> Though it sometimes makes it easier, it can also make it very hard to fall asleep.

> Jet lag will hit waaaay worse.

> Don’t even bother with that car rental when you land.

What happens to your body when you drink on a plane?

Drinking and Travelling

I’ve drunken while overseas, whether it be a few Bintangs by the pool in Indo or vodka shots on NYE in Edinburgh, and I know I will in the future. Despite everything I’ve said, I don’t mean to completely deter you, I simply wish to replace that little green fairy on your shoulder with one that will encourage you to be responsible with your drinks – more of a Jiminy Cricket type.

Drinking can be fun, relaxing, or whatever you need it to be, it’s just up to you to choose how responsible you are with it.

What do you think about drinking while overseas?

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