A sober beach holiday. What the actual f*ck, is what the drinking version of myself would have thought, as if remaining conscious and beach-time were mutually exclusive. But she was silly, so let’s forget about her opinion. I mean, why can’t a person voluntarily get on a plane, land in paradise, unpack, stroll by the pool, inhale the island breezes, eat some mango, and then somehow not destroy her plans/self-esteem/life by getting hammered on shitty beach wine the entire time? The answer is, there’s no good reason why not, but I was 39 before I thought I’d give it a try. Passing out in the sand doesn’t look cute past 34…35–max, so I was on borrowed time to pull myself together.
Fear not my sober robins, not only did I pull myself together–I believe that a sultry beach vacation is actually the ideal alcohol-free holiday. To prove it, I went to Jamaica in August. Somebody has to do this research, after all.
Why a sober beach vacation is an excellent idea:
Endless activities (that don’t involve drinking).
Jamaica will wear you out. Zoom through the mangroves on a speedboat. Craft your own artisan tile by the pool. Browse handmade art from local shops. Relax with a massage and a facial. Swim laps in the salt water pool and dive off the dock into the ocean. Hike to a waterfall. Research which jerk restaurant has the best jerk chicken. You get the idea, it’s paradise.
Fruity mocktails are everywhere.
On my ride to the airport, we paused at an intersection and I locked eyes with a man running a fresh pineapple and mango smoothie shack on the side of the road, thus confirming my suspicions that non-alcoholic drink can be found literally anywhere in Jamaica. I also drank a virgin coladas by the gallon (obviously).
You’ll actually relax.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever returned home from a vacation more strung out than before you left? Sunburned and dehydrated, I’d wonder why I squandered another perfectly good trip by drinking too much. Without drinking to trick you into thinking that more beers equals more fun, you’ll get to have actual experience! Just imagine–a hangover-free vacation in the Caribbean.
There are dozens of all-inclusive party-type hotels and resorts in Jamaica. Obviously, don’t stay there. I read an article on Treasure Beach before my trip and decided that it sounded like the laid back, bohemian retreat I was looking for. And it was perfect.