Travelling with a hangover sucks. Museums barely hold your interest, the local food makes you feel even sicker, and the smallest nuances can easily get on your nerves to the point of cracking. Chances are you’ve saved long and hard to get out there and see the world, and those few extra shots at the bar can make your whole travel experience completely cloudy. Don’t get us wrong – we like to party just as much as the next person. But as we get older our priorities have significantly changed.
Some places around the world are known for the party scenes. Ibiza, Las Vegas, Seoul, Koh Phangan – each one of these destinations have a bustling nightlife and it would be a shame to ignore it. However they also have a lot of beautiful things to see and do while the sun is out. If you are spending every hour of the night dancing and drinking buckets, chances are you are going to spend most of the day curled up in the foetal position sucking on an ice cube. In our opinion, this is a shame. You’ve been smashed in Vegas for a week and didn’t even see the Grand Canyon. Tsk tsk.
We’ve partied hard around the world for many years, and one thing we have realised is that no matter how awesome a night at a club or bar is, they almost always merge into the same, hazy experience. Good friends, pumping music, lots of laughs and strong drinks are a definite recipe for fun, but is it really any different to most other nights where you had good friends, pumping music, lots of laughs and strong drinks? Unless you are going out on some kind of nighttime adventure, what are you really achieving? Maintaining a social life is important when you are travelling, but there are other ways to do this that don’t involve getting tanked every single night.
Going to bed late and waking up at midday means you’ve wasted half the day. You know what happens before 12pm? Lots of stuff! In fact if you are real productive you can even check out the best sites a town has to offer in the morning, and get on the grog for an afternoon session. In bed by 10pm, you wake up nice and early ready for another big day of exploring. This is our preferred method now.
If you are travelling around the world, chances are it is because you want to see new places, experiences new things, learn about different cultures and tick off a few bucket list items. It is hard to appreciate these experiences when you have a throbbing headache, blurred vision and feel like you are going to throw up at every street corner. The last thing you want is to travel all the way to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat, and end up hating the temples because you are hungover from hanging out on the infamous Pub Street.
Even worse would be spending all your money at the bar and not being able to afford a visit to the highlights of a particular region. Drinking cuts into your travel budget! In some parts of the world, alcohol is actually cheaper than a bottle of water, but don’t forget most people hardly go out and drink 15 bottles of water in a single sitting! Nothing would be more devastating than having to head home early because you spent all your money on booze. Trust us, we know this first hand.
There are ways to maximise the best of both worlds. You can charge on through night and day, ignoring the need to sleep, or you can find medication that prevents your body from getting a nasty hangover. Perhaps you know the real meaning of that fun-crushing word, ‘moderation’, and have the willpower to not drink your weight in vodka on a nightly basis. Others have just learnt to deal with hangovers and eventually forget exactly what feeling refreshed is like.
Especially in places like Southeast Asia and South America, where there is a well-trodden backpacker trail and cheap cost of living, the party scene thrives and should not be missed. Just don’t let the nightlife dominate your entire trip. A sunrise over Machu Picchu is always going to be more memorable than that night in Cusco where you drank so much Pilsen Callao you forgot every detail. Don’t let that drunken backpacker sitting at the hostel bar fool you – Travel is much more rewarding without a hangover.
16 thoughts on “Travelling With A Hangover Sucks”
I had a trip of 16 days and believe me guys, heavy drinking really dents your budget! I had to cut short some of my luxuries to balance my budget 😉 It also spoils the next morning as you have to suffer through an irritating hangover. But glad I had found this drink, it really prevents a hangover.
Sounds like a crazy. Alcohol does chew up the budget. Thanks for sharing.
What type of drink did you find the prevents a hangover?
Lots of water and gatorade. 🙂
So true! Great post! I did 6 months in Asia in 2014 and partied HARD and have just returned from another 6 months. I still partied this time but only twice or three times a week instead of every day! I spent a third less money! Drinking is a huge budget killer!!!
Oh man, drinking hammers our budget! That’s another reason we have cut back so much. Thanks for reading, Sally 🙂
Thanks for you post on getting drunk and having a hangover. I would like to add some advice on being drunk. I was staying in Bangkok last year, had a few beers with a friend, then had even beers, shots with some expats I met. After getting out of the taxi at the apartment I was staying at, I went to take my phone out of my skinny chinos pocket, OMG, no phone! I think it slipped out of my front pocket in the taxi when I getting out my money to pay. The cost was 22,500 baht for new Galaxy S5, although it is a better phone than the S4 that I lost 🙁
That’s an expensive night out on the booze for sure! On the bright side, at least you got a new phone! I left our GoPro in a tuk tuk in Vang Vieng after tubing. Luckily for me the honest driver held onto it and returned it to me when I was walking the streets trying to recognise his tuk tuk. Thanks for reading Graham.
I couldn’t agree more!
I would even highlight more the fact that going out / drinking is expensive, and that this could turn into a big chunk of your budget. Cut this, and you will travel much longer or have more money for other things. Don’t get me wrong: a cold beer (in Asia) or a glas of wine (in South America) at night is really nice.
My experience also showed me that traveling is safe, but that coming back to your hostel at 02:00 am drunk makes you the perfect target. The only people I met first hand who had been robbed where people coming back drunk late at night.
Last but not least: with a hangover, you are more likely to fall for a scam. That happened to me in North Vietnam… Nothing bad, 6 Euros, but that was downright frustrating. The beginner mistake… Yes, the night before, we had quite a few rice wines with locals in a bar in SaPa…
Drinking does definitely cut into the travel budget, and makes you an easy target for scams and robberies. It’s one thing to fall for a scam because they were crafty. It is another altogether to fall for a scam because you were too drunk/hungover to realise what was going on. Thanks for reading Gilles 😀
We agree with Megan… the beauty of slow travel is that you can take the time to both party hard and see the sights! For us, partying is a big part of getting to check out the local culture, and you get the opportunity to make some great connections with people that you would have never met otherwise. Travel doesn’t have to be about seeing the sights and ticking the boxes! The sun will always rise over Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, and you can always go back when you’re old and life is more boring. 😉
That’s definitely one way to see it. Partying is a lot of fun in a most places. But I would be pretty devastated if I went all the way to Peru to visit Machu Pichu and never made it there because I was too drunk. Thanks for reading Semi!
Ha! we know this pain all too well. It has got to the point where we have made a rule for ourselves to never drink the night before we travel (a rule we keep breaking oops). We have certainly partied hard in some places, but the benifit of slow travel means you don’t have to miss that great sunrise – just do it a different day. It’s also surprising now we are in our 30’s, how long it takes to bounce back. I’m getting too old for this shit has been muttered a few times LOL. Great article guys!
It definitely takes a lot longer to spring back after a big night now. Lately we (and by we, I mean Jazza) have gotten into the habit of drinking heavily before night buses. It’s been so long since we took buses because we’ve been on the bikes. It has been weird getting drunk and not having to worry about getting ourselves around. It is time to break that habit I think, haha.
Haha! I totally agree with this article. I consider that hangover can spoil your trip! I have included in my blogpost where I listed 9 things that can spoil your trip. Do give it a read! Cheers!!
Definitely can spoil your trip! Thanks Umang.