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.