Need a reason to give Dry January a go?
How about a free holiday?
Giving up alcohol for just five weeks could save you enough money for a holiday, a study from foreign exchange firm Caxton found.
Ditching the booze for even longer could, as you’d expect, save you even more money. If you stayed sober for the whole year, you’d save enough money for a week-long all-inclusive stay in Montego Bay.
Researchers assumed a regular drinking habit of eight pints of beer and one bottle of wine per couple per week, bought from a bar or pub. Based on this, they calculated that a drinking ban could save a couple as much as £44 a week, typically (although obviously pub and bar prices vary hugely… just look at the price of a pint in London).
The study then involved searching travel websites to find holidays couples could grab for the money they’d save by skipping the drinks.
They found that if a couple gave up alcohol for five weeks, they could get a two-night stay in Amsterdam, including flights, for £218.
Seven weeks sober could provide a three-night stay in Prague at £305, ten weeks could pay for a five-night stay in the Algarve at £435, and 17 weeks could fund a seven-night trip to Naples at £740.
If you commit beyond Dry January, you can afford an even fancier holiday.
23 weeks without alcohol would save enough for a £1,001 all-inclusive seven-night holiday at Egypt’s Red Sea, 33 weeks would be enough for a seven-night stay in Barbados at £1,436, and a full year booze-free would grant you a seven-night all-inclusive stay in Jamaica’s Montego Bay at £2,263, flying out in January 2021.
Now, of course, exactly how much money you’ll save by ditching the booze depends on your usual drinking habits. If you’re a one glass a week drinker, you won’t put away as much money as someone who hits the pub three nights a week.
But the idea of paying for a holiday with your booze money can be a powerful form of motivation.
It’s worth putting aside all the money you would be spending on alcohol into a dedicated account for Dry January and beyond, just to see what you could buy with the cash you’ve saved by avoiding alcohol.
Alana Parsons, chief operating officer at Caxton, said: ‘Many of us enjoy a drink either to wind down in the evening or while out with friends or family at weekends, but we rarely tally up how much it costs us over the course of a year.
‘With the party season nearly behind us, thoughts naturally turn to making plans for the year ahead.
‘Extending the traditional dry January for a further few months or longer might not work for everyone, but a New Year Resolution that’s good for your health as well as your pocket is easier to stick to if you have a holiday on the horizon.’
Tips for getting through Dry January:
- Take each day at a time. Instead of thinking of it as a long old slog that’ll stretch on forever, thinking daily will chunk it down.
- Join up with friends or colleagues also having a go – you can all support each other.
- Get rid of any alcohol in the house to remove temptation.
- Continue to go out with friends. Holing up will make you think of this as a negative thing, so still go to the pub and socialise but have a soft drink instead.
- Try out a new hobby – whether it’s exercising or joining a knitting club. New social interactions or pastimes will take your mind off alcohol.
- Give alcohol-free versions a go. From G&T to beer, there are tasty alternatives to any tipple you like, minus the hangovers.
- Be accountable. Some choose to post on social media, or tell their mates they’re doing Dry January. That way, you’re less likely to give up at the first hurdle.
- Enjoy it! Fresh mornings and no drunk texts are all part of the joy of Dry January. Notice everything you don’t miss about drinking, rather than just what you feel you’re missing out on