Holidays away with friends

Sun, Sea and Summer Holidays

Teens going away with friends on their own for the first time? If your kids have finished their exams and are going away for sun, sea and a fun time, it can be very nerve racking as parents. Simple pacing strategies if they plan to drink will help to ensure that they have a fantastic holiday such as:

  • drink lots of water and stay hydrated
  • eat regularly
  • avoid shots and rounds
  • keep an eye out for friends
  • be aware of local laws and customs
  • remember that foreign measures are often much larger and stronger than those at home.
  • finally, remind them that alcohol isn’t part of everyone’s holiday plans, so they should respect the wishes of friends who don’t or may not want to drink.

Top tips for you and them

  • If travelling by air, especially on long flights, don’t be tempted to drink too much, before flying, or on board! Water and soft drinks are a better choice as both alcohol and altitude dehydrate you. Many airlines won’t let you fly if you appear drunk or unruly at check in.
  • Once on holiday, alcohol dehydrates you, and the heat of the sun makes it worse. Take regular breaks, slap on plenty of sun cream and drink at least two litres of water a day.
  • Bars abroad often serve larger measures of spirits than at home so just two vodkas could be the same as four or five in the UK.
  • Alcohol can make you feel relaxed and less careful about sun cream, falling asleep in the sun or on a lilo in the pool. Scarily, malignant skin cancer has increased by 56% among men and 38% among women since 2002 in the UK.
  • Don’t let too much drink lead them into risky situations, with strangers, swimming pools or unknown places. Watch out for passports, credit cards, phones, tablets or ipods that can be easily lost or stolen if they’re worse for wear – it may be better to leave them somewhere secure and just keep enough cash with them when out.
  • Mixing drink with sports, from volleyball to rock climbing, can lead to injuries. So play it safe. Likewise, midnight swimming and drinking is never advisable. Insurance may be invalid if drunk at the time of the incident.

Driving abroad?

Nearly all countries have lower drink drive limits than the UK and some, such as the US don’t allow any alcohol at all for those under 21. You can look at the permitted levels around the world via drinkingandyou.com/site/uk/drive.htm. Decide before going out who is the designated driver who won’t drink. It’s their job to make sure everyone gets home safely.

We’re including the whole of our top tips for staying safe for you to share with your teenager – you can also download it via: alcoholeducationtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/StaySafe.pdf

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