If you’re travelling on a budget and want to experience… like really experience a destination. An easy (but not the only) way of having some good ol’ fashion fun is to have a drink. Cheap drinks to be precise.
So you find yourself in a foreign land – and you need some sagely, spontaneous, travel advice that’ll save you some moolah. Here are 4 simple ways to get cheap booze in any country!
1. Talk To Locals
Strike up a conversation with a local during your holiday, ask them for recommendations and they’re often more than happy to point you in the direction of their favourite watering holes. Just put yourself in their position – wouldn’t you do the same?
Your average local in any country isn’t going to be hitting up the most expensive bars all the time, and probably has a few go to regular spots he or she frequents. If you’re lucky the person might even surprise you and show you around town, teach you a couple of local drinking games. Loosen up, talk a little and make some new friends, what’s not to love?
You might even find some that brews a great moonshine (bonus hipster and spontaneity points!)
*Related Post: Top 5 Survival Tips for your first Solo Trip
2. Always Go Local
Like a coat-of-arms, national animal, flower, anthem or what have you – every country will have their alcoholic beverage and brand of choice. A drink that could make its citizens stand up as their hearts swell with pride. Before keeling over begging for a swift death after one too many.
Using South-East Asia as an example, Indonesia has Bintang Beer, and most adventures in the country revolve around this beverage, which isn’t all that surprising when you can get a tower of beer for 17 SGD (3 litres/17SGD)
Vietnam has Bia Ha Noi, a few other beers and of course rice wine – better known as ruou gao. You’ll find ruou gao in smaller cities, towns and Vietnam’s mountainous regions going at roughly 200,000 VND (1 litre/). Now I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure a litre is more than enough for a person or two.
3. Avoid Fancy Drinks
This tip goes hand in hand with “Always Go Local”. On the beach? Sipping on a drink named after said beach? Ditch it! There’s a time and place for that Mint Juelp or Gin Fizz (not beach drinks, but fancy nonetheless), but that time isn’t now. Not when you’re on a budget.
If it comes in a martini glass, or some sort of cocktail glass it’s probably going to cost you. If it has a European sounding name and you’re in Asia, that’s going to cost you too. You don’t have to be drinking moonshine out of a plastic bottle, but you shouldn’t spend your hard earned money sipping on sangrias.
*Read about other Travel Tips, Guides, and Experiences here at: PROJECT #GOANYWHR
4. Buy Duty Free
This is to be used as a last resort, and only if you need to hole up in your hotel or hostel while you drink yourself into a drunken stupor. But you wonder “why would I want to do that when I’m travelling?”
I once had the opportunity to travel with a couple of friends/colleagues to a private resort island, a destination devoid of WiFi (save for the 2G signal for wireless transactions). I was all for disconnecting from the world for a few days. My colleague however, filled the void of one addiction being removed with another.
So if you ever find yourself in a place you think is your personal hell – you only need look to the duty free shop.
Towers of Bintang Beer for 17SGD, suspicious looking moonshine and (potentially) making new friends – these are the little things that make for great stories whether you’re on a mystery vacation or not… provided you make it out the other side.