How to NOT blow your budget and ruin the vacation of your dreams.
Before you think about sipping your favorite beverage while taking it easy in a cabana with a good book, laying in the sun on the beach, or my favorite daydream of enjoying pineapple wine while overlooking the ocean – You may want to check out where you can and cannot drink where you’ll be vacationing. It may save you the biggest vacation faux pas of them all: an expensive souvenir ticket.
BRIGHT IDEAS & useful advice!
Planning for your dream vacation...
Let’s face it. Preparing for a vacation can be a bit stressful.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the pre-vacation planning routine of finding the time to research the places and sites you want to visit. There is the process of figuring out where you’ll be staying, making travel reservations, and planning the best way to get to where you will be going. Then, if you happen to have celiac disease or any food allergy, figuring out where you’ll be able to eat safely can make planning your vacation seem like work.
Then there's trying to pack everything you'll need...
Beyond all that, there’s trying to remember everything you can imagine you might need to take. I must admit that I’m a planner and like to be prepared for just about anything. It’s just the way I am—steamer trunk in tow. I think I take after my mom in that respect. Sorry, Mom, I LOVE You!
So, here’s my story and what you can do…
It was the day before my dear hubby and I were scheduled to leave. Our bags were packed, lists checked, double-checked, the itinerary all set, and I was still waiting for my Wine 2 Go Foldable Wine Bottle and Silicone Wine Cups to arrive.
If the items didn’t show up, it wasn’t like it was going to be a deal-breaker sort of big deal, but their making it in time for our trip was just one of those ‘this is going to be cool to take along for our Maui Vacation’ kind of things. A quick check of my watch showed it was 11 o’clock, and our postman was due to arrive anytime. According to my pre-delivery notification, the doorbell should be ringing at any moment.
Is it time to daydream or not?
Telling myself that all was good to go and under control, my thoughts turned to vacation visions, daydreaming about relaxing, sitting on the beach enjoying a refreshing glass of pineapple wine while overlooking the ocean. Can you hear the island tunes playing in the background?
All of a sudden, it hit me. Hold everything!
The one detail I had overlooked in planning our trip was checking into Hawaii’s container and consumption laws.
Wait! What are container and consumption laws?
In case you’re unfamiliar, container and consumption laws are state laws. Three categories cover open containers or consumption of alcohol within motor vehicles: patrons removing partially consumed containers or bottles from restaurants and open containers or consumption of alcohol in public that allow adults to take their alcoholic beverages “to go.” Think – strolling outdoors and enjoying an area’s colorful sights and sounds.
So, before you think about sipping your favorite beverage while taking it easy in a cabana with a good book, laying in the sun on the beach, or my favorite daydream of enjoying pineapple wine while overlooking the ocean, you may want to check out where you can and cannot drink where you’ll be vacationing. It may save you the biggest vacation faux pas of them all: an expensive souvenir ticket.
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While I can’t personally speak for how it is in other countries, alcohol laws across the U.S. are tricky, and nothing emphasizes these laws more than the legal drinking age, which nationally is 21. Still, even that has specific exceptions, and there may be loopholes depending on what state you’re visiting. The bottom line is if you’re looking to include winding down with an alcoholic beverage on your vacation, you must be aware of the local container and consumption laws before heading out to the beach with your favorite bottle of beer, wine, or a cocktail.
Don't guess, precheck...
In a nutshell, most U.S. states and localities ban consuming and possessing open containers of alcohol in public places and on beaches. However, these laws have been known to be more lenient (depending on where you’re at). It’s always best to precheck ahead with someone at your destination or a local travel authority and use your discretion when bringing beer, wine, or glasses filled with your favorite cocktail.
The obvious question is, is having that glass of wine or a cocktail worth the risk? While some people may get creative by spiking their soda or hiding alcohol in an insulated cup or water bottle, doing this may be less inconspicuous but, in the end, not worth the risk. Fines in every state vary. In Hawaii, if you “happen to” get caught with an open container, the fine will cost you $200 to $300. And, if you “happen to be” driving, the cost is more than $1000 – the highest fine in any state.
Using your resources...
If you want to drink and be outdoors, swim, or stroll and enjoy an area’s colorful sights and sounds, many travel experts will recommend staying at your hotel or resort’s pool. Most offer poolside bar service and fun lounge areas for relaxing. While you will likely drink out of plastic cups, you can legally rest easy while enjoying your beverage. Some hotels will even let you BYOB (Bring Your “Own” Bottle) to enjoy in lounge areas if you bring it and serve it in approved non-glass containers.
Additionally, many coastal communities have restaurants and bars located near boardwalks or close to beaches where you can take in the beach scenery and sounds while leisurely conversing, eating, and sipping away the hours you spend there.
Our resort in Wailea was very receptive to us bringing along our Wine 2 Go as we explored, lounged, and relaxed in the resort. The Wine 2 Go Foldable Wine Bottle and Silicone Wine Cups were the perfect acceptable options for enjoying those areas because they are non-glass containers. As a bonus, bringing our beverage with us saved us a few dollars in the lounge areas to spend that budgeted money elsewhere at the resort to enjoy the swim-up bar and some very nice meals there.
Still, have questions?
Don’t hesitate to make a phone call or two when planning your vacation. Most resorts have a concierge service where specific questions may be answered before or during your visit. Some beachfront restaurants offer the option of bringing along your bottle to enjoy. Local tourism bureaus may have a list of beaches, campgrounds, and park areas where you can legally consume alcohol.
A little pre-vacation checking and planning to eliminate stress during your vacation will be well worth saving a costly souvenir ticket that could blow your budget and ruin the vacation of your dreams.
This post highlighting Wine 2 Go Foldable Wine Bottle, and Silicone Wine Cups is in collaboration with Wine 2 Go. All words, opinions, and photography are my own. Photo permissions were approved and granted in compliance with resort and local alcohol consumption and possession policies.