Many of us love a beer, and many of us love to go on an overseas surf trip.
While we might have the whole beer thing totally dialed at home, there are many different aspects to the consumption of alcohol while overseas and while traveling en route. Here are a few booze related tips as well as some fun facts.
Planning on sinking a bunch of Tooheys before your flight? Misplaced your Diners Club Card? It’s worth it sometimes to do the homework on paying to get into a premier lounge. If you plan on sinking a couple of doubles, eating some snacks, packing a few bags of peanuts in your hand luggage and grabbing some magazines, it might be a whole lot cheaper to pay a one-time cash fee and loading up. Food and booze is ridiculously expensive in most airports, so figure out if you’re hungry, and booze-thirsty, and do the quick maths. You might be very surprised.
Duty Free Double Packs
When hitting duty free, there are usually some amazing two-for-the-price-of-one offers that are no-brainers for those of us watching our coins. There is sometimes a small problem, however. Some countries only allow one liter of liquor per person. A good bit of advice I received many years ago was to always get the two bottles in a double-pack separated and put into individual sealed bags at the duty-free payments. That way, if you ever were to get surprised at customs, you can always hand over a bottle to a friend or obliging stranger to get through customs, without risking tampering with the duty-free seal. Singapore, for example, only allow for one liter of alcohol per person, so your Mentawai trip might be compromised.
You cannot bring alcohol into Maldives due to it being an Islam nation. It is a bit of a façade because you can buy plenty of hooch at any of the resorts, like Pastas, Kandooma, Hudhuranfushi etc but you can’t get any through customs at Male or anywhere else. You will get caught. They will scan your bags, find the alcohol and confiscate it. They might also get very angry with you because it is very clear on your landing card that alcohol is illegal.
If you go to one of those stores where you can buy plastic tots, those little alcohol sachets, you can get them into the country easy enough. Just buy them in strips, wrap your boards up in bubble wrap, and insert a strip or two of the sachets in your bubble wrap. They will not show up on any scan and you can buy mixers when you are there. The only problem is that no decent alcohol company allows for their product to be sold in alcohol sachets, so the booze you are going to be buying and later ingesting, is generally pretty vile. Still, it will save you an absolute fortune.
This is not uncommon in Indonesia, mainly in the bigger hubs like Bali, but has been reported in other cities as well. Girl buys a drink, and wakes up somewhere other than her hotel room with someone other than a friend next to her. There are so many ways to spike someone’s drink, and so many different outcomes, but it is a constant threat. When going out in centers like Bali, girl travelers need to make sure that they are always with friends, that drinks are not left alone on tables or bar counters, and as soon as someone starts feeling dizzy or sick it’s time to make like a tree and leave.
Many travelers have their own methods of traveling, and one of those methods include having a few drinks and then taking a sleeping tablet, hoping to wake up 8 hours later. There are many dangers in this, with one of them being that certain sleeping tablets have nasty reactions with certain alcohol dosages. You might have a bad reaction that can lead to all sorts of problems, with the most noted being rage. All those stories of people flying off the handle on planes and having to be restrained and arrested on landing are often related to a simple bad reaction to medicine. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to totally understand these possibilities before taking sleep tablets on a long haul.
Some surf destinations have great local booze that is always worth a try. On Mauritius the Green Island Rum is delicious, while the Bier Bourbon is amazing on Reunion while you sit on the beach and watch the sharks. A bit or Arak in Bali could work, but it might also make you go blind and then die soon afterwards with a sore tummy while blind. 43 percent of all gin in the world is consumed in the Philippines, ranging from your worldwide premier brands to variants known colloquially as "gin bulag" which translates to gin so bad, it'll blind you. So, there’s lots of blindness out there. In Chile, on the other hand, you’ll love the local Pisco Sours.
Or washed up carpark drinking as seen here in Taj Burrow’s movie Fair Bits and starring Ben Stiller…