6 Ways to Drink For Free While Traveling

Whoever named a cake as being “better than sex” has clearly never had a free buzz. If they had, they would have known better than to waste such a heavy handed adjective on a cake. Free alcohol? Now that gives sex a run for it’s money.

Ask For It On The Flight

If your flight gets delayed or you get bumped or (gasp) you make the ultimate sacrifice and move from your spacious aisle seat to accommodate someone else, ask your flight attendant for a drink or two as compensation. If you ask nicely like your parents taught you, you could be surprised that this oftentimes works. Who knew that being a decent and accommodating person could be so rewarding. Some flights, particularly in the Pacific Northwest region as I have come to notice, even offer a complimentary local beer and wine selection. Next time you’re on a flight, ask, because no free alcohol will always go to those who don’t ask for free alcohol.


Groupon and other flash-deals sites will typically pair their accommodation options with complimentary drinks or even entire bottles if you’re lucky. Just keep in mind that unless you’re of the mindset that all free alcohol is good alcohol, you may be disappointed with the quality.

Free Hotel Happy Hour

Location, location, location? I don’t think so. Free drinks, free drinks, free drinks. Many properties now offer free happy hours for guests. At every Embassy Suites Hotels location, for example, free snacks and beverages (sans alcohol if that’s your style) are offered every evening for their guests. Other hotels that offer a similar amenity include Drury, Kimpton, and Affinia Hotels. Do I even need to mention the added bonus of drinking in the same place you plan to lay your head? Jackpot.

Let Everyone Know You’re Celebrating

Anniversary, honeymoon, birthday, promotion, root canal, whatever! Let everyone know you’ve got something to celebrate (do people celebrate root canals?). They may just compensate some booze to add to the happy occasion because who doesn’t get happy about free stuff.


Words cannot describe the incredibleness that is aperitivo. Though this serves as a way to eat for free rather than drink for free, it still deserves honorable mention. Most popular in Italy, aperitivo is the pre-dinner drink that many locals catch either on their way home from work or on their way to dinner. The premise behind the ritual is to kickstart digestion with free appetizer type mini-dishes and (not-so-free) drinks and to socialize, of course.

Flirt Shamelessly

When all else fails, flirt until the cows (or daiquiris) come home. But flirt safely people, folks can be crazy these days.

Happy drinking! Now go get your drink on and stumble away with a stacked wallet. You’re welcome.


Do you have any methods for achieving free alcohol? What do you do? Would you do any of the above suggestions?

Additional Images: Flickr / Tom Waterhouse



Eli Stewart
Eli Stewart
When she's not writing, she's baking...or traveling the world with a pack on her back and a camera 'round her neck. She's got a wild imagination and an insatiable fernweh. Try to keep up. Follow her on the Tweeter at @TheWritingBaker.