It's no secret that indulging in adult beverages is a significant contributor to the vacation budget and calorie count of many travelers. So what's a beer-loving budget traveler to do? I'll be the first to admit my opinions on light beer are the same as the ones I have regarding decaf coffee. What's the point?
That being said, there are a number of ways you can count both calories and cash while still having a good time during your vacation. Stay skinny and save with these waist-whittling tips which are also great for your wallet.
Selection: What you choose to drink can help you pinch painless calories while still enjoying a fun drink with friends. For example, I recently realized that an eight-ounce serving of my husband's favorite brand of blended vegetable juice contains only 50 calories, making a Bloody Mary one of my new favorite brunch choices.
Speaking of brunch, many hotels include complimentary mimosas with their per-person price. This saves calories as well as cash, since a typical four-ounce glass of this champagne and orange juice cocktail clocks in at only 75 calories, according to WebMD's website.
Soda: Switching from regular soda to diet shaves significant calories from your mixed drink. Limited the number of liquors you add into the mix will help as well. Rum and diet cola or a serving of vodka with diet tonic water and a spritz of lime are a couple of the more common choices, but a little creativity could help you come up with something truly scrumptious.
Citysurfingorlando.com's Michelle Snow -- an avid traveler -- makes vanilla vodka and diet ginger ale her vacation cocktail of choice. Says Snow, "It tastes like a slice of spice cake with frosting in liquid form." Want to save a little cash? Drink during happy hour.
Simplicity: Skipping the mixer altogether is another easy way to save both calories and money. Consider alcohol choices that can be enjoyed on their own, such as whiskey, coconut rum or flavored vodkas. You'll spend far less than you would for one of those elaborate dessert cocktails, and your waist will thank you as well. One way to take this tip to the next level is to try shochu. A light Japanese spirit you can enjoy neat or over ice, it's available at most bars and restaurants offering Japanese cuisine.
A fun brand to try is Iichiko, which has only 30 calories per two-ounce serving. Since most places you'd be able to order this beverage will likely serve sushi, ordering a veggie roll to go with your cocktail will provide you with a low-calorie and cost-effective vacation meal.