Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and inhibitor of higher-level decision-making processes. It is functionally a toxin, which your body attempts to make into a non-toxic compound and then remove from the body. As such, it has a variety of deleterious effects on the imbiber. This includes poor decision making, ataxia, impaired memory, and others. As alcohol tourists, we want to remember and enjoy our experiences. We also need to make sure we are safe for ourselves and others. Therefore, we need to be responsible when we enjoy our drinks.
The first step to a successful alcohol tourist adventure is moderation. I know some people think moderation is dull, but it is essential to successful alcohol tourism. You want to make sure to avoid spending too much money, minimize potential harm to yourself, and remember the experience. So, know how much you can drink and still enjoy the memory of the experience and be safe.
The second key is making sure your transportation is secure. This may mean a designated driver (Susan is responsible for finishing most tasting flights when we are on the road) or, even better, not relying on vehicular transport at all. We strongly prefer staying in motels and hostels within walking distance of the local breweries and distilleries. This is easy in Eugene, Portland (either Maine or Oregon), and Asheville; not so much so in Amarillo, TX. If possible, adjust your accommodations to stay near your destinations.
Remember that the effects of alcohol depend on not only the amount, but the timeline and food consumption. Some people claim a 1 drink/hour metabolism rate, but I have personally found that to be highly variable depending on the rapidity of ingestion and whether there was food involved. Learn from your experience and, when in doubt, have fewer rather than more. We bring empty growlers with us so we can bring beer back to our accommodations to enjoy safely. Also considera tasting flight instead of several pints. That way you get the experience without so much consumption!
What steps do you take to make sure you are enjoying your drinks responsibly?