Bar hopping is one of my favourite activities when I travel. But as I am getting older, I cannot do it every time. In my first years travelling, I was able to drink three or four days a week, but now I am drinking almost once a month, so I have to choose wisely the special occasion.
Read about the bars’ culture before joining in an adventure
For example, I did bar hopping on a Wednesday night and was ok. Just a few people trying to get drunk. But if I had to do this on the weekend, the result would have been different. I probably had to call to book a table or space in the bar in advance (probably not in Rome, because everyone fits in small spaces even with the pandemic).
Make sure no one is driving
It sounds ridiculous, but my friend Jessica wanted to do bar-hopping with a bike. Another friend tried to take us to a different neighbourhood in his car. When people are drinking, they tend to lose common sense.
Every time you jump to a new place, ask for a cup of water (and drink it!). Tap water is complimentary in Rome and in most places. Doing this won’t get you tipsy, but you will take care of your neurons and liver.
Stay in a place if you like it
Sometimes bar-hopping is done in such a rush that we don’t remember to enjoy being present. If there is something that you fancy, ask your friends to stay for another round. This could be a song, a live performance, a person you met, or a drink you want to try. There is no fun being in a hurry.
Keep your important documents at home
Most bars accept driver licenses or local IDs to check your legal drinking age (though they seldom check), which is 18. Don’t take your passport to a bar-hopping, NEVER! If you lose it, it would be challenging to find it back, just keep with you a photocopy or a high quality photo on your mobile.
Be mindful about the money
My problem is that when I drink, I lose all inhibitions, including how to use my savings or credit card. I discovered that paying with cash is not that bad. This allows you to extract your budget in advance and restrain yourself when the money has come to a limit. If you don’t like this strategy, you can transfer some money to a current account you don’t use frequently and bring its debit card to the party. Avoid carrying your credit card to bar-hopping with friends. It will save you from paying interest for a long time.