Staying sober while on vacation can be challenging—especially for those in recovery from addiction. However, people in recovery can experience a fun and fulfilling vacation so long as they engage in sober activities that can help them resist drug and alcohol use.
Continue reading to gain helpful tips and strategies on how to stay sober while on vacation.
Minimize Travel-Related Stress
Packing at the last minute, remembering to lock doors before leaving home, and dealing with busy airports represent typical travel stressors. Sitting in congested traffic, rushing between airport terminals, and delayed flights are other common traveling woes.
Stress and anxiety are among the top relapse triggers for those recovering from addiction. Anticipating travel-related stressors and preparing for these issues in advance can often help minimize stress and make for a more relaxing, enjoyable experience.
People in recovery can reduce stress while traveling by creating a to-do checklist several days in advance and taking wise steps, such as arriving at the airport early and mapping out driving routes and airport terminals.
Plan Activities in Advance
Having daily structures in place is essential to staying sober, and that strategy also applies to the time spent on vacation. Planning and scheduling activities in advance can help those in recovery avoid boredom and situations where drugs and alcohol may be easily accessible.
Booking tickets to live shows, museum tours, and other local events can often conveniently be done online before arriving at the vacation destination. People in recovery can also explore all the outdoor activities open near their vacation sites, such as national parks and monuments, beaches, lakes, and botanical gardens.
Individuals working on staying sober often find it helpful to engage in outdoor physical activities that require energy and alertness, such as horseback riding or hiking trails in dense forests. Booking reservations at local restaurants that serve cuisines specific to the region is another way to enjoy a sober vacation.
Travel With Sober Friends and Family
Sober traveling companions can often hold those in recovery accountable for staying sober and avoiding risky situations that could lead to drug and alcohol use. Choosing to vacation with friends and relatives who can commit to staying sober is often far safer than bringing those who intend on spending their time drinking and partying.
It may be good to invite friends who enjoy being physically active because they may be interested in visiting several attractions and engaging in outdoor adventures, such as hiking, strolling down the main street, swimming, and scuba diving.
Another option is to invite friends from support group meetings or drug and alcohol rehab centers because these individuals will usually fully understand and appreciate the importance of staying sober.
Stay Connected to Your Support System
Relapse can be tempting while on vacation, which is why those in recovery need to have access to people in their support system at any given time. That may include friends, relatives, addiction treatment professionals, and sponsors in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
When going on vacation, people in recovery should bring the contact information for those in their support systems, along with smartphones, tablets, or computers that allow them to stay connected via phone calls, text messages, email, social media, and video chat. Another great way to stay connected to the recovery community while vacationing is to find and attend at least one local AA or NA meeting.
Bring Fun Reading Materials
Whether traveling to a cold, snowy destination like the Colorado Rockies or a hot, sunny beach resort in California or Florida, drinking beer and cocktails may seem like a way to pass the time cuddling under a blanket or lounging by the shore.
Bringing a stack of magazines or books to read can be a fun way to engage in these common vacation activities, which generally require a sharp, sober mind. Books and magazines can also help pass the time while traveling for hours by car, boat, train, or airplane.
Avoid Traveling to Party Destinations
Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, Ibiza, and Amsterdam represent popular vacation destinations known for having wild party venues and nightlife activities. Those in recovery should avoid traveling to party destinations such as these—especially during their earliest days of being sober. Even if sober activities get planned at these vacation spots, drugs and alcohol may still be abundant and readily available.
Stay in an Alcohol-Free Room
Many luxury hotel rooms feature minibars loaded with a variety of different types of alcohol and other goodies. Minibars can be highly tempting for those in recovery, especially during loneliness, stress, and boredom. People in recovery should make sure the hotel rooms they’re booking do not have minibars and should make sure their rooms do not come stocked with complimentary champagne or wine.
Recovering From Addiction With Haven Detox
At Haven Detox in Massachusetts, we offer a wide range of medication-assisted detox services to help people recover from physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. Contact us today at (855) 614-0111 to learn more about our many available addiction treatment programs and about how we can help you or your loved one stay on track with sobriety. If you are in need of detox in Indianapolis Indiana, please visit our Indianapolis drug and alcohol detox