Retrofitting Your Sober Life For Travel

There are few things more exciting than travel – getting to see new sights and experience new cultures. But unfortunately a lot of vacation culture is wrapped around intoxicants. Is it possible to travel without putting your carefully built sobriety at risk? Resoundingly, yes! There are obviously a few types of experiences you’ll want to avoid – major cruise lines, all-inclusive vacations that include an open bar, Spring Break in Cancun to name a few. But for every vacation pitfall you’ll have to avoid there are a dozen that fully cater to a sober expedition. Your hard work at the treatment facilities in Florida – mental health support, alcohol detox and rehab centered around getting sober and really opening up to yourself to understand your triggers and what it was that led you to substance abuse. You don’t want to lose that progress but you love to travel.


How To Stay Sober & Still Have A Great Time Traveling

  • If you’re going somewhere familiar like your hometown, avoid the local watering hole. It may be nostalgic but it will also be more a of a temptation than you might expect.
  • If you’re looking for a pre-arranged vacation package, there are several companies that specialize in planning sober vacations – do some googling and find one that works for you.
  • If you’re looking to travel abroad, consider destinations that are majority Buddhist like Sri Lanka or majority Muslim like Morocco. Since intoxicants are not part of the local culture they should be easy to avoid.
  • Research activities or locations in advance to minimize liability. Generally speaking active outdoor events like hiking or kayaking are a great choice for excitement.

Have A Plan

The most crucial thing you can do before heading out on a vacation is have a plan for a moment of temptation or anxiety. You may be far from most of your support structures and routines that you rely on, but with a little foresight you can bring that with you. Give yourself some outs. If you’re in a twelve step program, keep a chip where you keep your money. Buy a luxurious chocolate bar or a fine cheese to treat yourself to as a redirection. Travel with a list of phone numbers and if you’re overseas bring a calling card if you need to reach just in case you need to reach out to a mentor back home. Nothing is worth sacrificing your recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home.


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