Planning A Sober Vacation: What To Look For And What To Avoid

Jul 12, 2017

Article by: Michelle Peterson

Photo via Pixabay by Quangle

 Planning A Sober Vacation: What To Look For And What To Avoid

Planning a vacation can be a stressful undertaking, but when you’re trying to prepare for a trip while you’re in recovery, it can be especially difficult. Vacations are often associated with drinks on the beach, lazy days without structure, and all-inclusive resorts that encourage visitors to partake in free alcoholic drinks--all things that an individual in recovery should avoid at all costs.

It’s important to think about all the issues you may face while on the trip and plan for a sober getaway in your price range that will allow you to be your best, most relaxed self. This includes coming up with an exit strategy should you find yourself in an uncomfortable position, learning how to cope with any stressors that might come up during the trip in a healthy way, and opening yourself up to support from friends and family even when you’re away from home.

Here are some of the best ways to plan a sober vacation and have a wonderful time.

Utilize the sharing economy

The sharing economy is a great way to save money and maybe even make a little of your own. There are many different ways to take advantage of it, such as taking a Lyft to and from the airport, renting a place to stay from AirBnb, and making some extra spending money by offering your services as a dog walker in your neighborhood before the trip.

Find the right destination for you

Vacations should be a relaxing retreat, but often the stress of a long car ride with the kids or being around a lot of people you don’t know can cancel out any relaxation plans you might have. It’s important, then, to choose the right destination so that you aren’t faced with temptation everywhere you turn. All-inclusive resorts and cruises are generally a bad idea, because they offer free drinks and bar service. It’s a better idea to book a hotel within your budget and, when you arrive, go shopping at a local grocery store to stock up on bottled water and fruit juice, which you can carry with you pretty much anywhere. This will help you avoid awkward conversations from the other guests or from well-meaning hosts who want to make sure everyone has a drink in hand.

If you’re interested in taking a vacation that will allow you to work on your sobriety, look for retreats that focus on the body and mind as well as a sober lifestyle.

Take care of yourself

It’s imperative that you take good care of yourself during your vacation to prevent stress and anxiety from setting in. This can include getting in a workout every day during your trip, eating well, getting enough sleep, and filling your days with fun activities so you don’t feel aimless. For many people in recovery, creating a daily schedule is important, so do some research and find things you and your family can do together on each day, making sure to reserve plenty of time for relaxation.

Don't unplug completely

Most vacations involve unplugging from your daily routine and all the stresses that come with it, but it’s important to stay connected to your sponsor or supportive friends and family members while you’re away. When you feel temptation sneaking in, or if you start to feel stressed out, you’ll be able to reach out and ask for help.

It may seem like a lot of trouble to plan a vacation around your sobriety, but it’s totally worth it. We all need getaways sometimes, and finding a way to relax and de-stress is necessary now and then so that you can be the best version of yourself possible. 


Thank you to Michelle Peterson for writing this article for Our Hope Association! 

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