Just because you’re in addiction recovery doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy everything life has to offer, like a sober vacation.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Your newfound sobriety allows you to be fully present in the moment and make positive memories, including planning a sober vacation.
It’s completely normal to have some concerns about taking your first sober vacation, especially if you’re earlier in your recovery. But, with the right plan in place and a strong support system, you can minimize potential triggers and have a trip to remember.
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Here are our best tips on how to have a sober vacation.
First: Have a Crisis Plan in Place
Even if you feel confident in your recovery, it’s important to be aware that triggers can occur even when you’ve done your best to avoid them or have been working on your coping skills.
Having a support system that you can call, such as a sponsor, a therapist, or a trusted friend or family member, can help if you feel as if you are at risk for relapse.
Plan in Advance
While a spontaneous vacation can be fun, if you’re learning how to have a sober vacation, it’s a good idea to plan each aspect of your trip in advance. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it can alleviate some of the stresses of being on your first sober vacation and avoid triggers.
Bring Along a Sober Friend
Taking vacations with friends you used to drink with can be triggering. If you choose to travel with friends who aren’t sober, it’s a good idea to bring along someone else who will be avoiding alcohol or ask your vacation buddies to be extra supportive of your sobriety and not center every activity around drinking.
Choose Activities Where Alcohol Won’t Be Involved
You can relearn how to enjoy a vacation without alcohol. Planning activities that don’t involve alcohol can help you immerse yourself in your vacation without worrying about temptation.
Alcohol-free vacation activities can include:
- Outdoor Activities: Get active! Hiking local trails, kayaking, swimming, or camping can help you feel grounded and keep you occupied so that your mind doesn’t drift to drinking.
- Local Culture: Exploring local restaurants, museums, and historical sites or seeing a local band perform in the park are all fantastic ways to enjoy your vacation alcohol-free.
- Day trips: There are likely many sites to see and things to do within a day’s drive of your primary vacation spot. Amusement parks, water parks, and beaches can be fun vacation activities that don’t involve drinking.
Even if you’ve participated in some of these activities and imbibed in alcohol while doing so, approaching them in a new location can feel like a fresh start instead of repeating old patterns and habits.
Be Realistic and Honest With Yourself
Before you plan your first vacation while sober, it’s important to be open and honest with yourself and determine whether or not you feel comfortable enough in your recovery to vacation somewhere that you may feel triggered to drink.
If you feel shaky in your sobriety or the process of going on a vacation is too overwhelming for you, it doesn’t mean you can’t ever go on vacation again: it just means that it might not be the right time.
Your First Destination: Sobriety
Whether you’re experiencing problematic drinking and looking for help, or you need more information on how to have a sober vacation, addiction specialists are here to help you. Call and speak to a member of our team at Desert Cove Recovery today.