It’s nearly summertime and vacation season is upon us! Just because you’re sober now, doesn’t mean you have to give up fun group vacations with your friends and family. There are plenty of ways to vacation sober without the stress. It just takes some planning.
Here are a few quick tips to help you plan your first sober vacation. Whether you’re enrolled in a sober living program and you have a weekend pass to use, or you’re planning ahead for your first major family road trip later this summer, these tips will help ensure it’s a fun, sober, and overall successful experience.
Take your recovery support with you.
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your sobriety is too. In fact, your sobriety should continue to be your top priority, regardless of where you find yourself in the world. Fortunately, today it’s all too easy to bring the Big Book with you wherever you go, find and attend local 12-step meetings in various locations around the country, and keep up with your sober friends and sponsor back home. All of these things can easily be achieved with a smartphone if you download the AA 12-Step Toolkit app or something similar.
Consider an organized tour.
When choosing where to go on your trip, you may want to consider an organized tour to reduce as much stress from the planning as possible. People in sober living programs and in addiction recovery, in general, are more susceptible to stress and putting any unneeded stress on yourself will not only make for a less relaxing trip, but it could also increase your risk for relapse.
Take advantage of the outdoors.
Instead of planning a trip that’s focused on the bar and party scene, why not take advantage of the great outdoors instead? Of course, outdoor recreational activities like camping, hiking, and horseback riding have plenty of great benefits for people in recovery, but these activities also tend to be less expensive and less high-risk than spending a night out in a sprawling urban party scene. All it takes is a little bit of research to find a great national park with plenty of fun activities to fill a weekend.
Choose sober travel buddies.
Nothing good can come from spending a weekend or a few days traveling with your old drinking buddies, so why not focus on building new healthy relationships with some of your sober living roommates or friends from your AA group instead? Traveling with a group of sober friends is an excellent opportunity to develop those relationships and it’s also a great way to keep one another accountable to your sobriety goals in a new environment.
Keep in touch with your sober living roommates, sponsor, and counselor while you’re away.
If you choose to travel on your own or with family members, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with your support system back home. This way, you’re less tempted to just check out of reality (and check out of your sobriety). Keep your sponsor on speed dial or set up a group chat on Facebook with your sober living roommates and check in at an agreed time every day. This may help remind you that you have people counting on you back at home and a vacation is not a free pass to give into cravings or relapse.
Have a plan for triggers and temptations.
It’s safe to assume that while traveling and vacationing in any destination, you’re bound to run into triggers that will test your sobriety. It would be wise to come up with a plan to cope with possible trigger situations and discuss this plan with your sponsor, a sober living roommate, or one of your sober travel buddies. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.
Don’t forget about self-care.
Let’s face it—maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet isn’t always the first thing on our minds when embarking on a road trip, but maintaining your self-care practices should still be a top priority. Even while you’re vacationing, plan your days to start each morning with ten minutes of meditation, make time for a few gentle yoga poses each evening, and pack your own road trip snacks before you leave your sober living home so you don’t end up binging on convenience store junk food. And don’t forget to get a good night’s rest if you can. These things will all help you stay alert, healthy, and focused while you enjoy your trip.
Vacationing while sober doesn’t have to boring or tedious. With a little extra planning and support, you can easily enjoy an exciting adventure without any mention of drugs or alcohol.
Continue browsing our sober living blog for more helpful tips on living sober or contact Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today to enroll yourself or a loved one in a transitional housing program.