Tips For A Successful Sober Vacation


Being in recovery can pose some very fundamental challenges.  Vacationing before rehabilitation likely consisted of excessive drinking and other damaging recreational activities.  Traveling sober is a whole new world and can feel like the ultimate test to a person’s sobriety.  Fear not!  With deliberate, focused effort and a little forethought, it is possible to redefine the concept of vacation.  Here are a few tips to create a successful sober vacation.

Choose the destination wisely

It only takes a tiny amount of common sense to understand that Germany in October, Panama City Beach in the Spring, and Napa Valley are off limits to a recovering addict.  There are plenty of other places to visit in the world that do not center around drinking and drugging. 

Try camping in a National Park where alcohol is not allowed, or traveling up the East Coast in the Fall.  The changing colors of the assorted foliage are stunning.  There are also several new sober travel options offered through various organizations around the globe.  It is even possible to hire a sober concierge to plan out the vacation and stand as a sober guide. 

Plan, plan, plan

Flying by the seat of one’s pants is not the best method for a recovering addict.  Plan vacations well in advance to minimize stressful surprises.  It is not the best idea to wait until the day before vacation begins to plan out the destination and accommodations. 

Too much free time on vacation could be a cause for concern.  Plan several events ahead of time, and if there is a need for rest, cancellation is always an option.  Instead of heading to the bar in the evening, check out a local film screening. 

Set in place a few useful coping strategies

If the trip does get rocky along the way, it is wise to have some useful coping strategies in place. Stress and vacation sadly go hand in hand.  Unknown cultures and strange situations can trigger old behaviors due to stress and anxiety.  Do not let these past dangers take control.  Prepare for everyday stressors, and practice mindfulness.  

Take a support network along for the ride

If it is possible, take the people who are most supportive of sobriety along for the trip.  It is crucial for an addict in recovery to surround themselves with positive influences and a strong support group, so bring friends!

Utilize sober-friendly organizations

As we mentioned before, there are several different organizations set up around the world specifically for the purpose of sober traveling.  If a regular vacation is not safe enough, then check into these sober friendly facilities.

Sober Travel Agencies

  • In This Life Custom Getaways
  • California Sober Travel
  • Sober Vacations International

Sober Cruise Ships

  • Sober Cruises
  • Sober Celebrations

Sober Adventure Tourism

  • Easy Does It Adventures
  • Sobriety Sports Tour
  • Sober Surf Retreats

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