Traveling provides tons of opportunities to celebrate your recovery. After all, there is nothing better than waking up to greet the day in a new location hangover-free. Yet, you may be worried about how the stresses and new environments associated with traveling could interfere with your sobriety, especially if your past trips involved the use of drugs or alcohol. Fortunately, you can use these tips to have fun in recovery while enjoying the chance to see a new place in the world.
1. Bring a Sober Traveling Partner
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, consider bringing along someone that you know is also committed to sobriety. Not only will this give you someone to hang out with if other people in your group decide to drink or do drugs, but it also helps you stay accountable to someone. Together, you can keep each other distracted as you take part in fun activities without having to worry about someone trying to make you fall into temptation.
2. Choose the Right Destination
Once you are firmly rooted in sobriety, there are no limits to the places that you can go. However, newly sober people may need to choose their destinations carefully. While you could potentially stay at an all-inclusive resort, the truth is that you may find it hard to resist the temptation to drink when everything is free. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit a known party destination such as Cancun during the off-season when you will face fewer temptations. Research your destination beforehand to identify potential challenges that you could face. Then, make plans to avoid temptation such as choosing a hotel that is away from the bars. Even if you do need to stay in a tempting area, just knowing what to expect allows you to plan for how to counteract cravings that may arise.
3. Keep Up Your Wellness Routine
During your treatment program, you learned how important it is to practice self-care. While traveling may interfere with some aspects of your routine, you can still take steps to keep the majority of it in place. For instance, you could bring travel-friendly resistance bands to keep up your strength workout in your hotel room, or you could use a small towel as a temporary yoga mat. Even simple things such as eating and going to bed at the same times each day helps your body and mind to stay strong enough to resist the stress you endure while traveling.
4. Plan Exciting Activities
Boredom is a major pitfall for anyone who is trying to stay sober. Naturally, most travel destinations try to entice tourists to hit up the local bars and restaurants by offering drink specials, or you may find it hard to resist visiting the downtown district even though you know that drugs are prevalent in the area. Help yourself avoid these challenges by arriving at your destination with an itinerary full of activities that keeps you far too busy to even think about using drugs or alcohol. From taking hiking tours of outdoor destinations to perusing local museums, having interesting things to do helps fill up the time so that you never fall prey to temptation.
5. Pack Some Inspiration
You have your reasons for getting sober, and it helps to bring a few reminders on your trip. For instance, a small photo of your children packs easily into a suitcase, but it can make a huge impact on your motivation to stay sober when you are struggling with a craving. A daily mediation journal, sober-minded quote or a few handouts from your counseling sessions are a few more ideas for inspirational items to bring along on your trip.
6. Establish Accountability Connections
Before you head out the door, be sure to let your support system know that you are traveling. Talking to your counselor beforehand allows them to provide you with more tips for staying sober on your trip, and telling your friends and family that you are traveling helps them make plans to serve as accountability partners. Whether you need to have someone that you can check in with each night or just need to hear a few words to regain your strength, being able to reach out to someone during the trip makes a big difference in your sobriety.
Going on a trip allows you to broaden your horizons, and it’s fun to experience sobriety in a new place. Now that you’ve got a few ideas for how to stay sober, you can make your travel plans with full confidence that you will have an amazing time while sticking to your commitments.
Editor’s Note: Peter recommends a sober cruise! http://www.