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How to Stay Sober on Vacation

With summer starting, many people will be heading off on vacation. It’s great to have a break from the normal routine and have a chance to relax. Vacation is also a good time for reflection and recharging so you can bring a fresh energy back to your normal life. The one caveat is that you have to take care of your recovery while you’re away. Here are some ways to help yourself stay sober on vacation.

Choose your destination wisely.

Often, your vacation destination is a compromise. Everyone in your group wants to go somewhere different and you end up settling on somewhere everyone can be happy with. If you can, pick a destination where you will be less tempted to drink. For example, if you go to the beach, you can hardly walk 10 feet without tripping over a cooler full of beer. There are often bars right on the beach. Temptation is everywhere. You might be better off choosing either a city, where there is plenty to do that doesn’t involve drinking, or a natural area, like the mountains, where alcohol is less available. You might want also to search online for sober vacations.

Try to keep to your schedule.

Travel can be chaotic and you can’t always stick to your normal routine. Try to improvise the best you can. Bring your journal and set aside some time to write. Obviously, you can do prayer or meditation anywhere. You can find 12 Step meetings almost anywhere in the world, and you can probably find one in English if you have to. Getting on your regular sleep schedule will help you beat jet lag and help you make the most of your time at your destination.

Stay busy.

Figure out what you want to do while on vacation and have your days planned. You don’t want to be roaming around bored, especially if you are in a place where alcohol is readily available. Give yourself time to relax and explore, but not too much time.

Hold yourself accountable.

Tell your sober friends you’re going on vacation. Check in with them from time to time. If you’re in another country and don’t want to shell out for international calls, check in via text or chat, but don’t be afraid to spend a few bucks on a call to your sponsor if you’re in trouble.

A vacation is a nice break from normal life, but it shouldn’t be a break from sobriety. Watch out for “special occasion” thinking. You don’t want your lasting memory of Paris to be that you wasted six months of sobriety.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at info@tgwcdetox.com to learn more.