Tips for Staying Sober While on Vacation or Traveling

People who are in recovery from drugs or alcohol are especially vulnerable to changes in their routine. They can become anxious, and this can trigger a relapse.  Spending a few days traveling doesn’t sound like much to most people, but for those in recovery, those few days away from their support system and daily regimen can be traumatic.  But, with some careful planning, a little vacation won’t become a disaster for the recovering person.  Here are a few tips for staying sober when traveling:

Staying Sober When Traveling

The Following Tips Can Help You in Staying Sober When Traveling

Recovering addicts are often told to seek new experiences and find ways to have fun without including drugs or alcohol.  One way to do that is to take a trip and get away from the daily reminders. So, here are some tips that will help a person enjoy a little time away from home without risking a relapse:

Plan for support groups:  Do some research before the trip and locate local support group meetings in the city of your destination.  It might be a little difficult to work the meetings into your schedule, but it’s a vital component of an addict’s recovery, so make time for these meetings.

Pack recovery literature or recordings:  You can find a variety of books, videos, or disks that can be used during your trip to help keep the individual focused on their recovery.  There are free apps that allow you to download recordings of talks given by people in recovery.

Avoid getting too tired or hungry:  Long trips can cause fatigue, and this can cause people to become angry or frustrated.  Also, many people don’t eat appropriate meals while traveling. For a person in recovery, fatigue or hunger can trigger a relapse.  You can avoid this by packing plenty of healthy snacks. Also, plan to take regular rest stops or an overnight stay if necessary.

Maintain contact with your sponsor:  Even though you’ve planned for support group meetings while away from home, it’s essential to maintain contact with your support team at home.  You can do this by phone, email, video chat or other methods.

Clear out the mini-bar:  If the hotel provides mini-bars in the rooms, you can ask that they clear the booze out of your room before you arrive.  But, if you’re staying with a friend or relative and they keep and use alcohol in their home, bring your own non-alcoholic beverages.

Try to keep your routine:  Being away from home can wreak havoc a person’s routine.  Plan ahead and try to get up and have breakfast at your usual time.  If you exercise or meditate daily, keep this in your routine if at all possible.  Being on vacation doesn’t mean you’re on vacation from your recovery.

Find out about “sober tours”:  Sober tours are a new trend that is gaining popularity.  You can find sober retreats, safaris, sports events, cruises, and more.  You’ll spend time with others who are committed to sobriety and learning how to have fun as a sober person.

Keep your sense of humor:  No matter how carefully you’ve planned everything, something will probably go wrong eventually.  Try to laugh it off or imagine it as one of those flukes that people joke about later. Don’t allow an incident to ruin your trip or send you into a relapse.

Plan your coping strategies:  This tip is essential.  When you’re traveling, unplanned situations arise that can trigger cravings.  Things can happen such as canceled flights, flat tires, traffic jams, or the person across from you on a plane orders an alcoholic beverage.  Plan ahead for these occurrences, just in case. Load your iPod with calming music before the trip. Permit yourself to remove yourself from a situation.  Knowing that you have a plan can also help you feel confident in your ability to cope.

Discover the Things You Missed Before

Back before your sobriety, you probably thought of vacations as reasons to party hard for several days.  The daytime was spent sleeping off a hangover. Imagine all the places to go and things to see that you missed because of your drinking or drug abuse.  Now that you’re sober, you can discover some of the sights and fun activities that you never considered before. You’ll be surprised at how much you missed.

If you would like more information about staying sober when traveling for business or pleasure, contact us today.

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