By Michelle Peterson
Sober Vacation Planning Advice for People in Addiction Recovery
Vacation can be a great way to promote recovery, but it can also add undue stress and temptation to your fight against addiction. This is why it’s important to plan your vacation carefully. In order to benefit from your holiday, you must take steps to reduce stress and avoid places where you’ll be tempted by substances. Here’s how to plan the perfect sober vacation so you can come home feeling rejuvenated and ready to face your new and improved life.
Consider Joining a Specialized Retreat
According to Positive Health, retreats offer a physical, psychological, and emotional withdrawal from the regular stresses of daily life. You’ll be able to find numerous retreats focused on addiction recovery and the promotion of sobriety, a great option if you’re travelling solo and looking for some company during your vacation. Also, retreats take the stress out of travel, as they focus on relaxation and stillness. You don’t have to move from place to place, deal with public transportation, or navigate a busy city. Many retreats focus on wellness, including practices in yoga, acupuncture, organic living, or weight loss. Although many retreats are situated in tranquil, remote locations, you can also find them on paradise-like beaches.
Get Together with Others in Recovery
Going on vacation alone can be tricky because you’ll encounter moments when you don’t have a lot to do. As Talkspace points out, idle time is a common enemy of the newly recovered addict. Try to get your family to join you on your vacation so you can keep busy. Importantly, talk to your travel companions and make sure they understand the importance of your sobriety by letting them know how they can support you.
If you can’t find people to come along, get together with others in your area who are also facing recovery and plan a getaway together. Think of others who could use a break as well, such as friends from your recovery program or addiction meetings.
Seek Out Budget-Friendly Options
Unfortunately, vacations can be expensive. This adds stress to an experience that is meant to relax you. Try to find cheaper travel options so you can enjoy your time away without worrying about your funds. If you’re going to a new city, use public transport and seek accommodation through Airbnb instead of staying in a hotel. Better yet, travel to a city where you have friends or family you can stay with. If you’re looking for an affordable beach getaway, seek out the less popular beaches of the world, such as Galveston Island in Texas. For something simpler and ultra-cheap, grab some friends and head into the woods for a weekend of camping.
Eliminate Extra Stress Before Leaving
Another reason why vacations put stress on our finances is that we’re left paying for things back at home even though we aren’t using them. So, prepare your home before leaving to cut your costs a bit. Walk around your house and unplug all appliances, including your microwaves, computers, gaming consoles, and floor lamps. Don’t forget about your internet modem and wireless router. Even disconnecting the receiver on your garage door opener can help you save on power. Adjust your thermostats to an appropriate temperature so they use less power but still maintain an adequate environment for your plants, electronics, and plumbing systems.
Know How to Avoid Temptation
Importantly, be prepared for triggers and temptations while you’re on holiday. When you’re booking your sober vacation, avoid all-inclusive resorts where alcohol is free. If you’re heading for a city vacation, try not to book your accommodation near a bar. Set up activities for your evenings to keep you occupied, such as musicals or shows. Finally, be prepared for triggers, such as the stress of a delayed flight or family drama, with healthy coping mechanisms.
Despite what many people think, your travel life doesn’t have to end when you give up substances. In fact, travelling can be even more enjoyable when sober. Besides having more time on your hands, sober vacations force you to find alternative forms of entertainment, which pushes you to try new things and experience your vacation to its fullest!
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