Traveling is an amazing experience especially for people who are in recovery. It allows you to see that there is a beautiful world out there waiting for you to experience. It also gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures and broaden your perspectives. While there are so many benefits that traveling can provide to a person in recovery, this experience can also be quite challenging because being away from your natural environment also means you are faced with triggers that may tempt you towards a relapse.
If you are traveling anytime soon and you’re wondering how to avoid drugs and alcohol during your travels, here are some suggestions on how you can stay sober during your trip.
Fill up your itinerary with activities
Before you even get on a plane, plan out your itinerary by filling up your days with different tours and activities. Go for full day and half-day tours will keep you busy and engaged most of the time. This will prevent you from sitting idle so you will not think about drinking. Examples of activities that do not involve alcohol are sightseeing tours, walking tours, trips to museums, and adventure experiences.
Clear the hotel room minibar
If you are staying in a hotel room, ask the hotel to clear out the alcohol from your minibar. When you’re alone at the end of the day, it can be tempting to indulge in a mini bottle of vodka or tequila thinking that it is harmless. However, this can be counterproductive to your recovery. After all, many relapses start with a single sip.
Book a hotel away from clubs and bars
However famed and notorious the nightlife of a certain place, it is very critical that you avoid going to clubs and bars where alcohol is the central commodity. It is easy to say that you want to avoid these places, however, it can be really difficult especially if you’re surrounded by these establishments.
One good strategy is to book a hotel away from the nightlife area where there are fewer bars and clubs. This will prevent you from being tempted to go out and check out nearby places. The farther away you are, the better. Better yet, why not book an AirBnB in a residential area where you’d need to make an effort to reach these establishments?
Travel with a sober companion
If you are traveling for a holiday, it will be advisable for you to not travel alone, especially if you’ve only been in recovery for less than a year. Traveling with a sober friend or family member can make it easier for you to ward away temptations because someone is there with you. Not only will they serve as a support system in your recovery journey, but you will also have someone familiar to talk to in case you’re tempted to drink or use drugs.
Being with someone you know and trust will also prevent you from mixing with new people who may not understand why you’re holding back on the alcohol. If both of you are not drinking, it will be much easier not to give in to peer pressure. On the contrary, if you’re traveling alone, you might be pressured to drink just to “fit in” with the new people that you’ve met.
Bring books and movies with you
When you’re traveling, you won’t be able to avoid idle times like perhaps when your sightseeing tour gets cancelled or when you’re in transit to the next destination. In order for you to avoid boredom, load your phone or tablet with e-books and movies with you that you can access even without an internet connection. This will keep you focused and keep your mind away from alcohol.
Consider wellness-centered trips
If you feel that you need to get away and travel but you don’t trust yourself not to be tempted with alcohol, going on a wellness retreat is a great alternative. Instead of the usual 3-day holiday, these trips focus on promoting health and wellness. There are yoga retreats, detox retreats, fitness boot camps, spa retreats, surfing retreats, and many more. These trips are often all-inclusive and last for 3 days to a week.
There are wellness trips offered in many parts of the US but if you want something more exciting, you can save up for retreat in Switzerland, Bali, or the Maldives!
Indulge in (sober) experiences
Imagine how much money you saved from giving up drugs and alcohol… now all those cash can be diverted to much fulfilling experiences that you may not be able to afford before. When you’re traveling, it’s the perfect time to reward yourself for being strong and motivated to turn your life around. So, go on, have that fancy dinner or book that spa massage. You deserve it!
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.