Planning a Sober Vacation: Traveling in Recovery
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things,” wrote Henry Miller.
For those who are planning their first vacation in recovery, travel means seeing things even clearer than before.
Vacations are synonymous with relaxation, and before entering sobriety, can often be synonymous with the consumption of alcoholic beverages or drug use. After making the decision to get sober, the prospect of traveling with new habits in place can seem daunting.
With thousands of individuals in recovery across the country, sober supports for those on their first sober voyages are available.
A May article by the Boston Globe even profiled a sober travel agency, Sober Vacations. The agency books group trips for people in recovery, and has successfully executed dozens of vacations since the late 1980s.
Whether you are traveling alone or with a group, there are several tips you can keep in mind to ensure that your first sober vacation—and all vacations thereafter—is a huge success.
Tips for Planning a Sober Vacation
- Research your destination.
Think about the area you are going to, and do your homework. Countless resources are available online, including social media sites like Pinterest, and travel review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor. Make a list of your must-sees, and schedule your days with plenty of room for plan changes and downtime.
- Leave room for reflection.
Check in with yourself throughout the trip. In times where you might have previously been tempted by substances, you are sober and enjoying your vacation with fresh eyes—that alone is something to be grateful for.
- Try out a meeting.
Meetings are available to you almost anywhere you go. If you are staying in your destination city for some time, consider attending a local meeting. Getting to know the area’s residents through fellowship with the recovery community can also lead you to hidden local restaurants or sightseeing destinations.
- Remain present.
Journal or photograph your trip, and jot down the experiences you’d like to remember most. Remember your journey, and all the journeys you’ve yet to go on—and how recovery has afforded you the opportunity to do so.