With the summer season in full swing, taking a vacation is a high priority for most people, but for those in addiction recovery, organizing the perfect getaway can prove to be a challenge. There are extra steps to take in order to avoid activities not conducive to recovery, or worse, activities that risk relapse.
There is no vacation from recovery. But that doesn’t mean traveling can’t be fun. There are many opportunities to have an enjoyable trip without risking your sobriety.
Here are some tips a person in recovery should take into consideration for easier traveling:
Pick the best destination for you.
Sometimes a staycation can be the best vacation. See parts of your city or a neighboring town that you haven’t seen before. Check out a gallery or have a mid-week picnic in a nearby park. When planning a vacation abroad, the culture and social environment of the destination are big factors to consider. For instance, if you want to take a cruise, select a family-friendly one that is less likely to promote a culture of drinking. Better yet, choose a sober cruise or resort, especially if you are in early recovery.
Plan your sober vacation activities in advance.
There are plenty of places to visit that won’t compromise your recovery. Look ahead of time and select the places you would like to visit that won’t conflict with sobriety. Get recommendations from friends who have long-time sobriety.
Remember your coping strategies.
Travel can be stressful, and stress can be a trigger for relapse. Flights can get cancelled and reservations can fall through. During this time it is important to utilize the stress-reduction techniques that you have learned, such as deep-breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques.
Take along your support network.
Things can be scarier if you are traveling for the first time without a support network, so it is always a good idea to seek out AA meetings — they are universal! There are also plenty of apps now that provide inspirational messages, daily reflections, and tips for staying sober.
With a little planning and forethought, summer vacation can be every bit as fun as it ever was, or even better.