Recovery from a substance use disorder is no walk in the park.
Transitioning from detox to an outpatient program can take weeks, and if you want to stay sober, your recovery journey never really ends. Eventually, your life will start to go back to normal, but you will also need to face many new hurdles along the way and learn how to do these things without drugs or alcohol. One such obstacle may be sober travel, making many in recovery feel like they need to limit these experiences. Luckily, Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago has developed this guide to help you make the most of life and how we experience it.
How to Maintain Sobriety While Traveling
It is common for people on vacation to cut loose. In the past, your trips may have consisted of drinking at all hours of the day or exploring the nightlife in the new city. Now that you are sober, this type of party vacation is no longer an option. Especially if you are in early recovery, there are several rules you may want to follow. As a Chicago addiction treatment center, we are sharing some sober travel tips to help you prevent relapse on vacation.
Go With the Right People
One of the most important tips for sober travel is to choose who you go on vacation with wisely. Who you travel with can set the tone for the whole trip. If you go with a group who are looking to party or check out the nightlife, you will be in for a rough time. On the other hand, going with people who you know will support your recovery will likely mean more sober-friendly activities and less temptation. There are even sober travel groups that you could join if you are looking to travel with other people in recovery.
Attend Recovery Meetings
Just because you are on vacation does not mean you should stop attending recovery meetings. Especially if you are away for a longer trip, not going to a meeting could cause you to become complacent about your sobriety and relapse. Instead, make these recovery meetings a priority and plan the rest of your travels around them. You could even hold your own meeting with yourself if you are unable to find meetings in the area.
Stay in Routine
It is natural to relax while on vacation, but if you want to stay sober while traveling, throwing your routine out the window is probably not the answer. Instead of ditching your regular schedule, try to continue some of your normal routines. Continuing to exercise, eat healthily, and follow a sleep schedule will make the transition from vacation back to your everyday life much easier. If you neglect to keep any kind of routine, you may find yourself struggling to get back into it or getting lazy. Over time, this can be a recipe for relapse.
If you are staying in a hotel or going to a resort, chances are there will be alcohol in the room. If you just finished alcohol abuse treatment, sleeping with a fully stocked minibar only a few feet away can be too much of a temptation. Call ahead and ask them to remove the drinks from the room. You can also ask about the availability of alcohol at the resort or what to expect from excursions to prepare yourself ahead of time, at least mentally.
The Best Places to Travel Sober
Maintaining sobriety while traveling can be a wonderful opportunity to experience new places and cultures without the haze of alcohol or drugs. Ultimately, any place you go to will be what you make of it, but our Illinois drug rehab has culminated in a list of some of our favorite locations.
These destinations can include:
- National Parks, USA - With 63 National Parks across the United States, there is no shortage of natural beauty to explore. From the stunning vistas of Yosemite to the geothermal features of Yellowstone, these protected areas offer many opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Bali, Indonesia - Known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and spiritual culture, Bali is an ideal destination for sober travelers. Yoga retreats, meditation centers, and holistic wellness spas abound on this beautiful island.
- Iceland - Iceland's natural wonders, including waterfalls, geysers, and hot springs, are sure to take your breath away. With so much to see and do, including hiking, whale watching, and soaking in hot springs, you will hardly miss the party scene.
- New Zealand - From the stunning scenery of Milford Sound to the adrenaline-pumping activities in Queenstown, New Zealand offers a wealth of experiences for sober travelers. With a focus on outdoor adventure and ecotourism, this country is an ideal destination for those seeking natural beauty and serenity.
- Japan - Japan's rich culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural landscapes make it an ideal destination for sober travelers. From exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo to soaking in hot springs in Hakone, there is something for everyone in this fascinating country.
- Costa Rica - Beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife make Costa Rica a nature lover's paradise. Sober travelers can enjoy surfing, zip-lining, hiking, and wildlife viewing without the distractions of alcohol or drugs.
- Sedona, Arizona, USA - Known for its stunning red rock formations, Sedona is a mecca for spiritual seekers and wellness enthusiasts. With an abundance of yoga studios, spas, and meditation centers, it is the perfect destination for a sober retreat.
- Marrakech, Morocco - With its vibrant markets, colorful architecture, and rich history, Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Sober travelers can explore the city's many mosques, palaces, and gardens, sample its delicious cuisine, and soak up the vibrant culture without the distractions of alcohol.
- Machu Picchu, Peru - The ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world. Sober travelers can hike the Inca Trail to reach this iconic site, marvel at its ancient architecture, and soak up the stunning views without the distractions of alcohol.
- Vancouver, Canada - With its stunning natural beauty, multicultural population, and thriving arts scene, Vancouver is a great destination for sober travelers. From exploring Stanley Park to sampling the city's diverse cuisine, there is plenty to see and do without the need for alcohol.
If you follow our tips for sober travel and make your sobriety a priority even when you are on vacation, you will likely find that you are not missing anything by not drinking or using drugs. If you relapse, it does not have to be the end of the world. Our Chicago stabilization program for addiction helps people get back on track in their recovery before they spiral out of control.
If you or a loved one still need addiction help, call 888-280-4763. At Banyan’s drug rehab in Chicago, we have the resources to aid you in achieving the sobriety you are after.