Tips for Sober Travel

Tips For Sober Travel

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 to travel sober.

How to Stay Sober While Traveling

It is not uncommon 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 drug and alcohol rehab in Chicago, we are sharing some sober travel tips to help you avoid relapsing 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 is 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 doesn’t 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.

Call Ahead

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 at least mentally prepare yourself ahead of time.

If you follow these tips for sober travel and make your sobriety a priority even when you are on vacation, you will likely find that you aren’t missing anything by not drinking or using drugs. If you relapse, it doesn’t 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 Chicago, we are here to help.


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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.