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3 Tips for Sober Travel While in Addiction Recovery

Traveling while in the early days of recovery from addiction can be challenging. Here are some tips to keep you grounded.

Most addiction recovery programs tell you it is not only OK to seek out help; it’s mandatory. Recovery is tough, and it’s extremely hard to do it all on your own. Even during relaxing times, you might need help staying sober. If you’re looking to plan a vacation that’s both rewarding and celebratory of your newfound sobriety, it’s important to know how to help yourself avoid the pitfalls of venturing away from your comfort zone.

Keep reading for three tips to help you do just that:

Seek Help from Sober Travel Groups

Sober travel has become a huge industry, so much so that you will have an easy time finding options for group or solo travel. If you’re looking for a retreat focused on addiction recovery, there are a bunch of options. For a specific retreat that focuses on yoga, acupuncture, raw-organic living, fitness, or weight loss, try this retreat finder.

Do you want to experience a more traditional vacation, like one on a beach? Check with organizations like Sober Vacations International, TravelSober.com, and CleanGetaawayTravel. Sober Vacations International, for example, is a huge operation that has accommodated “over 30,000 vacationers and organized over 150 trips.”

Make It a Family Affair

Making a vacation about the experiences of your children will make it much easier to avoid temptation and focus on having a healthy, happy, sober trip. Taking a family vacation means you’ll keep busy, and everyone in recovery knows idle time is an enemy.

Rehab treatment for addiction focuses on learning how to create structure in your life so there isn’t room for temptation, according to 12 Keys Rehab. If temptation does strike, however, there are structured ways to fight it. Vacation time isn’t any different. Having planned activities is even more important in unfamiliar territory.

If You’re Flying Solo, Know How to Get Help If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Taking an adventure by yourself is one of the most rewarding things someone in recovery can do. Solo travel offers the chance to act spontaneously, do the things you want to do when you want to do them, enjoy local cuisine, and get off the beaten path (read more solo travel inspiration and tips).

But being alone comes with its own challenges. First, you must stay tethered to your support system: family, friends, and sponsors. This is no time to drop off the grid. Stay in contact with those who can help you in a time of crisis. Turn to apps like Talkspace for an extra layer of support.

“It’s unnerving to be suddenly untethered from your usual support networks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take support with you,” psychiatrist David Mack wrote on Psychology Today.

“Apps, many of them free, can be downloaded that offer inspirational messages of encouragement, daily reflections, and tips for staying sober.”

Like many parts of addiction recovery, it’s smart to have a plan, keep yourself busy, and know how to seek help when traveling. Your first sober trip will be exciting, rewarding, and yes, even a bit scary at times. But with the proper preparation, you can venture to new places, enjoy new experiences, learn new things, and still stay on the path.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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