Many people consider vacation-planning a welcome escape from the drudgery of a normal routine. But for someone in recovery, the prospect may prove daunting. The old haunts, rife with triggers, are off the table. But recovering alcoholics and drug addicts need a break from the daily grind just as much as their sober friends – maybe even more! So, how do you plan a great holiday getaway now that sobriety is part of the package?
Change It Up
Traveling to the same vacation spot using familiar modes of transportation could prove problematic. For example, if you used to take an annual cruise, you might feel deprived if you can’t partake in the same libations you overindulged in while you were still using. To avoid this, find an entirely new vacation destination. While doing so won’t eliminate temptation, it will reduce the risk you will feel sorry for yourself because of your empowering decision to make new, healthy lifestyle choices. Eventually, you may be able to handle this type of repeat performance. But give it some time. The world is filled with great vacation opportunities. So, there is no reason to limit yourself!
Try a Sober Vacation Service
Alcohol addiction is the most common type of substance use disorder in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report that more than 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year. So, it’s little wonder that, in response, the vacation industry has started to offer dry holiday packages. While MFI does not endorse any such service, we do applaud the efforts of these vacation purveyors to offer sober alternatives. A sober life can be filled with joy and love and laughter. In fact, most people in recovery say that they enjoy (and remember) their vacations much more than when they were still drinking and/or using drugs.
Focus on Fitness
Was your other life filled with late nights, hungover mornings and little energy to get out and see the world beyond the bar? If so, we have good news. There are lots of great ways to burn energy when you’re sober as you travel – day or night! Go for a walk. Take a hike. Rent a bike. Kayak. Fish. Or, check out a fitness class at the local Y or head to the hotel gym. And since you’ll be saving money on drinks, you may even be able to splurge on pampering with a massage or spa day.
Focusing on yourself may be exactly what you need this summer. If so, plan to take a spiritual retreat. Surround yourself with others who are committed to a healthy life. On this type of vacation, you’ll eat healthy and spend lots of time meditating and unwinding. Escape the stresses of your normal routine. Entire resorts cater to this type of lifestyle. And since they don’t serve alcohol on the premises, you won’t be tempted to go off the wagon.
BYOB (Non-Alcoholic Beverages)
Wherever you are headed, plan. Pack plenty of snacks and healthy beverages, like coconut water, so you won’t be tempted to make poor choices if you’re caught off guard. This is especially important if you are traveling with people who do not share your commitment to sobriety.
Wherever your travels will take you this summer, be safe and enjoy!
About MFI Recovery Center
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.