Travel season is here in full force and unless you’re going on an expedition through the Alaskan tundra, there is a good chance you will be around alcohol. Vacations are a time to relax, regenerate and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, for many recovering alcoholics and addicts, travel can cause a lot of anxiety. Many people associate vacations with alcohol and many popular vacation spots around the world use this as a main attraction. From the moment you step on your plane, get to your hotel or go out to eat, alcohol is usually there. With some planning, any recovering alcoholic can enjoy themselves to the fullest anywhere around the world.

  • There are meetings everywhere: Finding 12-Step meetings at your destination will keep you connected to a sober community and be a place you can openly share about triggers, reservations or anything else that seems to be on your mind while on vacation. Most hotels have a list of local 12-Step meetings, make an effort to find a meeting just in case.
  • Find fun, sober activities before you leave: Plan ahead to plan fun day trips while on your vacation. By having an agenda before you leave, you won’t have as much downtime at the hotel, which means you won’t be around the bars as much. Enjoy a nice relaxing massage or rent a canoe for a day. Sometimes alcoholics think everything revolves around alcohol, when the truth is there is much more to do while sober than while drinking.
  • Pick your destination wisely: It’s obvious that some destinations are more “alcohol centered” than others. For example, a recovering alcoholic is probably going to be less triggered going on a rafting trip in the mountains as opposed to Las Vegas. Do some research on what type of vacation you want to go on and make sure where you end up is not counterproductive to your goals in recovery.
  • You’re never alone no matter how far: Always stay in communication with your sponsor and other recovering alcoholics. If you get triggered while on vacation, never forget that you’re sober network may be miles away, but not too far for a phone call. Set up reminders to check in to keep yourself accountable and to stay connected to those who have helped you before.

These are just a few ways to make a vacation in recovery a success. Remember, you’re not the first person to take a vacation in sobriety, ask around at meetings for suggestions on locations, meetings in that area or even a sober contact to call when you land! Like anything in sobriety, a vacation can be a sometimes frightening journey, but if you utilize the tools you’ve been given, it could be your best vacation yet.

New Hope Recovery Center is an alcohol and drug rehab treatment center located in Chicago, IL. We provide Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, Aftercare, Extended Care and DUI services. We also have a LGBTQI specific addiction treatment program entitled "New Hope With Pride.” We offer personalized, holistic treatment by examining the whole person: mind, body and spirit.  Our small intimate setting caters to your specific needs and we provide place of support, nurture and safety leading to hope and healing. To find our more information about our treatment center and our services call 773-883-3916 or 888-707-HOPE (4673).

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center