Traveling in Sobriety
5 Tips for Sober Travel
Summer travel season is coming up. In the past, maybe you dealt with the stress of travel by drinking at the airport – a virtual gauntlet of alcohol-related temptation — or perhaps hitting the hotel bar once you arrive.
Here are some tips to beat the stress while staying sane and sober on the road this summer.
1) Visualize willpower
Before you even depart, avoid those idealized images of drinking on the patio of some far-flung destination.
Repeat to yourself: I can travel without a drink!
Turn down the drinks menu at the airport restaurant, bring your own water and snacks, and congratulate yourself once you reach your destination safe and sober.
Have some audio books to listen to when you need to shut out the crowds and the noise, and don’t forget your breathing and meditation.
2) Plan your schedule in advance
While planning your trip, give yourself lots of fun things to do first thing in the morning – hiking, or some other kind of excursion are a great choice.
No matter what, make sure it’s something you’re looking forward to. This will motivate you to avoid drinking late into the night so that your morning (and your activity) won’t be ruined by a hangover.
This way you’ll turn in early, eager to face the upcoming adventure.
3) Stay supported
Just because you’re out of town, or perhaps even out of the country, doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected to your support system.
In the age of texting, email, and social media, it’s easier than ever to check in with a therapist or sponsor. Tip them off to your itinerary, and set up a schedule of check-ins in advance.
Or maybe even look for a meeting or group to attend wherever it is you’re visiting.
4) Plan sober activities
Have a solid plan for non-alcohol related things to do on your trip – especially in a week moment when you might be tempted to hit the bar.
Get to know the area you’re visiting. Focus on outdoor activities, museums, and monuments. Take a guided tour. Whatever it takes to avoid the temptation to waste the day drinking by the pool.
When making dinner reservations, consider the mood and atmosphere of the dining establishment. Will the décor and atmosphere be triggering? Are there a variety of non-alcoholic drinks to choose from?
5) Take breaks
Your vacation doesn’t have to be on-the-go morning until night. If you do remember to take breaks, check in with yourself, and maybe even exercise in the hotel gym or at a local yoga studio, you’ll appreciate avoiding that old feeling of “I need a vacation from my vacation” once you get home.
Remember, vacations are to rest and recharge. Even if that means taking 20 minutes in the hotel just to breath, take a nap, or catch a moment of piece from the kids.
Whatever it takes to enjoy your trip while also honoring your sobriety.