This article is by Morgan Werner and published by RCA
Regardless of the stage of recovery you’re in, certain situations can present some challenges – such as planning a vacation. While many greet the warm summer months with open arms, it can be a difficult time for those in recovery.
If you are wondering if it is possible to enjoy a vacation while avoiding triggers and maintaining your sobriety, the answer is yes you can! Recovery Centers of America is here to help. Read more to learn our healthy tips to keep you and you your recovery on track during your next summer vacation.
Plan to Avoid Temptation
Before you leave for your trip, be sure to do your research. Look for destinations and activities that won’t put your recovery in jeopardy.
Some destinations you may want to avoid your sober summer vacation are areas well known for their party culture such as Las Vegas, Cancun, and Amsterdam. Instead, try scoping out vacation spots that are not as focused on alcohol and are more family friendly such as national parks or areas that are rich in history, culture and the arts. There are even destinations such as Ocean City, New Jersey that are known as ‘dry towns,’ where the sale of alcohol is prohibited. Road trips also make great sober vacations! Whether you decide to rent an RV, go glamping, or become one with nature, a getaway on the road can be thrilling – especially if you plan to stop at a few roadside attractions along the way.
While you are away, remember to relax and enjoy your time, but be sure to have plans in place to prevent boredom from striking to avoid any potential temptation that may risk your sobriety. If you are someone who finds peace through nature, scope out some outdoor active activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and rock climbing. If you are traveling with children, check out some local zoos, aquariums, and amusement parks that provide entertainment for the whole family.
Unplug, but Stay Connected
Vacations are an excellent opportunity for us to unplug, however in recovery, unplugging does not mean disconnecting from our sober support network.
Remember, there is strength in numbers! When preparing to take a vacation, consider asking friends, family, or individuals in your recovery community to join you. Bringing individuals that you trust to support you and help maintain your sobriety will offer some much-needed relief to any travel anxiety you may experience during your trip.
Plan to stay in touch with your sponsor, fellow RCA alumni, and others in your circle. It’s always a good idea to let those in your support network know you will be traveling and may be in need of some extra support. Not only does this make it easier for you to pick up the phone when in need, doing so gives them the opportunity to check in on you and offer their encouragement.
Once you select a destination for your sober summer vacation, be sure to find meetings in the area you will be traveling to before you leave. Planning your meeting attendance before leaving for a trip can help keep you accountable and reduce any stress that may come up if you feel triggered while you are away. A quick Google search or apps like Meeting Guide can help make attending meetings during your trip a cinch!
Lean into the alumni community! The Alumni Association at Recovery Centers of America hosts virtual meetings for our alumni and the recovery community 7 days a week, multiple times a day. With support just a few clicks away, there is no reason you can’t get to a meeting while on vacation and check in with your peers.
Embrace the Journey
Whether you have just discovered your new life in recovery, or you have been sober for some time, remember to enjoy the ride, but don’t forget to pack your recovery toolbox! Continue to practice saying no, remember to check in with yourself and stay grounded– whether it’s through journaling or meditation, and most importantly, keep the focus on your recovery and stay in today.