Anyone who has dealt with addiction knows that in the mind of an addict, vacation equals party and party equals getting smashed. It is difficult to retrain the brain to expect a different type of fun, but sober vacationing is not as hard as it may seem.
The problem with staying sober on vacation is that there is not nearly enough awareness of the many facilities that are solely dedicated to sober entertainment. In the spirit of passing on that valuable knowledge, take a look at these suggestions for ways to remain sober while on vacation.
Determine the risk factor of going on vacation.
If it is not a realistic thought to remain sober on vacation, it may not be time to venture that far away from recovery. If the trigger factors on the trip seem a bit too high, it may not be a good decision to vacation. Also, if treatment is still in the process, then vacation is out of the question. Focus on recovery before planning a getaway.
Take a support system along for the ride.
Do not be shy about going on vacation. In fact, it is best to take a support system along for the ride. It may not always be possible, but bringing sober backup is an excellent way to remain sober while traveling.
Plan the trip through a sober travel agency.
Plan a sober vacation through an agency that specializes in helping people in recovery to locate places that will support a sober lifestyle. Sober Vacations International specializes in creating a sober experience in destinations commonly known for just the opposite. Traveling to Cancun does not have to be about how many tall boys can be drank in a ten-minute span of time.
Plan activities while on vacation.
Plan specific activities while on vacation to reduce the amount of downtime. Too much spare time is not necessarily the best medicine for an addict in recovery. Plan a snorkel expedition or a day of football on the beach. Wherever the vacation leads, find appropriate activities to fill the time.
Make certain there are effective coping mechanisms in place.
Keep all those healthy coping mechanisms in mind while on vacation. If there is a specific blanket or even a particular person that soothes the woes of life, then it needs to come along for the trip. Also, never forget to breathe, and make sure that there is a legitimate escape plan in order just in case it all seems to become too much to handle.
Do not neglect the routine of recovery.
Do whatever possible to continue the regular routine of recovery that has been working. If it is routine to read before breakfast, then continue reading before eating breakfast while on vacation. This will help to reinforce positive routine and habits.