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Vacation Sober: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling Without Drugs or Alcohol 

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As the weather warms up, the summer vacation season is in full swing. It’s likely you are considering where to go on an alcohol-free vacation that won’t detour your sobriety. Living sober leads to a much more fulfilling life. It provides the ability to have more vivid memories and meaningful experiences. Traveling after your recovery can come with its own challenges and victories. But it’s still 100% possible to vacation sober if you have the right foundation and realistic expectations in place!

The thought of vacation should bring images of poolside activities and fun experiences. The willingness to try new things and visit new places adds to the spice of life. For those living a  sober lifestyle or those who are early in their recovery, the idea of a vacation may be a cause for anxiety as well. Having a plan to avoid triggers and situations of previous substance abuse is the key to enjoying a wonderful vacation as a sober traveler.

Choose a Sober Friendly Location

There are plenty of adventurous and relaxing destinations away from the party scene you are wishing to avoid. When choosing a location, read reviews previously written by other travelers on some of the hot spots you plan to visit. Oftentimes, if there are rowdy obnoxious travelers they will be cited in these reviews. Additionally, you can always opt to stay a few miles outside of the city you plan on visiting.

There are many locations for an active traveler to visit. For an active sober traveler, consider booking a vacation in a mountainous area known for skiing, snowboarding, or hiking.  If you are thinking about having a more relaxing trip to the coast, there are plenty of family-friendly beaches to visit. National Parks offer beautiful views and a peaceful opportunity to get in touch with nature.  National Parks such as Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park are beautiful locations to vacation sober and escape the hustle of the real world for a little while!
Taking the time to choose a sober-friendly location is the key to ensuring a drug and alcohol-free vacation. After all, nothing is worth jeopardizing sobriety in the name of fun. Throwing away months or years of commitment is not worth an alcohol-filled resort trip. 

Destinations a Sober Traveler Should Avoid

Steer clear of well-known party cities such as Las Vegas, Ibiza, and Panama City Beach. Any vacation destinations that are all-inclusive can also be tricky to navigate on sober vacation. Oftentimes, vacation goers feel the need to take advantage of an all-inclusive trip by drinking as much alcohol as they can. Cruise ships are also notorious for the amount of booze being poured. Aim for a quieter destination that is not known for its wild side. Taking a vacation sober during the off-season can also help to avoid large unruly crowds.

couple having fun on a beach jetskii

Restaurants can also be tricky to navigate as a  sober individual. Many tourist destinations have restaurants and eateries that are well known for their happy hours and drink packages. A little bit of research can go a long way when determining the most ideal place for a sober traveler to enjoy a meal.
Despite the strength gained as a sober individual, these areas can still be cause for temptation and undesirable situations. Consequently, you are much more likely to have a  fun time in a space where you can enjoy your vacation without these disturbances!

Travel With Sober Friends and Family

Having a support system is an important part of recovery. Bringing caring friends and family with you who also abstain from drugs and alcohol will help with any triggers that you may have. Discussing your thoughts and feelings with trusted friends and family can be extremely helpful when you are in an environment you are not typically in.
When embarking on an adventure with sober travelers you are less likely to be pulled into activities that may bring about thoughts of old habits. Together, you can plan fun activities such as sightseeing or visiting a museum. If your family occasionally wants to drink but you don’t drink, designate an accountability partner throughout your trip so every night you have someone supportive of your choices.

Be Ready for the Unexpected

Most of the time individuals walk away from vacation feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Be aware that no matter how much planning you have put into your vacation, it is likely that something might happen that you did not expect.
It is important to stay grounded and keep your sobriety a top priority. If you need to remove yourself from a situation try to remain calm and regain the clarity that leads you to sober living in the first place. It is a good idea to bring items that remind you of your sobriety, or positive ideas to keep you going in a scenario that is less than desirable. Tune in to encouraging sources like books, podcasts, uplifting music, or even find a support group to go to in the area. Don’t neglect your usual daily routine and motivation, as that can make you forget how strong you really are.

If You Can Enjoy Life Sober, You Can Vacation Sober

Being sober can open your eyes to experiences that you have never had before. It is important to let yourself relax and enjoy your new take on life.  Choose activities that align with your passions and values. Going on a vacation sober, especially if you haven’t been sober on a vacation in a long time, can be interesting. Feel great about yourself that you have the courage to take in the journey as you are, free of the need for any substances.
Open yourself up to new experiences, and don’t let the stress and anxiety that can come with being sober sneak up on you. It is an amazing world, and the fact that you are embarking on a well-earned sober vacation is something to be proud of!
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