Summer is the perfect time for a vacation. The kids are out of school and the weather is lovely. But when you’re a recovering alcoholic coming out of rehab, vacations can be a huge threat to your fragile sobriety. You’ll probably spend a lot of your time around people who are drinking, and the temptation for just a sip of wine at dinner can feel overpowering.
But as a recovering alcoholic, you know the importance of staying completely dry over the course of your vacation. It will be challenging, but there are ways that you can protect your sobriety on vacation.
- Travel with a Friend Who Understand
If you have someone to hold you accountable, you’ll have a much easier time staying away from the drinks. Always travel with a companion and make it clear the importance of drinking non-alcoholic beverages only.
- Choose a Sober Location
There are some vacations that are better than others for avoiding alcohol. Cabo San Lucas, for example, which is known for its cantinas, isn’t the best place for a recovering alcoholic. You might instead choose a camping trip or a resort that doesn’t serve alcohol.
- Alert Your Mentor of Your Travels
If you’ve gone through the Alcoholics Anonymous program, you should keep close contact with your mentor. They should know about your vacation plans and check in on you regularly. It’s a lot easier to have fun and stay dry when you know that you have someone at home holding you accountable.
- Make It Relaxing
Stress is a major trigger for alcoholic tendencies, and you can ease your cravings by minimizing your stress levels. Plan ahead as much as possible to keep things going smoothly. Adopt an attitude that will help you go with the flow instead of getting overworked about travel delays, lost luggage, or other issues.
- Maintain Self-Care
Along with trying to stay relaxed, it’s important to continue all your basic self-care habits. You’ll be outside of your element, exploring a new place and defining your limits. As you work on eating regular and healthy meals, exercising, going to bed early, and spending time with people who motivate your self-esteem, you can handle the stress that could otherwise cause a relapse.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up
The risk for a relapse on vacation is a little higher, so if it does happen, it’s important that you don’t find yourself sinking into shame. Instead, learn from the mistakes. Talk to your therapist and mentor about what you could have done better, and get back on track.
Your vacation doesn’t need to be the end of your sobriety. You have the knowledge and tools to enjoy yourself without the threat of alcohol. Just take a few precautions and stay alert. The result will be a vacation that’s memorable for all the right reasons.