Just as any other hard-working professional waits anxiously for their vacation time, so does the recovering addict. Often, they are one in the same. Life in recovery, after treatment, is the true challenge faced by addicts. Vacation is the time when most people relax. Unfortunately, the definition of “relax” often entails the use of some sort of substance.
We must rewrite common definitions, and eliminate the need for substance use. For example, relaxation equals a hammock by the beach, and the wind is blowing gently over sun-kissed skin. Vacation does not require that a person drinks or use drugs. It can mean much more, and that is the challenge of the recovering addict.
Take a moment to read through these few helpful travel tips that will make vacationing a bit easier for an addict in recovery.
Consider unconventional travels
Everyone knows the general and common travel spots for vacations. It is probably not a good idea to go to Cancun, Mexico or Mardi Gras in New Orleans when recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. New York City on New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest parties in the world, but not a good vacationing spot for an addict in recovery.
Use common sense. There are travel agencies that specialize in booking sober-friendly vacations. There are also resorts and groups that were created solely for the solace of recovering addicts. Do the research, and stay sober.
Maintain daily routines
Even if a person is not still in the early stages of recovery, it is wise to maintain daily routines. Maintain personal cleanliness and order in the same ways as always. Make the bed in the hotel room. Shower daily…etc.
Breaking routine can be risky for some people in recovery. Sometimes the most basic aspects of a person’s life are the fibers that hold them together. Try to maintain as many of those basic routines as possibly while away, to avoid added stress.
Travel with supporters
It is fine to travel alone, but traveling with sobriety supporters is even better. Avoid traveling with a group of people who plan to drink and party. It seems like a simple concept, but many people overlook these aspects to their own detriment.
Check into local meeting places
Before traveling, it is wise to look up local meetings in the planned destination. If necessary, go to a meeting while on vacation. If not, at least there is a base knowledge of where a meeting is if things get hairy while away. It is always helpful to set safety nets in place prior to traveling.
Avoid over or under planning
Try not to over plan the trip, either. Planning too many activities can cause loads of stress and kill the enjoyment of the vacation. Planning too little to do can open up way too much free time and provide the opportunity to slip into old habits. Try to plan just enough to keep busy.