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Tips for Your First Sober Vacation


woman at airport waiting to travel on vacation

Sounds like you are ready for your first sober vacation. Are you happy— yet apprehensive about how you will remain sober? The planning and mindset you have toward your first sober vacation are very important.


Intrinsically, you know you are on vacation but your addiction isn't. Part of understanding sobriety means accepting and understanding that you are actively managing your recovery. It is a daily task and one that doesn't take a vacation. Some situations are more challenging than others, like vacations.


Your First Sober Vacation


So why would a person want to drink or use a substance on vacation? It is important to identify your personal reason (s). Some common ones include:

  • the social component

  • wanting to conform with friends or family

  • a habitual way to "enhance" the vacation

  • as a coping mechanism or a means of escape

Really examining why you want to drink or use on vacation can help you plan how to handle being sober on your travels. Exploring these motivations with a Recovery Coach can make for an excellent foundation for improvement and help form a good mindset before you leave home.


Remember that fine-tuned skills are necessary to avoid vacation traps or triggers. A recovery program (such as a 12-step or She Recovers) can be a powerful means to maintain recovery. This can provide a place to go while on vacation to get re-centered.


Consider that insisting on "vacationing the old way" might not make recovery easy. Sobriety may be easier if you go to a new place. New people (or sober people) may also make things less stressful. Note that sober vacations can be with people you already know or new sober friends.



Man waiting at airport to travel for vacation

12 Powerful Ways to Avoid Vacation Traps


Choosing new or different activities can really help you maintain your sobriety. Here are some tried and true ideas:


  1. Consider a different location than years past.

  2. Focus on the fact that "no" is a one-word sentence.

  3. Choose your travel companions carefully.

  4. Think outside of what is "touristy" when in a new city and attend a theater performance.

  5. Select a walking tour.

  6. Tour a botanical garden.

  7. Find your calm at a museum.

  8. Enjoy the quiet of a tea house.

  9. Select a more active or athletic vacation.

  10. Choose to snorkel or scuba (breathalyzers are your accountability due to strict requirements for sobriety before scuba diving in many places.)

  11. Consider a staycation. While not glamorous, a large organization project can keep you busy. Maybe a delivery of new furniture or new decor could boost your excitement as well.

  12. Set up for sobriety by calling ahead to your destination and requesting that alcohol be removed from the mini-fridge, not offered to you at the spa, etc. Rest assured, you will not be the only person requesting these tiny accommodations.


While vacations are a much-needed change of scenery, normal activities and typical adult hospitality can wear you down. Support can be invaluable. And particularly if you are in your first year of sobriety, changing people, places, and things for your vacation can make sobriety easier to manage.


A Recovery Coach can be part of your support network by helping you before, during, and after your vacation. Nonjudgmental support, accountability, and expertise go a long way in the journey of recovery.


To schedule a time to speak with Beth Siegert, email her at info@siegertandassociates.com or call 877.449.6393.







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