Please Adhere To Local Regulations When Traveling Currently In 2021. In Fact, We Urge You To Do Your Part By Staying Home, Wearing A Mask, And/Or Staying Socially Distanced Whenever Possible. Avoid Recreational Travel, Unless You Get Vaccinated, To Keep Our Global Community Safe!
Thanks to the gradual lifting of travel restrictions and social distancing measures, many Americans are being bitten especially hard by the travel bug. But for people recovering from alcohol use disorder (AUD), vacations can be a double-edged sword. Though vacations can be an excellent time to find your center and take care of issues that contribute to excessive drinking, they can also increase your exposure to alcohol and negative emotional triggers.
Thankfully, alcohol-free vacations can still be loads of fun. Whether you’re recovering from AUD or have some other reason to avoid alcohol, below are a few tips on how you can enjoy a booze-free vacation. For example, if you’re in North Texas and suspect you have an AUD, check out these inpatient drug rehabs in Dallas.
Consider a staycation
Unless you have a compelling reason to go to a different part of the world, a staycation at your own home might be what you need. You can use your free time to start a new hobby, write that book or record that album you’ve always wanted, or binge-watch that TV show you never had time for. You can also take the time to do all the chores you’ve been putting off, which can be a surprisingly fulfilling and confidence-building experience in itself.
Take time to choose your vacation destination
Of course, a staycation isn’t always the most appealing option, given that most of us are sick of being stuck at home. Thankfully, there are hundreds of vacation destinations perfect for people trying to avoid alcohol.
Some countries like Japan, Sweden, and Singapore, to name a few, have more reserved drinking cultures that makes it less likely for considerate American vacationers to get into serious trouble with their drinking. Other countries, especially those in the diverse Islamic world, have laws and restrictions on alcohol that make it easy to avoid it altogether.
Of course, these are just broad generalizations. Most countries, even many Muslim ones, have party areas with free-flowing alcohol that you may want to remove from your travel itinerary. Take some time to research the local culture and how accessible alcohol is before you make decisions on your travel itinerary.
Tell your hotel to clear out the mini-bar
Travel can be tiring, which can make it especially hard to resist the temptation to drink as soon as you get to your hotel. Thankfully, most hotels and B&Bs will be more than happy to clear out the mini-bar if you request it ahead of time. That way, you can be sure that your hotel room won’t be a problem in maintaining your sobriety.
Get in touch with a virtual AUD support group
Keeping in touch with support groups is an important part of AUD recovery aftercare for many individuals. Unfortunately, traveling can disrupt regular group meetings and not all destinations have local support groups that meet your needs. Thankfully, modern communications technology and infrastructure have made it possible to conduct virtual AUD support groups from anywhere in the world.
While there is no real substitute for the camaraderie and personal contact of a regular AUD support group, virtual support groups can be an excellent way to keep yourself on the wagon while on vacation. Check out Alcoholics Anonymous’s listings of virtual AA groups to find meetings scheduled during your vacation.
Travel with people you trust
Just because you’ve become good at avoiding temptations at home, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to do the same elsewhere, especially if you’re jet-lagged and tired. This means that you may be more susceptible to a relapse if you see or know your companions are drinking as well.
Ideally, you shouldn’t travel with people who are not sensitive to your need to avoid alcohol. While their drinking habits and behaviors are their own responsibility, you should consider not going on vacation with them if you’re sure that they’re planning to drink heavily and are unconcerned with your desire to stay sober.
Indulge in fun sober activities
If you used to enjoy drinking, you can try to fill that need with other fun but less harmful activities. You can indulge in the local food, get pampered, or try out some sober socializing.
Other things you can try include taking a guided tour, or doing some exploring. You can also check out museums, historical sites, trails, natural wonders, and other excellent alcohol-free attractions.
Thankfully, compared to how things were a few decades ago, there are many more fun vacation options out there for non-drinkers, even in so-called party destinations. More bars, hotels, and restaurants are offering excellent mocktails, which means that even if you find yourself in a bar, you don’t need alcohol to be part of the fun.
Fortunately, there has never been a better time for travelers recovering from AUD. The world has seen a drop in the total number of drinkers in the past generation, which in turn has made things easy for alcohol-avoiding travelers. You can further improve your chances of maintaining sobriety by consulting your therapist before traveling and trying out the tips we shared. Good luck, and stay sober!