Traveling abroad can be hard but not impossible when you are in recovery at first. Some people use traveling as an excuse to take a vacation from their recovery because of all of the triggers that could surround them. There are many ways that you can enjoy yourself when traveling abroad and still keep up with your sobriety.
It is always important that before you travel to research your destination and plan ahead. See if there are any bars or city life surrounding your destination that you should steer clear of when staying with a friend, relative, or a hotel. Look up the schedule for support group meetings in your destination and fit those meetings into your schedule. You can also bring recovery books with you to read on the trip such as Alcoholics Anonymous “The Big Book” as well as the audio version of the free app.
Planes tend to make people nervous which causes them to turn to alcohol served on the beverage cart. If you are nervous, try deep breathing exercises instead. Being too hungry has a tendency to cause a relapse so bring dried nuts and fruit with you in bags. Always make sure to contact your sponsor through emails, texts, and calls.
When you go to your hotel, call the front desk in advance and tell them to make sure there is no booze in the minibar or in other parts of the hotel room. If you are staying with a friend or relative, tell them to make sure there is no booze around as well. If it turns out you are under a lot of stress but scheduling conflicts prevent you from attending a meeting, call in for the meetings or join a chat room full of recovering addicts.
There are a lot of fun activities that you can do sober such as go to the movies, the museum, a restaurant, etc. Hotels also have gyms and pools you can swim in. If you are afraid of traveling alone in your first year of sobriety, talk a sober friend with you so you can both look out for each other and stop each other if cravings occur. Continue to exercise in order to stay physically healthy like cycling, surfing, swimming, pilates, or yoga. More than anything, take care of yourself, eat, be aware of your stress level, and manage your physical and mental health.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig treats alcoholism and drug addiction as an illness and promote abstinence as essential for long-lasting recovery. We help patients recover through an intensive, personalised programme that combines medical treatment, 12 Step therapy, CBT and other psychiatric therapies and complementary therapies. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020