3 Tips for Staying Sober on Vacation

World's End Trail, Sri Lanka, Group of friends talking outside; staying sober on vacation
World’s End Trail, Sri Lanka: Image Source © Eddy Billard on Unsplash

Whether you are taking a vacation or traveling on business, the journey can be stressful and challenging if you are trying to stay sober. It’s especially difficult if you are surrounded by other travelers who see being away from home as an opportunity to drink. This can be an ultimate test of your sobriety. But a little planning can help reduce the risk of falling for the temptation and increase the chances of enjoying your vacation. Below are some helpful tips for staying sober on vacation and traveling safely.

Pick your destination wisely

Woman looking at the Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco; staying sober on vacation
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco: Image Source © Jude Beck on Unsplash

One major thing to keep in mind is your destination and its cultures. Think about the kind of places you’d like to visit, and what you are most likely to bump into there. For instance, cruises are nice for relaxing and enjoying the view, but they primarily offer an opportunity to eat and drink. Beach resorts are good for sunbathing, but sunning and drinking go hand in hand. Would you be comfortable in settings that are constantly reminding you of what you are fighting against? Perhaps this is the year for you to enjoy camping in national parks that don’t allow alcohol. Pick destinations or tours that support your idea of staying sober.

Plan some activities in advance

One common thing that leads you to a club or bar is idleness. Make sure you have your days planned before you get to your destination. This doesn’t mean you draft a timetable for the whole trip, but you should at least have an idea of what you will do on arrival. If you are on a business trip, see which days you have some time to spare and plan an activity. You can also check out the events that take place in your destination area. Book a ticket or two and involve a friend. Getting involved in activities takes away the chances of sitting back and having a couple of drinks.

Prepare yourself with coping strategies

Stress is one of the major reasons people drink. Traveling can be quite stressful, especially if you are dealing with new cultures, languages and currency, which make it difficult to deal with even basic needs. Stress can make you feel like alcohol is the best solution for relaxing after a long day. To avoid temptation, prepare yourself with stress-relieving techniques that can be exercised anywhere.

A good example are deep- breathing techniques that are quite good at lowering stress levels. Above all, make note of your experience and retain your sense of humor. Even when things go wrongs, those kinds of memories will be what you laugh about in the future.


Cocktail in Mashhad, Iran, Person holding a fancy beverage; staying sober on vacation
Cocktail in Mashhad: Image Source © Mostafa Meraji on Unsplash

Even though you are planning how to stay sober the whole trip, don’t be hard on yourself. If things get out of hand and you find yourself drinking, then drink responsibly. Don’t let alcohol be the reason you miss out a day of camping. If you are on a business trip, avoid hangovers and be presentable when meeting your bosses or workmates.

About Maryn Mcdonnell

Maryn Mcdonnell is a travel writer who loves exploring the world, and shares her travel experiences with other passionate travellers out there! Find Maryn on Twitter @MarynMcdonnell

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  1. How To Plan For A Road Trip When You’re In Recovery | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] can be tricky when you’re in recovery and staying sober, especially when you’re staying in a hotel that has a bar or drink service, so choose your […]


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