How To Plan For A Road Trip When You’re In Recovery

For many people in recovery, a vacation is just what they need to get away from the stresses of daily life, recuperate, and relax a bit after a long struggle with illness or addiction. It can be a wonderful thing for those who have come a long way, but it can be stressful as well. Thinking about how to plan for a road trip–especially one with family members and children–can take weeks or even months, and there are a lot of things to factor in, such as cost, transportation issues, and accommodations.

How to Plan for a Road Trip to Recuperate from Stress, Illness or Addiction

If you’re thinking about taking a road trip, there are several things to plan for, including budget, what type of vehicle you’ll be using, and how many stops you want to make. Of course, it’s also important to consider what your needs will be during the trip and make preparations for emergencies. Taking the stress out of your trip can help you stay on a sober path with ease.

Here are some of the best ways to ensure your road trip is fun, relaxing, and memorable.

Take advantage of the sharing economy

If you’re travelling on a budget, take advantage of the sharing economy by booking a room through AirBnb, or make some extra cash before you leave as a dog walker in your neighborhood.

Prepare your car

Clean your car thoroughly, inside and out, before your trip. Make room in the glove compartment and console, have change ready in case you hit a toll road, and keep a small reusable trash bag handy. It’s also a good idea to have blankets, a jug of water, snacks, and tools in the trunk in case of an emergency. If you don’t already have a roadside service subscription, now is the time to invest in one.

It’s also important to take care of the tires, engine, and windshield wipers before the trip. Get an oil change and have the tires inflated to the correct pressure, which can improve your gas mileage.

Plan your stops

Planning your road trip is especially important if you’ll have children with you, as you’ll want to make sure they are entertained and in good spirits. Long hours in the car can take a toll on everyone, so plan for stops along the way every few hours or so. This ensures that everyone can get out, stretch their legs, and do a little sightseeing or grab a meal. Take a look at the different routes available to you to find out what sort of adventures you and your family can have.

How to plan a road trip, rest stops

Pack smart

Packing is one of the most important parts of your trip, as you’ll want to ensure you have everything you’ll need for the duration. Packing smart includes not only clothing and toiletries, but any medication and tools you use in your recovery. Make sure you have your phone charger so you can stay connected to your sponsor or support group, as well. If you find that writing in a journal everyday helps you on the road to sobriety, bring it along and make a point to write in it every day of your vacation. Sticking to your normal schedule as much as possible is extremely helpful when you’re in recovery.

Only pack what you'll really need
Only pack what you’ll really need, image via BucketListly

Have a backup plan

No matter how much you prepare, chances are good that you’ll still run into some sort of unforeseen event on your trip. Closed roads, detours, illness, and traffic are all possibilities, so plan accordingly. Look online for alternate routes for the entire trip just in case you need to go around an accident or construction, and use a navigation app on your phone if necessary. Having an alternate plan will keep stress to a minimum and will help you feel more in control of the situation.

How to plan for a Road Trip: navigation,gps

Bring your own drinks

Travelling 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 destination well. Bring your own bottled water, especially if you know you’ll be going to social events where they are likely to serve alcohol.

Planning a vacation is never easy, but it’s important to prepare as much as possible to keep your stress and anxiety levels down. Keep in mind that this vacation is meant to be relaxing and fun, and find ways to fill your days with activities that will leave you tired and happy when they’re done.

About Michelle Peterson


Michelle is passionate about sharing stories and information to inspire recovering addicts.

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