With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many vacations have been put on hold, but you may still feel a need to safely get away for a few days. Vacationing in recovery may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little forward-thinking you will discover that sober vacations are amazing, as you get to be fully present for every moment and truly enjoy the experience on a whole new level.

Benefits of a Sober Vacation

No matter who you are planning to go away with or where you plan to go, a sober vacation gives you the opportunity to connect on an authentic and meaningful level with the people and places around you. If you are planning on traveling solo, vacationing in recovery is an opportunity to connect with yourself, your recovery, and your experiences on a deeper level than you ever have before.

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Plan Ahead for Success

If you are thinking of taking a sober vacation, some advance preparation and research can make the most of your time away.

Take time to establish who will be on your support team while you’re away. If you are traveling with other people, choose traveling companions who are supportive of your recovery. Ask specific people back home if they would be willing to respond to a phone call, text, or email at any time of day or night if you need to reach out.

It’s also important to take proactive steps to set up a support system at the location you are staying. Researching local recovery meetings and activities in advance that don’t revolve around alcohol or other substances can help you envision a fun and sober time. If recovery meetings aren’t meeting in person, you can find a recovery meeting online multiple times during the day, from any device. Herren Project offers multiple online recovery meetings every night of the week and is a great resource for support.

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Important Things to Consider

Think about possible triggers that may arise during your vacation. For example, if you are nervous flying, especially during these uncertain times, bring along fun distractions and create new routines to help ease your anxiety and manage potential cravings or contact around alcohol. Crossword puzzles, a page-turner of a book, adult coloring books, listing to music, and guided meditations are some useful tools many people in recovery find helpful. It is also important to remember that your support network is just a phone call or text away. Stay connected and do not be afraid to reach out.

You can also think about the location and set-up of your destination. For example, if a hotel is located on a street filled with bars and restaurants, look for a different hotel in a more peaceful, off the beaten path location to provide a more supportive environment for your recovery.

Ideas for Recovery-Centered Vacations

A quick search on your computer will reveal more options for recovery-centered vacations than you many think! From excursions to cruises, you can see the world, hike a trail, and explore hidden destinations with a tour group in recovery. Some feature resorts offer recovery meetings on-site and allow you to easily work with the front desk staff to book excursions that are not only fun but alcohol-free. Other options may include destinations surrounded by beautiful nature to practice mindfulness, yoga, or to reconnect with your inner self at a wellness retreat. Any place that is accessible to wellness-oriented activities and sights is a great option.

Sober “Staycation”

For many people, a “staycation” will be the way to go this year. Even if you aren’t traveling, it’s still important to hit the pause button for a while and take time to relax and get away from the busy pace of life and the anxiety you may be feeling as a result of COVID-19.

A staycation is a perfect way to strengthen your recovery by planning safe activities with people who are supportive of your recovery and who enrich your mind and spirit.  Gather a small group of friends and take a walk on the beach, a fun day of biking, or get together for coffee and a chat. Especially during this uncertain and stressful time, it’s more important than ever to get some time away – even if it’s at home – to renew and recharge.

About Herren Wellness

When you come here, you are immediately connected with a thriving community of people at all stages of their recovery journey. We introduce healthy habits and routines centered around emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness that provide a solid foundation for rediscovering your interests, experiencing joy in sobriety, and building structure and routine.

We provide several alumni support communities, including a weekly recovery support group, monthly alumni meeting, and online alumni community you can access anytime. Your connection to Herren Wellness doesn’t end when your stay ends; we are there for you throughout your recovery journey.

If you, or a loved one, are looking for help, please call us at (844) 443-7736, email us at info@herrenwellness.com, or fill out a contact form. You are not alone.