How To Stay Sober On Vacation
With summer rapidly approaching, many are solidifying travel plans.
With your flight booked and your calendar marked off, you likely feel ready to leave the stress of work behind.
But before you take off, I have one question for you.
How do you plan to stay sober?
While vacationing without alcohol in early sobriety can be challenging, the pros far outweigh the cons.
But I get it, the idea is daunting if you’ve never tried it before.
Well, like most things in life, if you want to succeed you’ll need a plan.
And that’s where I come in. Today, I’m going to give you 5 tricks to help you stay sober on vacation (and still have fun).
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Always Have A Non-Alcoholic Drink In Hand
Always having a drink in your hand is a great trick to help you stay away from liquor. While everyone else is chugging beers or sipping martinis, if your hand is empty it’s easy to feel out of place. I think subconsciously you feel like you need a drink if everyone else has one and you don’t. Making sure you always have something keeps your hands occupied. It cuts off that signal that you need something to fill that space.
On my first sober trip, I kept a small bottle of water in my purse but always ordered a sparkling water or ginger ale too. Something fizzy in a glass was just nice to have. Plan this in advance and staying sober while traveling will be much easier.
Share Your Sobriety Plan With Travel Mates
Fear of judgment from others is a major fear when considering going booze-free. Though I understand and am an advocate of keeping it to yourself until you’re ready to share, vacation isn’t one of those circumstances – especially if the people you’re traveling with are your former booze crew. You’ll need to let them know you won’t be drinking.
Follow Your Personality (Introvert/Extrovert)
Consider your personality and adjust for yourself. If you are an introvert traveling with a group, make sure you schedule some time away. This will help you recharge, gather your thoughts and relax. Many introverts who have issues with alcohol turn to drinking to cope with social exhaustion and anxiety. Planning to remove that trigger will take you far and make staying sober on vacation less difficult.
If you’re an extrovert either traveling alone or with a group of people who drink, make sure you have options to be around or meet new people in alcohol-free settings. For example, go out on your own mid-day and do a little shopping or take a solo tour of the town. You’ll meet other travelers or locals and get some mental stimulation. You’re more likely to meet others when you’re alone than when you’re in a group of people you already know. Setting aside time to meet new people will help you recharge as an extrovert — booze free.
Plan Sober Activities Ahead Of Time
Try something totally new, different and fun that you absolutely must stay sober for! If you’re generally the relaxed-vacationing type, switch it up a bit and incorporate some high-octane activities that you may have never had the chance to try because you spent so much time drinking.
Instead of laying out by the beach, why not try snorkeling or a surf lesson? The adrenaline release that comes with doing something slightly fear-inducing is thrilling beyond imagination. You’ll be so glad to have a new experience to look back on and will certainly be able to remember it since you won’t be blackout drunk!
Reframe The Experience
Finally, don’t look at it as something you’re losing. Look at it as a learning experience or a potential one-time experiment! Having a positive mindset about all things sobriety is so important to your success. Use it as an opportunity to figure out how and why you feel and behave as you do. Tell yourself if you get back home, reflect on the experience and don’t like it, you don’t have to stay sober on vacay ever again. And you don’t!
But my bet is once you try it you’ll never go back. You’ll come back refreshed and relaxed instead of run-down and in need of a “vacation away from your vacation”.
You’ll see how much better you look and feel. Your memories will be stronger, and you’ll find that you had novel experiences, met really interesting new people, and the interactions you had were of much higher quality.
Yes, Sober Vacationing Can Be Fun!
Changing your relationship with alcohol is one of the best things you can do for your health and your life. Just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it’ll always be easy. But there are always things you can do to prepare. If you want to win your battle with alcohol, you’ll have to stay sober on vacation. Consider incorporating some of this advice into your travel plans, and your sober vacation may be your best vacation ever.