Alcohol-Free Travel. Yes….it can be done BEAUTIFULLY!
When I first got sober, one of my biggest concerns was seriously around travel. How the heck was I ever going to enjoy a vacation again? Little did I know, like everything else, I was going to enjoy sober vacations very much. All it takes is good planning, a healthy mindset, and your continued commitment to yourself.
Alcohol free travel actually allows you to see more attractions (not just the inside of bars and pubs), stay present in what you’re witnessing, and navigate your surroundings with way more ease.
Here’s a list to help you stay alcohol free on your next vacay!
PREPARE FOR THE PLANE & AIRPORT
If you’re anything like me, I loved in-flight service. I gave myself total permission to splurge on the plane. I didn’t hate this part of travel because for me it was like a little party enroute to the destination. Now being sober, I dreaded this part. After the first few flights, it became way simpler and much more enjoyable.
Plan ahead with little snacks or treats for your journey. Take your favourite movie snacks on the flight or prepare yummy healthy options. Give yourself time at the airport once you’ve passed security to find a special beverage that they may not have in flight. I found all flights have juice and sparkling water so this made a great mocktail substitute while on board.
REMOVE ALCOHOL FROM YOUR HOTEL ROOM
Some Hotels are kinder than others when it comes to this. If you call ahead, normally it’s a non-issue. Some may charge a $50.00 removal fee but a simple chat with the Hotel Manager can often get this fee waived. They want to sell you overpriced mini-bar items, it’s part of their business. Tell them they can leave anything that’s not booze and maybe you’ll partake.
BOOK ACTIVITIES FOR THE MORNING
Try to get an early start. Get out and see the sights before the rest of the city wakes up. It’s not only better traffic wise but it makes for better photos. There is also something truly magical about watching a place come alive. Doing this will also ensure you have a mellow evening or a reason to get to bed early the night before.
EAT YOUR MAIN MEAL MID DAY
Doing this one simple act helps with late afternoon cravings. If you wait until after 5:00p.m at the end of a busy and exhausting travel day, all bets are off. This is especially true if you’re traveling with others that may drink. Plan a smaller snack in the evening or cook in your room if you have a kitchenette.
TRIGGERS AND TOOLS
Put some thought into what triggers could come up. Travel can be frustrating when trying to figure out subway systems, getting kids ready, or ensure everyone is happy. Be prepared for all triggers and bring your sobriety tools. If you run or walk in the morning, pack your running shoes. Do that for your mindset. Bring your journal and have your podcasts ready. You have to nourish this part of you as well so keep feeding it while you are away.
Have your main support person prepared for your call. If it’s a Sponsor or a Sober Coach, plan ahead so you have a system in place. It’s likely you’ll have support with you, like a spouse or dear friend so plan ahead with them as well. There is always the option of online meetings or in-person AA meetings if that’s part of your recovery patchwork. I truly love going to different meetings in new cities. It’s fun to meet people in recovery in the new places you visit!!
You aren’t spending the money on drinking so be sure to reward yourself. Take an extra excursion, have a spa treatment, or buy yourself something amazing that will remind you of the trip. It’s so important to attach positivity to our sobriety!! Celebrating with rewards is a great way to do this. You deserve it!
CREATE A TRAVEL GOAL
Mindset is crucial for a good trip. Do the work and create what you want your trip to look like.
Don’t go in with a mindset of deprivation or you aren’t going to enjoy your time away. Think of all the great things you’ll get to do because you’re sober! Write them down and remind yourself each morning that this is the gift of sobriety. We get to do fun things with a clear set of eyes and gratitude in our souls. You will see more on these journeys than you ever thought possible. No travel days wasted by hangovers are a true gift. ENJOY!!!!