Photo via Pixabay by Gellinger
Planning a vacation can be difficult, especially if you have family members and kids who will be coming with you. All the preparations, packing, and actual travelling can take a toll, but when you’re also in recovery at the same time, it can be overwhelming. Sober vacations require a lot more planning, patience, and creative thinking, so it’s important to sit down months beforehand and start working out the details.
When you’re on a budget, it’s imperative to think about the big details first. How will you be travelling? Where will you be staying? Who will be with you and what will they need? How long will your stay be? Work out the major parts of the trip before you start thinking about the small stuff.
Here are a few of the best ways you can plan for a sober vacation.
Do some research
No matter what part of the world you’ll be travelling to, it’s important to sit down and do some research on the area first. If you’re looking specifically for a sober retreat that will help you work on your recovery, check to see what your options are and whether they will assist you with a payment plan.
If you’re just looking for a getaway with your family, you might want to stay away from all-inclusive resorts and cruises, which hinge on free drinks and food. Hotels usually offer a bar, so it might be in your best interest to book a cabin, condo, or home on AirBnb instead. In fact, the sharing economy is a great way to explore your vacation spot on a budget, as you can take advantage of Lyft services instead of renting a car, and you can even start saving extra cash for the trip now by looking for jobs in that sector. The great thing about the sharing economy is that you can set your own hours and stick to your own neighborhood if you want; dog walking is a wonderful way to earn extra money and stay close to home.
Fill your days
It’s important to think about what your days will be like on vacation. If you’re planning a trip to California, for instance, you might be faced with lots of vineyards offering tours and samples. For many individuals, vacations revolve around relaxing with food and drinks, so think of the best places you could visit that will keep your mind and body busy. Some of the best–and less expensive options–include national parks and museums. Plan for activities that will allow you to have fun in a healthy way, and try not to have too much downtime. Boredom and stress are two of the biggest factors involved in relapses.
Try to stay patient
With that said, try to remember that your vacation is about having fun and relaxing a bit. It can be stressful to travel with family, so try to plan for any contingency and keep everyone happy. If you’ll have kids along, pack a bag filled with games, art supplies, e-readers and tablets, and snacks and think of some fun travel games you can play in the car or on the plane.
If you’ll be staying somewhere that has a kitchen area, go grocery shopping when you arrive and stock up on some easy meal and breakfast items; this will not only save you from having to go out to eat–and face the temptation of a bar or extensive drinks menu–it will also save you quite a bit of money.
Stay in touch
It might be tempting to make this vacation a time to unplug and get away from the pressures of daily life, but it’s important not to lose a connection with your sponsor or support group. Let them know where you’ll be and make plans to have someone ready to take your call should you need to talk.
It takes a lot of time and effort to plan a vacation, especially when you are preparing for a lengthy trip to an unfamiliar destination. Stress and anxiety can make it harder to stay sober, so do your best to cut those from the equation and have a good time.