A vacation is a great time to relax and recharge. Everyone needs a break from time to time and traveling is a great way to have new experiences and come home with a fresh perspective. However, it’s important to remember that a vacation from your regular life is not also a vacation from your recovery. People are just as often derailed by positive events as by negative life stress. This is especially true of men, who are more likely to report positive feelings prior to relapse. Here are some tips for maintaining recovery while enjoying a great vacation.

Choose your destination wisely.

When you’re in recovery, your destination matters. You probably don’t want to go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras or Cancun during spring break. You’ll want to go somewhere that offers plenty to do without drinking. It could be a city that has a lot of cultural attractions or a national park where you can engage in many outdoor activities.

Give yourself plenty of time.

Travel can be incredibly stressful, making you wonder whether it was even worth it to leave the house. Stress and anxiety aren’t helpful in recovery and they certainly aren’t what you’re looking for in a vacation. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Take the direct flight if you can and try not to cut anything too close. Having some margin for error lets you stay more relaxed when things inevitably go wrong.

Stay in contact with your support system.

It’s easier than ever to stay in contact with your support system, even when traveling internationally. Let people know you’ll be traveling and ask if you can call or text if you have to. It’s ideal if you can travel with someone else in recovery or someone who can keep you accountable. If not, consider checking in with someone back home to let them know how things are going and to remind yourself you’re still in recovery.

Maintain your routine as much as possible.

Obviously, you won’t be able to maintain your normal routine while traveling, but some things carry over pretty easily. If meditation, prayer, or journaling are part of your recovery plan, for example, those are easy to maintain on vacation. You may also be able to get some exercise and eat relatively well. If you’re attending 12-step meetings, you can probably find one wherever you’re going so you won’t even have to miss your regular meeting.

Stay busy but not too busy.

The main thing is to have a plan for what you want to do and stay relatively busy. You don’t want to end up with three hours to kill and nothing to do but sit in a pub. Have an outline of things you want to do and some clear priorities. On the other hand, you don’t want to stress yourself out trying to see and do everything. Enjoy whatever you have time for and accept that you won’t get to everything.

At Alta Lama Transformational Services, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Lama uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.