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Getting away from the stress and triggers of everyday life can be an important tool for those in addiction recovery. Leaving your comfort zone comes with its own risks and temptations, however. Here are some tips for having a fun, temptation-free vacation.

If you go it alone, don’t forget your support system

 If you want to truly reduce stress, one of the best things to do is travel solo. When you are your own travel partner, you get to do what you want. There are no arguments over itinerary, how late to sleep, and what to dine out on. When you travel solo, you are vacationing for you and only you.

Of course, this can come with some risks for those in addiction recovery. One of the best ways to make sure you avoid temptation while away is to make sure you are always connected to some sort of support system if you truly need it. You can travel solo without dropping off the grid completely. The latter may be preferable for some, but for you it may not be the best idea. If you’re traveling abroad, make sure you have some way to connect to friends, family, or a sponsor back home. Either set up international texting, use a resort phone to make calls, or use a Wi-Fi messaging app. Use this meeting finder to find a support meeting near you, wherever you are.

Don’t go it alone

Solo vacations are all the rage, and they can be incredibly restorative – but if you think you can’t handle it alone then there’s no reason to force the issue. There are plenty of ways to have a fun, temptation-free vacation with some companionship. Of course, you can travel with you kids. Traveling with kids requires some considerations, of course. A lot depends on the age of your child(ren), but for the most part you want to go to destinations that are both safe and accessible, while also boasting a lot of activities. Nothing is worse that a bored kid on vacation. Here are some resources for traveling with your kids and being budget friendly, traveling with very small kids, and for overall fun with the family.

The other way to keep yourself in check with the help of others is to book a specific sober vacation. There are many groups out there that specialize in sober travel – cruises, retreats, city adventures, and more. For example, one such organization, Sober Vacations International, has scheduled a Sober Village in Ciacos, a Sober Safari, and two Sober Cruises – Alaska and the Greek Isles over the next year.

Try to stick to a schedule (as much as you can)

It’s vacation, so you’re going to be a little off your normal schedule – and that’s ok. But the more you can abide by what you know – even when away – the better. Throwing major disruptions into a schedule for someone in recovery can leave them in H.A.L.T. territory (the famous Hungry, Anxious, Lonely, Tired trigger acronym).

Try to go to bed at the same time and get the same amount of sleep you would at home. You can indulge a bit, but try not to go off the deep end with your vacation diet. If you have a exercise routine at home (which you should), then try to stick to it.

Being out of your comfort zone is tough for many people, but for those in addiction recovery, who rely on that zone more than any, it can be downright frightening. But if you are in a good place with your recovery, there’s no reason you should deny yourself the restorative adventure that is a sober vacation.

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