- Sober Travel Tips
- #1 Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead
- #2 Be Realistic
- #3 Active Communication
- #4 Make Contingency Plans
- #5 Exploring Alternative “Fun” Activities
- #6 Reward Yourself
- #7 Remaining Present in the Moment
- #8 Stay Connected to Support Networks
- Travel Sober
- Sober travel means traveling without indulging in alcohol, but it doesn’t mean not having fun.
- There are several practices that you can include in your travel planning and itinerary that can increase your success in remaining sober as you travel.
- Absolute Awakenings can help you get and stay on the path of recovery and support your goals to travel sober.
Traveling while sober is a whole new experience. It requires planning, being realistic, active communication, making contingency plans, exploring alternative “fun” activities, rewarding yourself, remaining present in the moment, and staying connected to support networks.
Sober Travel Tips
To successfully travel sober to New Jersey, you’ll need a whole new game plan. There’s a lot of ground to cover between the shore and the Delaware River, and you’ll likely not get to all of it in your lifetime. Whether you’re in for a natural experience or a cultural experience, New Jersey has something to offer you.
To get the most out of your New Jersey experience as you travel sober, follow these tips:
#1 Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead
Did we say “plan ahead” already? It is absolutely crucial to plan ahead when you travel to New Jersey. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll fall back on all your old strategies for having fun before you were sober, which may end near alcohol.
Large blocks of unplanned and unstructured time can be anxiety-producing, and in the past, one way you’ve coped with uncomfortable situations like this is by drinking. Therefore, plan what you will do with each day so you can have a plan of action if anxiety or disquieting solitude creeps into your mental space.
#2 Be Realistic
Know yourself and your limits. Can you be around people who are drinking without getting tempted to drink yourself? Does seeing other people enjoy themselves while drinking cause you to feel like you’re missing out? Does the smell of alcohol make you want some?
All these questions are valid and need to be answered before you decide on WHERE you’re traveling to and WHO you’re traveling with.
If you don’t think you can handle being around alcohol while traveling sober, then you shouldn’t go near a place like a bar where you’re around people who are drinking. If your companion drinks alcohol, that could increase the chances you could relapse yourself.
#3 Active Communication
Make sure you’re on the same page with any traveling partner. Before traveling, ensure you have clear expectations and boundaries set with a traveling companion. If you need them to partake in the sober lifestyle as you travel, even though they may not recover or suffer from addiction, then let them know.
It’s important to set these boundaries and expectations before you travel rather than surprise them with the expectations while you are there. Also, develop a “code word” so your partner can know if you’re becoming uncomfortable or need their support to remain sober during the trip.
#4 Make Contingency Plans
Have at least a plan A and plan B every day. Sometimes, relapse occurs when the plans we have fall through. If you don’t book your fancy dinner reservations on time, but the corner bar is open just down the street, it can be tempting to allow yourself to put yourself in a dangerous, relapse-prone situation.
Make sure to have a backup plan in case your primary plans fall through. “If this restaurant doesn’t work, then we’ll go here.”
#5 Exploring Alternative “Fun” Activities
Trying new things is the spice of life. Although you can get a dopamine-induced buzz from alcohol, you get an even stronger high from ordinary travel activities. Exercise is a surefire dopamine release, and there are plenty of hiking opportunities in New Jersey.
Likewise, swimming is a great dopamine release, and there are roughly 130 miles of beach in NJ. An emerging source of fun for sober travelers is “sober bars,” which serve only non-alcoholic beverages. It’s difficult to find social spaces where alcohol is not present, so sober bars are helping to fill that gap.
There is a “zero-proof” bar in Collingswood, NJ, called Mercantile 1888, which only serves NA drinks and cocktails. Besides heart-pounding activities and sober bars, there are 3 million sq. ft. malls, waterparks, sculpture gardens, festivals, and more in New Jersey. Get creative, and get outside of your comfort zone.
#6 Reward Yourself
Celebrate all the little victories of your sober journey. Celebrations mark important milestones, and every day on your recovery journey is an important milestone. Sobriety is hard. The least you can do for yourself is have ice cream for lunch or buy that extra trinket at the gift shop.
#7 Remaining Present in the Moment
When we travel to New Jersey, it’s because we want to fully experience everything New Jersey has to offer. We want the all-night diners, sand-between-our-toes, Jersey attitude, and pork roll sandwich experience. We want to be fully present.
When you choose to get sober, it’s because alcohol is actually interfering with your ability to experience life fully. You want to be fully present. Your sobriety and your decision to travel to New Jersey are actually cut from the same cloth.
#8 Stay Connected to Support Networks
It’s important to disconnect, but don’t disconnect completely. Getting out of our familiar routines is a necessary part of life. Traveling sober to New Jersey can be profoundly enjoyable because it’s like experiencing everything new for the first time.
But your support networks are an invaluable resource for your recovery, and you shouldn’t completely disconnect from them even while traveling. If you are part of a 12-step group or a sober living home, you should keep in touch with somebody back to stay accountable during your travel to New Jersey.
Travel is a blessing. To get the most out of your travel to New Jersey, make sure you practice safe, sober travel tips mentioned in this guide. There is a whole world of possibility out there, and you can fully experience every bit of it as you stay sober. Stay strong. We believe in you.
Need Help Getting Sober? Here’s Where You Can Find Drug or Alcohol Treatment In New Jersey
If you want to travel sober but haven’t had success doing it in the past, then you should consider attending alcohol treatment in New Jersey. Many people relapse while traveling, setting their recovery journey back for months. It’s essential to get help from an accredited alcohol treatment center to maximize your chances of sustained abstinence during recovery.
Absolute Awakenings is a renowned alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility that employs top-notch doctors and healthcare workers who are both compassionate and enthusiastic about the recovery care they provide to you.
We have a cozy, serene atmosphere where you can get serious about improving your chances for long-term recovery. We offer evidence-based treatment modalities that are grounded in science and geared towards you as an individual. Call today to see how we can help you start traveling sober.
Frequently Asked Questions
You might be used to the dopamine release that comes with drinking alcohol. Fortunately for you, dopamine can be released for a lot of reasons. Dopamine is a hormone that is part of the brain’s reward system, which gets released whenever you do something healthy. Eating, drinking (water), having sex, working out, and even listening to music are associated with dopamine release.
Even though alcohol might make you drowsy, it will disrupt restful sleep patterns. Instead of drinking alcohol before you go to bed, you could try drinking chamomile tea or even tart cherry juice. Both drinks have compounds that induce sedation and make it easier to go to sleep without any lingering effects.
The best drink of all time to have before bed is water, which should be consumed in moderate quantities because you’ll have to interrupt your sleep to urinate.
If you’re faced with the prospect of getting tempted to drink, reach out to your support network. Call your accountability partner and explain the situation. It’s very helpful to verbalize your relapse fears because once you put them into words, the temptation will likely seem less strong. Your partner can give you practical advice and emotional support to keep you strong even if you want to drink.
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