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5 Sober Vacation Ideas to Explore This Year

by | Last updated May 5, 2021 at 11:36AM | Published on May 5, 2021 | Sober Living

Sober Vacation Ideas

Sobriety changes your life in many ways – including the way you travel. It’s no secret that maintaining sobriety can be difficult, and some travel experiences can be rather stressful and filled with temptations. While you can be sober anywhere in the world, some sober vacations can be easier to handle than others, especially if you’re in early sobriety. 

If you’re ready to go out there and explore the world, consider adding these sober vacation ideas to your bucket list to prove once and for all, you don’t need drugs and alcohol to have a good time. 

woman in yoga retreat

1. Yoga Retreats

For when you need a spiritual awakening. 

Meditation and yoga retreats have been around for decades but recently found a new hype. While yoga retreats aren’t cut out for everyone, it can be an excellent sober vacation idea for those who aren’t ready to be exposed to temptations. 

Yoga retreats are available in all settings and scenarios, from the beach to the mountains and even the dessert. These retreats are often 3- or 5-day scheduled vacations that offer yoga classes, meditation workshops, and usually a detox diet to cleanse the body and spirit. Many AA retreats also include meditation and yoga activities to consider.

Hiking and Camping Trips

2. Hiking and Camping Trips

To help you reconnect with nature. 

Hiking and camping trips are excellent sober vacation ideas because you can be in touch with nature. Experts believe that spending time outdoors can help relieve stress and improve mental health. Spending a day hiking a mountain or walking a hiking trail can help you clear the mind and feel serene.

There are endless possibilities to go hiking and camping from Hawaii and Southern California to Mexico and Costa Rica. Keep an eye out for the best seasons to visit some beautiful national parks. 

Wellness Getaways

3. Wellness Getaways

For when you need to detox and refocus.

Health tourism is a huge industry targeted to anyone looking for a wellness experience while traveling. Wellness getaways focus on different activities, healthy diets, and fitness. You can choose from various activities like kayaking, hiking, fitness classic, or even cooking classes. Most of these wellness getaway destinations have alcohol-free packages that are excellent for sober travelers. 

Another option is to choose a destination that focuses heavily on wellness if you want to create your own getaway. Think Bali, Jordan, and Egypt, for example. It’s easy to find wellness-oriented activities and surroundings in these destinations. 

Woman in Road Trip

4. Road Trips

To explore the world from a different perspective. 

Without a doubt, the ultimate destination for a sober vacation is the one you make yourself. Road trips are an excellent option for sober travelers. Consider planning a road trip to dry counties in the United States for complete alcohol-free travel. Or gather a group of other straight friends to set out on a cross-country road trip listening to country music.

Planning a road trip gives you plenty of flexibility and opportunities to explore the world on your terms. Many small towns have a rich history and offer a unique perspective of life that can be pretty refreshing. 

People Biking on a Trail

5. Adventure Trips

For when you need thrilling vacations.

Not all vacations have to be calm and relaxing. Sometimes you want to feel the thrill of adventure. Luckily, you can choose millions of destinations for this. Sober activities like surfing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, or sailing are great ideas to incorporate into your adventure trips. They’re all a great boost of endorphins, physical activity and let you connect with nature. 

If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, adventure trips can look more like going to adventure parks. Theme parks like Disney, Six Flags, and Universal Studios are excellent trip ideas the entire family can enjoy. 

Tips for Traveling While Sober

One of the biggest fears of sobriety is that life will be boring. The truth is sober living can be entertaining. Whether you’re newly sober or have been sober for decades, it’s always a bit scary to plan an alcohol-free getaway. Here’s how to prepare for traveling while sober. 

Set an Intention Before You Plan

We all have expectations of what a vacation will be like. Still, this can also backfire when you’re sober. Ideally, you want to decide on your intentions related to alcohol before you start planning everything. Here’s how to make this happen:

  • Visualize how you want the trip to go.
  • See yourself experiencing joy versus worrying about not drinking.
  • Focus on what you want to happen, not what you’re worried might happen.

Anticipate Triggering Experiences

Whether you’re traveling by plane, boat, car, or bus, odds are you’ll experience some triggers. Airports, for example, are full of triggers that can be difficult to avoid. But, when you anticipate these possible triggers, you can be mentally prepared to tackle them better. Here’s how to prepare:

  • Make a list of possible triggering experiences you’re sure you’ll struggle with.
  • Have a plan B for how to react to unexpected events.
  • Try to stay physically away from any potential triggers. 

Stay Connected to Your Support Group

Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean you need to avoid communication at all–especially if you have people helping you stay on track back home. Whether this is a sober friend, your therapist, or a sponsor, don’t forget to mention your upcoming travels to them. Here’s how to stay connected with your support system:

  • Send them occasional text messages, photos, or a quick phone call throughout your travels.
  • Ask them to check in with you at least every other day to see how you’re doing.
  • Let them know that you’re going on your first sober vacation, and you might need them at weird times throughout the day. 

Research Your Destination Before Arrival

While you should leave some room for sporadic events, planning your vacation to the minute will keep you away from triggers. Before your vacation, spend some time researching your destination to learn more about must-see sightings, locations, and activities to experience. You might be able to find some one-of-a-kind opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise. Here’s what to look for:

  • Research restaurants that have an excellent mocktail menu. 
  • Schedule a day or two to immerse yourself in the place’s culture and history.
  • Check to see where you can find a sober group meeting, just in case.

Travel With Sober Friends

Last but not least, traveling with sober friends is the best way to stay sober on vacation. Even if you can’t travel with local sober friends, see if you can meet up with other sober acquaintances in the city you’ll be visiting. Finding sober friends around the globe:

  • Consider planning your vacation with sober group travel agencies like Sober Vacations
  • Reach out to friends in your vacation destination to meet up. 
  • Ask sober friends for recommendations or referrals to friends around. 

Overall, remember to stay committed to allowing you to explore new places with clear eyes. Let yourself have a marvelous time knowing that you don’t need alcohol to have fun. Sober traveling is excellent to make new and long-lasting memories you’ll get to experience as your most authentic self. 

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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