Holiday Travel and Renegotiating Airport Bars, Restaurants and Hotels without Breaking Sobriety

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Addiction Hope

feet-191151_640If you or a loved one has been suffering with an addiction to alcohol, you have likely learned that the process of recovery involves renegotiating places that were once connected with the addiction.

For example, there may have been favorite restaurants or bars that you frequently visited and enjoyed a drink. Maintaining your sobriety presently involves renegotiating the places of your past and learning to see them in a different light.

When Travel Occurs Often

This can be especially true for recovering alcoholics who commonly travel. Traveling can present with many challenges, particularly for an individual who is now practicing sobriety and who frequents restaurants, hotels, and airports that all have bars.

It can be difficult to refrain from alcohol when it appears throughout many places along your travels, beginning with your journey in the airport to the airplane itself and in the hotels and restaurants you may be visiting.

If you travel often and are working to keep your sobriety, know that there are many ways to maintain your travels, even during the recovery process.

Suggestions for Staying Sober While Traveling

Here are some suggestions to help you keep your sobriety a priority as you resume traveling:

Be aware of all your options:

iphone-388387_640As an alcoholic, you may strictly be aware of places where you could frequent to get a drink while traveling. As a person now in recovery from an alcoholic addiction, it is important to explore other options that will be more conducive to your sobriety.

Search out places ahead of time that you can visit for food and refreshment without feeling the need to order or purchase an alcoholic beverage. This might include:

  • Coffee shops
  • Smoothie shacks
  • Juicing places

Try to find restaurants that do not have the bar as the focal point of the place. It make require some extra effort on your end prior to beginning your travels, but this planning will ultimately make it easier for your to stay sober and stay successful in your recovery.

Explore other areas of interest:

Drinking may have been something you did while traveling because it is commonly accessible in a variety of places. Regardless of where you travel to, you can likely find a bar anywhere you go.

Drinking may have even been something you did as a way to cope with loneliness or weariness while traveling. This too must become something that is renegotiated when your travels are resumed in recovery.

There are other ways to occupy your time while traveling that can help you maintain sobriety. This might involve:

  • Exercise around neighboring cities
  • Exploring nearby parks or malls
  • Getting a massage or facial
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Watching a movie

It is important to fill your time with options that support your recovery and sobriety in a healthy manner.

Maintain support:

hand-281995_640Keep connected to trusted family and friends who can keep you accountable throughout your travels. If you find yourself triggered or tempted to have a drink, have an emergency contact you can call that will help encourage you to uphold your sobriety.

If you are traveling to another city for a long period of time, you may consider looking up a local support group, such as Alcohol Anonymous. These groups often have regular meetings that are free to attendees.

Having the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals can be the support you need to refrain from alcohol and stay sober, even while away from home and on the road. If you have a mentor, set up times to regularly communicate or check in as a source of accountability.

Setting up a support system is essential to long-lasting sobriety from alcohol.

Staying Sober Is Always an Option

Whether at home or on the road, you can sustain recovery from an alcohol addiction. Even if you are traveling for long periods of time, there are many things you can do to ensure that you are staying sober.

This includes searching out alternative options for meals and drinks, exploring other areas of interest in the cities you are traveling in, and staying connected to a support sysem.

Community discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What travel tips might you offer to a person in recovery from an alcohol addiction who frequently travels?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 1st, 2015
Published on