Must Know Tips for Traveling with an Addiction

Your long-awaited vacation is coming up at long last. You think of a check list. Don’t forget the suntan lotion, your sandals and your phone charger. Don’t forget your bathing suit, your Bermuda shots, your golf clubs and your Hawaiian shirt.

Oh, yes. And don’t forget to leave your cigarettes and booze at home, because just like millions of others, you have decided that vacation will be the perfect time to quit smoking and give up alcohol.

Is this really wise? It is certainly a sizable gamble. After all, just as golf is a good way to ruin a nice walk, going sober and quitting cigarettes may be a sure-fire way to ruin a nice time with your family – one that everyone has been counting on for some time. But maybe this will be a smart move. And, boy, starting yourself on the road to recovery might make this the most memorable vacation ever.  Some tour operators run trips specifically designed for sober travelers!

Here are some positive thoughts on the subject.

It is good to have a change of scenery when you want to quit an addiction. Getting away from your happy hour buddies may be just the thing to helping you make a serious commitment to recovery.

It is good to get away from stress for a while. If you are one that forgets about bills and bosses during vacation, it may be an ideal time to quit your nagging addictions.
On that score, aim for a low-stress vacation. Some vacations are great for taking on some risky, at-home projects. This is not the time for that. This vacation should focus on keeping busy with fun distractions, getting some healthy exercise and sleeping in.

Keep busy. Play some games with the family, go swimming, go for a hike. Get away from those routines that have you in a rut and remember how to have fun again without abusing substances.

As mentioned, it’s a good time to get some exercise. Addicts have a rationalization for everything, including a few that get right in the way of exercise. Start thinking about your health. Long-term health and addictions don’t go well together.

Go to a smoke-free resort. There are now plenty of resort options that actually cater to people who want to quit smoking. They often mix busy, fun activities, like horseback riding, with calming environments. How about visiting a smoke-free ranch or a substance-free resort in the Amazon?

Recovery for many is a spiritual journey. If that word is off putting think of it this way….Recovery is a time to start thinking about what really matters to you: A healthy life … a loving family. It’s time to remember those people who your decisions may have hurt over the years. It’s a good time to think of ways to start a new, humble, happier lifestyle.


Quitting an addiction makes more sense than you would think, given the ability you have during vacation to control the stress levels and choose your company and your activities. But there are some negatives to consider, as well.

First and foremost, you could be ruining a perfectly great vacation. This may or may not matter to you, but you could be putting your spouse and children through your own dislocated withdrawal and they deserve this vacation just as much as you. Do you really want to be a growling bear during their vacation? You want to come home as friends, not enemies.

Too much free time. Some folks like to hit the beach and take a nap for a vacation. If so, quitting an addiction might be hard to do, because you just have too much
time on your hands.

No support. For many, quitting an addiction requires professional support within reach or just around the corner. If you think you need a therapist or a hospital nearby to quit, a vacation might not be the right time to give it a try.

Support and consultation for this article came from Greenhouse Treatment at as well as and the Center for Disease Control And Prevention at