Staying Sober While Traveling: A Few Helpful Tips

Traveling while sober can be a challenge. You will be faced with temptation and opportunity at nearly every turn. With a few helpful tips, you can stay sober as you travel with great success. You just have to plan ahead, remain connected and start at the airport to make it happen.

Hotel Dangers

A hotel can be a dangerous place for people in recovery. Before you arrive, call ahead and make sure the contents of the minibar, if they have one, are removed from your room. Once you get to the room, check the minibar immediately. If they have not removed the alcohol, call the front desk at once to have someone sent up to remove the contents. Many people find this empowering. You should also try to make plans to avoid the bar area until it closes. Fortunately, hotel bars typically close relatively early. Some bars have free drink mixers during happy hour, avoid these at all costs as it can be a slippery slope.

A Sober Companion

If you are not yet ready to travel alone, a sober companion is a great way to get through your trip. Sober companions come in all shapes and sizes. You might bring a friend to help motivate you to go out and explore without the temptation of booze or narcotics. It is also possible to bring a pet. Many hotels allow dogs and cats these days. You may have to pay an extra fee. If you can get a note from your therapist stating that traveling with your pet is necessary, the hotel will likely waive the fee. And make sure to keep busy with your sober companion. Make plans to keep you away from temptation.


Connectivity whilst traveling is essential to your sobriety. You may not be accustomed to checking in with your support system on trips, but it is time to start doing so with great frequency. You should call someone as much as you need to as a way to keep you grounded and on the right path. You might call your family, friends, your sponsor or anyone who is up for a chat. It is also important to go to meetings. It is possible to find meetings of all sorts in nearly every part of the world. Check with local expat communities, the embassy or military bases to find your options if you are in a foreign land.

Start in the Airport

The airport and plane can be a disaster zone for some recovering travelers. You might get stressed because of the chaotic environment or the bundles screaming kids. Or the idea of flying may just send you into a tailspin. Regardless of your reason for becoming unsettled in an airport or on a plane, you have to begin bracing for sober traveling the moment you arrive at the airport. Try to find a quiet place to relax away from the masses before your flight. An empty gate is an ideal place or even a religious place of reflection if the airport has one. Once you are on the plane, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Do not forget to bring healthy snacks. Airlines are improving their health standards; however, they are still lacking in decent options and they are highly overpriced if you have to pay. And you can always meditate in your seat to help manage your temptation as the person next to you pounds drink after drink.

Avoid Triggers

Many people have to travel for work, weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties and more events filled with booze and temptation. If being around a bunch of intoxicated people is a trigger, avoid it. You can skip certain events such as networking events with drinks. Or you can always say no to a wedding or bachelor or bachelorette party, and send a lovely gift instead. If you do attend, you can stay at the reception for a short amount of time and leave early before the booze fest truly begins.

You may have some great memories from partying at hotels and while you travel, but those days are in the past. If you take these steps to stay sober while you travel, you will drastically increase your chances of success and still enjoy yourself.

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