After going through substance abuse and drug rehabilitation treatment at upscale rehab centers, it is important to ensure that you develop positive patterns of behavior that will prevent exposures to triggers that led to the substance abuse problem. Even though you’ll be preoccupied with taking care of your personal and professional obligations, it is still important to ensure you take time to unwind and recharge your system.

Vacationing can expose you to the triggers that led to the drug and alcohol abuse problem. Sober vacationing is one way you can condition yourself to have fun without the alcohol and the substances that you are trying to get rid off from your system.

This article looks at some of the top sober destinations around the world, and how to avoid a relapse while you are vacationing.

Caribbean Cruise

Most people picture the sandy beaches, palm trees, and a relaxing seaside scene when you mention the word vacation. The nature of such vacations is that it provides a relaxing feel to counter the distress that is often experienced by someone who is trying to overcome their substance abuse or alcohol addiction problem.

Unfortunately, going to the beach or seaside resorts could also expose you to the alcohol and the drugs. A sober cruise through the Caribbean is one of the ways you can unwind without exposing yourself to these risks. These cruises strictly prohibit alcohol and drugs, therefore, keeping recovering addicts from accessing drugs and alcohol and therefore preventing a relapse.

These cruises have different packages that allow you to share a cabin with friends or family, or have a cabin by yourself. If you choose to go with friends make sure they understand that you are trying to remain sober and that access to alcohol and drugs is not part of your vacation.

Vacationing in Sri Lanka

Some people prefer to travel to some middle-eastern or Asian country for a vacation due to the reduced exposure to drugs that is possible due to religious and cultural reasons. Sri Lanka is one such destination that is becoming popular with sober vacationers. The country is an Island nation located to the south of India.

You’ll have many things to see and do in Sri Lanka. The island nation has a diverse landscape which includes rainforests, beaches, and arid plains. There are many places that are ideal for sightseeing and trekking. There are also a number of historical sites to see such as the temple of the sacred, old town of Galle, and Lipton’s seat, which should keep you busy while touring the island.


Malaysia is another Asian country that has strict rules on alcohol and drugs. Muslims in the country are prohibited from taking alcohol. The state, however, recognizes the rights of non-Muslims to take alcohol and there are establishments that sell alcoholic drinks although they are subjected to heavy taxes and strict regulations.

Malaysia is a big country with a multi-ethnic population. You could visit Kuala Lumpur and see multiple sites in this growing metropolis. Alcohol is much easier to access in the capital with its multiple establishments that host people from various ethnic groups and cultures. There are many sites to see in the countryside where alcohol and drugs are not easily accessible. Here you can sample the Malaysian cuisine which is in itself a reflection of the multi-ethnic nature of this nation.

Vacation in Mexico

Mexico has sober resorts for vacationers who want to go for a break much closer home. Resorts like the Casa Hamaca guest house in Yucatan provide private suites, access to beautiful beaches and a chance to get a taste of the Mexican cuisine and culture. These resorts are strictly meant for sober vacationers.

Mexico has many historical sites and landmarks. Take a trip to the Mayan pyramids and marvel at the wonders of this ancient culture. There are also national parks, museums, and ruins that tell the story from the times of the Mayan civilization to the Spanish invasion.


Even though there is alcohol sold in many Japanese establishments, the culture in Japan is such that they do not push alcohol on the menu as they do in the United States. You can enjoy a lot of delicious foods thanks to Japans’ extensive cuisine. There are also lots of historic sites to see.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is another exciting destination that is popular with tourists from America. There are even luxury rehab centers situated here that take advantage of the exotic sites to provide recovering addicts with a serene and therapeutic environment.

San Antonio, Texas

This is one of the best places to vacation in the United States.  The city which was founded as a Spanish mission in the early 18th century has a lot of sites to see. You can tour the Alamo, visit the King William historic visit or take a stroll through the many sites within the vicinity of the city.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a city where there are a lot of drinkers. However, it also happens to have a thriving recovery community. If you are looking to go to a place where there is access to recovery support while on vacation, Boston has thousands of NA and AA meetings throughout the city.

San Francisco, California

The advantage with this city is its openness and an environment that is conducive to new visitors. There are rehabilitation centers as well as AA and NA meetups which cater for the LGBT community. The city has many sites to keep you busy while there.

Denver, Colorado

If you enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, skiing, whitewater rafting and snowboarding, Denver Colorado is the place to vacation. The city has come to be known as the Mile High City thanks to the wide range of outdoor activities it offers. There are also a number of historic sites and landmarks such as the Colorado Capitol building, and Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

How to Avoid a Relapse While Vacationing

Even if you choose to go to any of these destinations you can still be exposed to alcohol and substance abuse. To avoid a relapse there are several tips that can help you remain sober.

Stay Busy

Staying away from drugs and alcohol requires developing a structure that prevents certain patterns of thought and behavior that bring you closer to abuse. Staying busy is one way you can prevent your mind from gravitating towards destructive behavior.

Staying busy involves organizing your itinerary to ensure you don’t allow yourself to have significant periods of idleness. Take time to choose destinations that have enough of the activities and sites you’d love to explore while vacationing. Maintaining a consistent routine is critical especially if you vacation right after rehabilitation. The day-to-day structure you create at this time will have an effect on your life for months to come.


Vacations tend to imply lazing around on the beach and simply having a good time. It is, therefore, possible that you may fail to engage your physical self in activities that could reduce stress and prevent the distress that often leads to temptations. Consider choosing destinations that allow you to exercise and walk. Hiking, biking, or playing beach volleyball are some of the activities that could prove to be therapeutic while you are on your sober vacation.


Take advantage of the beautiful sites, serene and private spaces to meditate. You could still be exposed to some of the stresses of your day to day life while you are on a tour in an exotic location. Meditation is now recognized by many rehabilitation centers as part of the alternative evidence-based therapies that could reduce distress often associated with substance and alcohol abuse.

Mindfulness meditation is one of the techniques that are effective and is easy to learn for people of all ages. It has been shown to be effective in reducing the effects of addiction and preventing a relapse. Also, remember to maintain a positive attitude free of guilt even as you have fun during your sober vacation.

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