Tips for Traveling While in Recovery

When people travel for any reason, whether for business or personal, a lot of regular routines and boundaries tend to fall. The gym gets neglected, diets are put on hold, and unknowns are present. Whether you are newly sober or have been in recovery for a while, it is important to follow these tips for traveling while in recovery to make sure you stay on track.

Bring Some Comforts of Home

Recreating your comfort zone on the road can make you feel more grounded while traveling. This can be anything from your pillow, your favorite throw blanket, a candle, or even your dog. It will add a personal touch to your hotel room so that it is more of a place you enjoy being, rather than just a room with a bed that you’re crashing in for a few nights. This can be especially helpful if you are traveling overseas, or to another location that you have never been to before, to bring a sense of familiarity to where you are staying.

Have a Plan for Downtime

Making sure you have a plan for your downtime is important while in recovery, and this is true whether you are at home or on the road. Downtime includes anything from waiting for your flight at the airport to relaxing in your hotel room at the end of the day. Just make sure you don’t over plan and overwhelm yourself. A couple of suggestions are:

  • Sightseeing. Before you leave, make an itinerary of things to do throughout your trip. Even if you’re on a business trip, read up on travel websites for things to check out in the area while you’ve got some free time. This can include hiking trails, museums, or other notable spots.
  • Media. Load up your phone, computer or iPad with some of your favorite movies or ebooks. You can do this through iTunes, a Kindle, or by using the download feature within Netflix or other streaming platforms. This way, you’re never left without something to entertain yourself with.
  • Self-care. Look into a local spa to make an appointment in, a concert to buy tickets to, or a yoga class to get a day pass at to give yourself some things to look forward to.

Look into Local Meetings and Groups

If you benefit from going to meetings, do some research before you go to find one near you. Go within the first 24 hours of your trip, if possible. Not only will this set the tone for the rest of your trip, but it will give you people to connect with while you’re there in case any triggers come your way.

Put Your Self-Care First

Make sure you listen to your body when you’re traveling while in recovery. This means not getting too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Make sure you’re still visiting the gym, eating right, connecting with your support system, and doing the things that help you destress.

Air travel can be especially stressful to the mind and body — making your flight on time, braving the security line, and dealing with the dehydration that airplanes bring — so consider getting into town a day early to give yourself time to rest and recharge before you go sightseeing or head to that business conference the next day.

Treat Yourself

Part of putting your self-care first while traveling might include treating yourself, especially when traveling while in recovery. Go get a massage at the spa, layout at the pool, fly first class, upgrade to a suite, or indulge in that delicious dessert at dinner. Giving yourself these little carrots throughout the trip will give you something to look forward to and will, no doubt, make you feel great.

Make Arrangements with Your Hotel

Once you’ve booked your hotel, give them a call ahead of time and make these arrangements:

  • Ask them to remove the minibar. Removing all the alcohol from your room will ensure that you won’t act immediately or give in to temptation, should a trigger arise. Once you get too confident in your recovery, problems arise, so don’t assume you can handle the minibar. Stay on the safe side and have it removed from your room entirely.
  • Ask for a late checkout. Most hotels require you leave before noon on the day of checkout. This can often lead to a chaotic morning of waking up, packing, and getting a ride to the airport. A great idea is to ask for a late checkout to eliminate this stress. It will give you more time to pack and leave, resulting in a more relaxed morning.

Keep Up With Your Routine

If you go to the gym every morning, make sure you stay at a hotel with a fitness center. If chamomile tea before bed helps you fall asleep, bring some along. Business trips can be stressful and vacations are meant as a break from reality, but make sure to have a bit of structure along with the spontaneity that comes along with traveling. This will keep your recovery on track and it will result in less time adjusting once you’re home.

About Cliffside Malibu

Traveling is stressful for anybody, but that stress can be especially damaging for someone in recovery. That is why it is very important to be prepared before traveling while in recovery. If a slip up does happen while on the road, make it your priority to handle it as soon as possible — even if you aren’t home yet.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for every client. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program also includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit