sober summer

Sober Vacations

Sober Vacations: How to Travel and Stay on the Path to Recovery

Summer is here which, for many, means it’s the traveling season. Summer vacations, whether with family, with your spouse, or by yourself can be a great way to relax and recharge. It can also be a great way to get out and experience fun, new things.

However, for those who are sober, trying to plan a vacation while also maintaining your sobriety may seem like a daunting and stressful task. It is important to remember though that sober vacations can be just as fun as non-sober vacations. It’s all about knowing where to go, where not to go, and coming up with fun, sober things to do.

If you are thinking about taking a sober vacation this summer, keep reading to learn some tips and tricks.

Can You Take a Truly Sober Vacation?

The short answer is yes, not only can you take a truly sober vacation but you can have fun doing it as well. While taking a truly sober vacation may take a little bit more planning, especially if you are going with others who may not be sober, it can be done.

It’s important to remember though when planning a sober vacation, if you are going with others, make sure everyone else in the group is not only supportive but is also willing to respect your wishes when it comes to staying sober and participating only in sober activities as a group.

What Are Vacation Triggers?

A vacation trigger happens is a catalyst that can cause a person to start thinking about or even using drugs or alcohol again. Some common examples of vacation triggers include:

  • Anywhere where alcohol is present and plentiful such as bars and nightclubs
  • Crowded areas
  • Locations that are famously known for their drug and alcohol use
  • Places that may remind you of your time using
  • Participating in activities that you used to do while drinking or doing drugs

What Can I Do to Avoid Triggers?

While eliminating triggers isn’t always possible or realistic, there are certain things you can do while you are on vacation to try and avoid any sort of triggers or temptations as much as possible.

Before even leaving for vacation it is important to have a plan in place, not just for sober things you are going to do, but also a plan for what you will do should you find yourself in an environment where you are experiencing triggers.

It is also important to be open and honest with everyone you will be traveling with as it pertains to your sobriety. Let them know that while they don’t necessarily have to stay sober the entire time that you won’t be participating and that you don’t want them to put you in any uncomfortable or possibly tempting positions.

Additionally, before leaving for vacation you may want to do some research and find the times and locations for support group meetings in the area where you will be vacationing should you feel like you need to attend a meeting while you are traveling.

It’s important to note as well, that while nobody that is sober plans on relapsing, should a relapse occur while you are on vacation, having a relapse plan in place in advance is crucial.

sober vacations

Where To Go on a Vacation Sober

For the most part, you can turn any location into a sober destination. That being said, there are certain places where maintaining a sober vacation may be easier than others.

Some great sober vacation destinations include:

Vacationing in nature may be the easiest way to ensure that you take a truly sober vacation because you are in complete control of what is brought out into the wilderness. Places like national parks, mountain ranges, and hiking trails can be great vacation destinations because not only do they promote sobriety but they also allow you to become one with nature

Resorts that focus specifically on wellness are great places to take sober vacations because they often don’t even allow alcohol or substances on the property. These resorts are also great for focusing on your overall well-being offering things such as yoga, meditation, and spa treatments.

Go to a city or town that is rich in culture and simply get lost in it all for a few days. You can visit museums and art galleries, and go on historical tours as a way to learn more about the place you are visiting.

Where Can I Learn More About Vacationing Sober?

If you’re looking for more information and resources on vacationing sober, there are several organizations and websites dedicated to supporting individuals in recovery including:

  • Sober Vacations International – Specializes in planning and organizing sober travel experiences, providing options for individuals and groups seeking substance-free vacations.
  • Soberocity – An online platform that offers information, resources, and a directory of sober-friendly travel destinations and activities.
  • Travel Sober – A community-driven website where individuals in recovery share their travel experiences, tips, and recommendations for sober vacations.

And as we have mentioned, a sober vacation can be anywhere you go where you make a point to maintain your sobriety.

Sober Vacations: A Fresh Start to a New Life at Granite Mountain

While taking a sober vacation can be a fun new experience, it can’t be done without first achieving sobriety. At Granite Mountain, we understand that the first step to leading a clean and sober life is getting sober.

For those struggling with substance abuse and addiction, we offer a variety of treatment programs including inpatient and outpatient treatment for substances including:

If you or a loved one requires addiction treatment in Arizona, or simply looking for ideas for enjoying a sober vacation, contact us today.

Article Reviewed by Ben Isenberg


I am Benjamin Isenberg, originally hailing from Eugene, Oregon, renowned for the University of Oregon Ducks, my beloved alma mater. I spent my formative 28 years in the picturesque Oregon before eventually establishing my home in Prescott, Arizona, alongside my wife and three stepchildren. Our family also includes two dogs, three cats, and two guinea pigs – quite the lively household, one could say.

My upbringing was marked by a nurturing environment. I was homeschooled until middle school, at which point I transitioned to a private Christian school. This early educational foundation equipped me for the challenges of high school. I attended Churchill High School in West Eugene, where I excelled, achieving a 3.9 GPA and earning recognition in the National Honor Society. My academic endeavors led me to the University of Oregon, where I was granted a partial scholarship. In 2006, I proudly graduated with degrees in sociology and business, alongside a certificate in the Substance Abuse Prevention Program (SAPP).

Following my collegiate journey, I began my career with my father's commercial and residential maintenance company. In this role, I undertook a diverse range of tasks, including parking lot sweeping, janitorial work, window cleaning, hard surface floor maintenance, and professional residential and commercial carpet cleaning. This period instilled in me a strong work ethic and an unwavering commitment to excellence, qualities that would serve me well in the years ahead.

In 2012, I made a life-altering decision to relocate to Prescott, Arizona, where I embarked on a new chapter. Starting afresh, I initially worked as a server, earning a humble minimum wage. With just two suitcases and a backpack to my name, my financial situation was modest, to say the least. It was during this period that I resolved to transition into the field of behavioral health, specifically as a neurofeedback EEG technician. This journey introduced me to the complexities of the human brain, mental health, and addiction.

Simultaneously, I embraced the role of an entry-level Behavioral Health Technician (BHT) at the same behavioral health company. In this capacity, I provided guidance and life skills support to eight individuals living in a residential setting, assisting them in regaining their independence and self-sufficiency. Over time, I assumed multiple roles within the organization, culminating in my work with the Algamus Gambling program, offering aid to those affected by problem gambling.

A pivotal opportunity then presented itself, leading me to accept a position at an intensive outpatient treatment facility within the behavioral health sphere. As the first full-time employee at the facility, I operated under the licensure of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). My role evolved into that of a life coach, where I managed a caseload of 15-20 individual sessions per week, in addition to conducting five three-hour group sessions weekly. As the company expanded, I took on increased administrative responsibilities, ultimately clocking over 60 hours of work each week. My trajectory within the organization led me from Administrative Director to Program Director, and finally, to Executive Director.

A significant turning point occurred when the majority owner of the company tragically passed away in an auto accident, casting uncertainty over the company's future. The ownership group approached me, extending an offer of a sweat equity deal to continue and develop the program. This marked the birth of Summit Behavioral Health of Arizona LLC, an entity focused on Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), and Outpatient Programs (OP), all accompanied by structured sober living options. Through our array of services, we have aided countless individuals in their recovery journeys from addiction and mental health challenges. It was in this role that I discovered my true life's purpose.

Today, through collaborative efforts and effective organizational strategies, as well as the grace of God, the company I am honored to help lead has grown to become one of the largest AHCCCS Medicaid behavioral health providers in Yavapai County and the northern region. We now offer 48 male and female residential beds, 77 male/female Transitional IOP beds, and 72 male and female structured sober living beds. We have also introduced structured sober living for families and are soon to add residences for adolescents and those with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Our progress has been marked by teamwork, effective organization, and divine intervention.

Presently, I serve as the Director of Compliance and hold a stake in Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, a subsidiary of Summit Behavioral Health of AZ LLC. My journey, which began with little direction, scant financial resources, and minimal material possessions, has been shaped by the principles of hard work, faith, and a commitment to the recovery process. I have emerged as a dedicated member of society, a devoted father, and a loving husband.

Beyond my professional pursuits, I hold a deep passion for sports, particularly football, weightlifting, and a range of hobbies such as woodworking, snowboarding, shooting, and fishing etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.