Let’s Talk About Sober Vacation


March 24, 2022

Hi, sweet friends. Our spring break is next week and while we’re not jetting off to the beach, I know a lot of you are. It got me thinking about sober vacation…

I remember my first sober vacation so clearly. It was February 2020, just a few weeks before the entire world stopped for what felt like an eternity. I had only been sober 3 weeks, and I was still very much new to the whole idea of sobriety in general.

I still had WAY more questions than answers, and I felt so much anxiety going into our vacation.

After all, I had only known vacation with red wine! I mean, much less now that I was a mom of 3 kids and had hung up my party hat years ago, but I still couldn’t really imagine evenings at the beach without a glass of red wine in my hand while I snuggled on the couch with The Mister.

I kept an open mind going into the trip. I didn’t set an extreme limit of absolutely no drinking, knowing that would most likely backfire. My sobriety has never been about depriving myself or making my life less full.

Propelled by everything I’d been learning about alcohol and its effect on my mind and body, I knew that I did want to try to maintain my sobriety on vacation.

Instead of focusing on removing alcohol from the vacation, I tried to think about the things that didn’t involve alcohol that I could do that would make my vacation full and happy.

Running on the beach in the morning is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the whole world. Feeling the sea breeze on my face, the morning sun just starting to peek through the marine layer and the beach not yet packed with fellow vacationers, I feel my happiest when my feet are pounding on the packed sand. And, it’s a damn good workout.

I know from life experience that even just a few glasses of wine hinders my desire and ability to enjoy my early morning beach runs. And was the wine even worth it?

I was determined to find out.

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Suzanne wearing a swimsuit cover up, straw hat, sandals and sunglasses while holding a cup of coffee on the balcony overlooking the beach
Here I am on my first sober vacation! Siesta Key, Florida – February 2020

Well, is the part of the story where I spoil the ending: I remained sober on spring break and it further cemented my choice to remove alcohol from my life completely.

Because guess what??

MY SPRING BREAK WAS STILL SO MUCH FUN. And, dare I say it, even MORE fun because I was fully present to live it all. Every single second.

The first night there was the hardest. I had decided to stick to my sobriety, thinking of my beach run the next morning. I didn’t allow for the “Well, should I just have one glass…?” thoughts to creep in my mind. I took the option off of the table. I poured myself a kombucha in a wine glass and that was that. No more thinking about it.

Once I poured my Kombucha, there was no more thinking about alcohol. I didn’t have to! I was with people I love most in this world, hanging out at the beach, drinking a delicious drink. Life was good. It truly didn’t feel like anything was missing.

The next morning I was on cloud 9 and I went on one of the best runs of my life. I kept thinking, “Did I almost miss out on this? I never want to miss out on this.”

From then on, each night became easier. It became a foregone conclusion: I would not be drinking. I’ll choose a glorious run on the beach over a glass of red wine any damn day.

When I look back on that vacation, I’m so proud that I gave myself the chance to see that alcohol really had tricked me all those years. Alcohol was never the thing that made vacations fun.

What if you gave yourself a chance to see what vacation is actually like without alcohol?

What is your beach run?


"Tips for a sober vacation" graphic with a background of the beach
  1. Alexis says:

    I came for maternity clothing ideas but am HERE for the sober stories! I’m 5 years sober, and now run recovery groups for women’s, and just want you to know how impactful it is to share your story. Thank you SO much ❤️

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