I live in Las Vegas, one of the most famous party destinations in the world. A common question I get from my clients and people who follow my adventures around the globe on Instagram is: How do I travel while sober and still have fun? Whatever your situation might be, you can become a person who travels sans alcohol and still has the time of your life. Sometimes the hardest part of traveling is the anticipation in our minds of what it will be like. Before traveling, begin visualizing how you want the trip to go and see yourself at your destination experiencing joy instead of worrying about not drinking or what could go wrong.
If it helps, remember that FOMO is much easier to deal with than a hangover from hell. Next up on the possible obstacles for sober vacations is, of course, the airport insert Jaws music for full effect. For most people, the airport is full of triggers, from the security lines that push all your buttons, to the bars that line the terminals, to the mini nips of alcohol on the plane that you swear might have actually called your name out loud. Get a table and order water or a seltzer straightaway.
Put music on in your headphones on the plane immediately to help with any anxiety before take off, and close your eyes to breathe. Be prepared with tons of games, books, podcasts, movies, or anything else that will keep you occupied for the duration of the flight. I always travel with a water bottle and my own snacks so I have something to sip on and don't have to order anything if I don't want to.
This also prevents dehydration and hunger, which can both send cravings to your body that mimic wanting a drink. I remember one of my first sober international trips was to Amsterdam and I knew I needed to have things planned out for my mornings so I wouldn't be tempted to seek out the nightlife scene. So I researched some yoga studios around the flat I was renting and picked out some classes to take. This might be a friend or loved one or it could be a sponsor or therapist.
Coffee dates with sober peeps are great opportunities to engage in conversations that usually go deeper than small talk and can help you connect with people you may have only known from the Internet. One of my favorite things to do in new places is reach out to people in my social media circles and bring online relationships to life. Be willing to sit some things out and break away to do things you want to do if the people you are traveling with have different ideas of how to spend their time. I used to seek parties over culture and alcohol over, well, everything when I traveled. That is, until I quit drinking and my priorities shifted.
When you change what you look for, the things you look for change. Trips start to become much more focused on taking in the smells, food, character, and ambiance of our surroundings when our minds are less clouded. So often our vacations revolve around partying, which tend to leave us feeling exhausted instead of refreshed.
Traveling sober is a chance to redefine your vacation goals and rather than using it as an excuse to go wild, you can choose to use your time to recharge and spoil yourself. Always remember to bask in your hangover-free mornings on vacation by doing a quick gratitude practice and meditation when you wake up to keep yourself in the right frame of mind.
One of my favorite things to do now on trips is spend money on spa days instead of popping bottles. All that money saved can go towards a massage or facial. Spa-ing is a staple of sober vacations that can completely transform the focal point of your trip. Another fun idea is to indulge in a gift for yourself with the money you save from not buying alcohol.
It was a news flash when I realized there were sights to see beyond the pool bar. Look for shows, museums, national monuments, or art exhibits you might like to see that are one-of-a-kind and will help you stay excited about your visit. Even when making dinner reservations, look for places with unique atmospheres that are easy on the eyes—and ideally have a cool mocktail menu.
Overall, remember to stay committed to giving yourself the perspective of seeing a new place with clear eyes. By choosing to be a sober traveler you are also making the choice to not let alcohol or any possible resulting shame or regret take away from your memories. Sign up for our Newsletter and join us on the path to wellness. I didn't sleep well and sweated all night. This morning I had the shakes and dry heaves. But if I don't stop I will lose my job.
Just need the courage to say no to alcohol and the very temporary relief it brings. Why is it so hard? It's even difficult to type this. My heart is beating really quickly and my chest hurts. The thought of food makes me want to vomit. Uncontrollable shaking, hallucinations of people and spiders, all my vision cutting out or going into a tunnel-like view, and a fear of falling over dead at any moment.
Scared, I went to the hospital. Blood pressure was over and heart rate at BPM lying at rest. They stabilized me with a bunch of IV meds and admitted me for alcohol detox. Shaking so bad I can hardly type, can barely stand up, can't eat or sleep. Might be time for a trip to the ER. Vomiting, diarrhea, shakes, pins and needles in my hands and feet, anxiety, terror—the list goes on and on.
My skin is so dry and I have redness all around my mouth and nose. And I have a terrible sore throat from all the vomiting. This sucks. Many withdrawal symptoms can be greatly reduced by consulting a health care provider and taking medication to relieve symptoms. Going into the second day of abstinence from alcohol, people reported a wide variety of experiences. For some, their symptoms are already subsiding, while others are beginning to experience more severe symptoms.
As you also can see from these reports, those who seek medical attention get some relief. Doctors can prescribe medications to reduce the likelihood of experiencing shakes and anxiety during alcohol withdrawal and they can also give you something to help you sleep. It is actually now. I am bored, folding laundry, and craving a glass of wine. My anxiety is high and I hate it! But I know it gets much worse. My jaws hurt as well, but possibly that's from tension. Already I feel better and hope every day continues that way.
I do feel better than yesterday, though. Visiting the toilet is becoming less frequent, even managed to get a small meal in me. Shakes, sweats and insomnia. I even feel I am hearing noises that don't exist. Anyways I talked to my doctor and she prescribed a small dose of Valium to help me pull through. It seems to be helping and I am taking small doses. I hope tomorrow I won't need it. I think I'm doing ok because of deep breathing when the anxiety creeps up. Going at a snail's pace. Haven't really had a full meal yet, but I did hear my stomach growl so I boiled up some eggs.
Waiting for my sight to clear up. I may have to break out the glasses. Hoping that helps me sleep tonight! Even if it does not, I will continue to power through. Pounding headache, shakes, feeling feverish, and crazy mood swings all of a sudden bursting into tears. As well as many visual and tactile hallucinations. Massive sweats and tremors. I managed the seizure on my own. I was advised to cut down first as opposed to going cold turkey which I've done in the past.
Maybe a seizure. Sudden sharp pains in the head. Visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. Couldn't walk right. I'm scared I've seriously damaged myself mentally. Now I am shaking so bad I can barely type. I have never made it past 2 days because of this, so I hope it gets better soon. Shaking so bad I couldn't walk, anxiety attack that convinced me I was having a stroke on the way to the hospital! It was awful and I will try to hold it close, but already fighting the urge to stop for a 12 pack on my way home! I'm so worried about my health, I have been having this pain on the right side upper level by ribs, I'm afraid is my liver.
I do have night sweats but not hallucinations thank God! Head bursting - feels like blood pressure. Heart palpitations, sweats. Looked up one time and thought someone was standing over me. Got up and laid in bed with the light on until about five in the morning. I will try and sleep with the lights on all night tonight. Today, I've felt depressed, fatigued and I have a slight headache.
I've been seeing shadows flicker here and there, that started approximately 12 hours ago. My bones are killing me, this is the most anxious I've ever been. I honestly feel like I'm dying.
As day 3 begins, alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin to ease up for some who've quit drinking, but for others, they're just beginning to get intense. For others, the same symptoms they had on day one continue and they begin to ask, "How long does this last? For those who symptoms begin to increase on day three, the urge to drink to relieve those withdrawal symptoms can become overwhelming. For many, it's very difficult to get past the third day of unrelenting shakes and sweats without picking up a drink. No major symptoms.
This is to let folks know that not everyone has severe physical symptoms. I have plans to get some yard work done so that will keep me busy. I have had it before with drinking but it is also worse sober. I also have cold clammy skin while feeling hot flashes. I feel sometimes as if I have earmuffs on. I have had none of the horrific symptoms some of you have had.
In fact, I have had no adverse symptoms as yet I know it's early days though. I'm relieved but quite frankly surprised as I drink a lot more than some. I was embarrassed to leave the house today so I have been holed up in my apartment. Went from shaky to wanting to scream all day. I almost talked myself into 'just one more' several times, but somehow made it through. Still "foggy" in the head and have had some nausea and sweats but not unbearable.
Feel much better than I do after a night of drinking, which up until now has been nearly every day for 3 years. Day 2 still fuzzy head can't focus on work, feel tired and very high anxiety. This is day 3 and I feel better, still no motivation and nervous. I looked at my hands and was shaky and I remembered earlier I checked my pulse because it felt like my heart was racing. The second day I was worried that I had the stomach flu. The third day when I was heaving my guts out I knew something else was going on.
I called my doctor and she sent me to the ER for fluids and blood tests. Alcohol withdrawal. I never heard of it before. I have just had to surf the urges , keep busy and use all my strength. These are getting better slowly, but anxiety is a new one for me at least.
My mind has been racing all day and I can't concentrate on anything today. I just keep going from one thing to the next nonstop. It's driving me crazy. The shakes have minimized. I feel better I actually ate three meals yesterday. I hope this gets better and the headaches disappear. Guilt, depressed , tired, nauseous. Allover feeling of malaise. My energy level was so low I couldn't make myself anything to eat but was able to throw some fruit into a bowl.
I drank tons of water. Didn't take much energy to get that into a glass from the tap. The DTs were absolutely terrible. I barely remember all of it except lying in my bed for days with the shades drawn never really knowing what time or even what day it was.
I remember feeling like I was going crazy and rolling around on my mattress in a dazed state of confusion and anxiety. Sometimes I'd call out things because I'd think someone was speaking to me, but there was no one there and my roommate determined I was having auditory hallucinations. I smell horrible, even after a bath. Well, hours 6 through 48 were the worst, with all the vomiting and shaking. I still feel very sick and weak, and a little shaky, but I was sober before and will make it there again.
I freak out and my heart races at every little noise in my home. I have night sweats so bad and when I wake up. Then all day I am freezing. I am constantly shaking and recently felt my heart racing I felt I was having a heart attack. But I would have to say last night was worse, I was having auditory hallucinations that woke me up out of my sleep.
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For those who do make it through day three of alcohol withdrawal symptoms without taking a drink, day 4 for many brings relief from their most severe symptoms. However, for some day 4 is just the beginning of their withdrawal nightmare. Those who experience the most severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations and seizures , don't begin to have those symptoms until day 4 or 5. As you can see from the comments below, day-4 experiences can vary widely from one person to the next. Withdrawals seem to be gone, except for not being able to sleep but I have never been very good at that.
Best night's sleep in some time. Weird dreams but not too nasty and scary. Feel a little weak but I did avoid food for about four days. Very reflective still. So many blackouts down the years. No tummy upset. No headache. No run-down feeling. Yay for day 4! This is the longest without a drink for years. I can do it. I must do it. The first few hours of withdrawals, this time, were much more intense than my previous bout but they only lasted about 24 hours.
When I quit a few weeks ago it lasted like 8 days. I had incredible gas pains for the first 3 days. I do still have that awful feeling like at any second I am going to go crazy. Luckily my biggest withdrawals are insomnia and very itchy skin, all over face, arms, legs, back. One concern I have is my swollen abdomen and well my body in general. Insomnia is the worst thing now. The anxiety, sweats, and nausea in the morning have lessened a bit now. Just hanging on thinking if I make it a week it will be an accomplishment.
I am hoping that means I may finally sleep tonight. For me, the toughest parts of quitting are the vomiting dry heaves , insomnia and anxiety. Some withdrawal symptoms still present - anxiety and faster heart rate. Most of the sweating has subsided, and I actually forced myself to exercise yesterday to try and sweat more out. Had to wash my sheets because they stunk from heavy withdrawals earlier this week.
Got my appetite back finally, so that has been nice. I feel like trying to exercise really helps with the anxiety and sleeplessness. I still have trouble sleeping and crave alcohol especially at night but I finally am beginning to feel like a human again! I thought I was going to die. The sweating cold then hot. I keep air on with a fan on me with a blanket nearby. The dreams and visions with eyes open terrified me. I just got my first morning sleep at a. I was up straight the last 3 days.
I am never going through these shakes, dreams, itching and sweats again. Anxiety, headache, jaw pain, diarrhea, moody and emotional. On day four and I am feeling a little brighter, though I have decided to go to work later today so I could have a good rest this morning. I am very paranoid and don't know why, peeking out windows an not thinking rationally. Last night I felt like I was coming out of my skin. I haven't dreamed in years, always unconscious rather than asleep I guess.
I can't have been good for my mental health. She drove me and the kids to the ER. My eyes had double vision, I was hallucinating and from what they said, I wanted to bite everything and everyone. I woke up in a strange, different hospital. The worst time for craving is early evening.
Freaked out! There are two times during alcohol withdrawal that people trying to quit are most tempted to take another drink. One is when the symptoms get really bad and the other is when they start feeling better. If the withdrawal symptoms persist for five days, many will give in and take a drink to get some relief. That's why you hear some people say they have quit for three or four days a hundred times. Ironically, for other drinkers, it's when day 4 and 5 bring some relief from the worse symptoms that they're tempted to drink: They forget the pain and tell themselves one little drink won't hurt.
As you can see from the comments below, withdrawals are different for everyone. Some are finally able to get some sleep at day 5, while others still have problems sleeping. Didn't sleep great last night but tonight will be good. I've been on day 5 hundreds of times before so I'm not fooling anybody yet but this feels new. Hard time getting to sleep but when I did around in the morning it was the best real sleep I've had in months. The worst thing for me was becoming irritable and snapping at people but I know it's because I wanted my drug but I had to tell myself it's all in the mind.
If I was going to sweat as part of the withdrawal it would be at the gym. If I had toxins I was going to work it out. So far day 5 and no withdrawal symptoms. For me, it was exercise and sauna. I actually got 8 hours of sleep last night. Well now that most of the physical symptoms have gone away, time to work at staying sober. This is usually where I mess up and drink because I am feeling better and think I can handle it.
I know I can't. Convulsions maybe? I'm so exhausted, though, and nauseated, I would probably get sick if I had a drink.
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I have noticed the cravings for sugar, raw sugar snap peas take the edge off that, for me anyway. Feels like the mild flu. But the tension is unbelievable. I'm having more problems with stress , losing my temper and generally being horrible to my loved ones. Also, heart palpitations. I also completely lost my appetite and was having problems chewing and swallowing solid food. I woke with the same hung-over feeling as yesterday. My appetite is off and I have had diarrhea the last couple of days. I'm through it now and never want to go back there. I already feel a sense of freedom from the alcohol.
Less shaky, but cannot sleep. I sweat, terrible nightmares, and leg cramps along with the stomach bloating and side cramping, although the right side cramping has subsided a bit. Takes forever to get to sleep and I'm waking up too early. Worst headache yet today but I'm drinking so much coffee that I'm starting to wonder if it may be the caffeine.
As of yet not too much anxiety. I've lost a few pounds but I had a few pounds to lose so I'm okay with that. I got two hours sleep then woke up with a nightmare, lay staring at the ceiling until morning. The physical symptoms are still there though diminished a bit. Now it is the patterns I must address.
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Today made that clear. I think I have only had 3 hours of sleep in all this time, hoping tonight will be better. It's been getting better by the day, but this morning again I feel a bit nauseous and getting hot and cold sweats. My back hurts and my body is achy. I sweat through the day can't think clearly, irritable and mad about everything.
I can't sleep I wake up constantly and have horrible nightmares. Day 6 of no alcohol consumption means most of the more severe withdrawal symptoms have subsided significantly, but some nagging symptoms can persist. As you have seen through days 1 through 5 of alcohol abstinence, sleep plays a big role in withdrawal. Quitting alcohol consumption affects drinkers' sleep patterns differently. Some are able to return to normal sleep patterns after a few days, while others struggle with getting a good night's sleep long after they quit drinking. That could be because they didn't have normal sleep patterns, to begin with.
Or, daily drinking can cause disruptions in sleep , so quitting suddenly can be a shock to the system. After six days of sobriety, these people report vastly different experiences with sleep and other alcohol withdrawal symptoms. No more sweating and headaches, and I've actually had 3 nights of sound sleep. It's amazing how different I feel. For me, I bought into the myth of the highly functioning alcoholic, thinking I must be one because I haven't hit bottom and haven't lost everything.
But on my day 1, I had to be out in public, shakes and baggy eyes and all. I felt transparent and embarrassed. I am still deep in the woods I know, but there is a clear road out, just have to stay on it no matter what. I see my triggers and I work through them.
I'm always thirsty and drink a lot of water. I'm still not sleeping through the night but I'm sure time will help. Now I'm doing much better. The biggest problem for me right now is that I get morning anxiety attacks for the past days but they are getting less and less. I actually sleep better now than when I was drinking. My problem is the mood swings, I have an irrational rage and sometimes want to destroy everything around me.
I have a constant feeling of restlessness in my surroundings. The first 12 hours were horrible! Shaking uncontrollably, sweating, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. The doctor gave me lorazepam to take the edge off. I think I was in a chemically-induced coma for those days. I hardly remember anything. I remember having a "fall risk" bracelet on my wrist because I couldn't walk by myself. I was so dizzy and couldn't catch my balance. Have had a few temptations. Feel really moody and snapping at people, just hope they understand.
Every day when I drive home from work I get a panicked feeling and I would tell myself if I could just make it home I could have a beer or a glass of wine as soon as I walk in the door. Well, this work week I had to come up with something else to look forward to when I got home. I'm tired of feeling so out of focus, I hope I get sharper soon. I hope my typing skills return and the ability to eat and carry on meaningful conversations. But I do notice it's getting better every day. I am happy to say that on day six my blood pressure is normal again. I still have a tingly numb sensation in my arm.
I kept checking my bed for ants or any insect that seemed to be biting me hallucination. My eyes feel tight and on fire. I'm so thirsty. I keep drinking water and warm tea! Helps a lot. But what scared me the most was a nightmare that continued, even after I awoke in complete panic; I saw and heard my "nightmare" running on the walls and ceilings. But it passed, and I continued forward. Very slight discomfort in the chest occasionally. No sweating. Disturbed sleep? But I guess in a few days I should be fine. For the vast majority of people, the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have passed by day 7.
For most people, after a week of abstinence, the main symptom they have to face is craving for alcohol. After seven days the battle becomes more psychological, than physical for most people who quit drinking. That's the time when having the help of professional counseling or a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous can be of benefit.
However, for some, the physical symptoms will continue even after seven days. If you're still experiencing physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms after a week, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. As you can see below, people who were still having physical symptoms after seven days regretted not seeking medical help.
I'm just trying to focus on not this drink, not today. That said, I hope never to forget how much damage I felt in four days of drink. My physical cravings are somewhat subsiding. I have the psychological urges. More like a bad habit. I'm used to stopping off to buy a couple of bottles on my way home from the office.