How to Stay on Track When You’re on Holiday
Escaping the daily grind for the relaxation of a holiday might seem like a sensible idea when you’re trying to quit smoking. But between the hassle of airport security and the strain of finding your hotel, holidays can actually be very stressful. Preparing for these situations, and taking steps to avoid your triggers, can help you to stay on track with quitting smoking when you’re on holiday.
Research your destination in advance
Although often not as strict as the restrictions found in the UK, many countries now enforce some form of smoking ban in public places. Doing your research before you travel can help you to stay smoke-free during your holiday. Simple things like asking for a non-smoking hotel room, or finding non-smoking bars and restaurants in the local area can make a big difference. If you’re finding it hard to avoid smokers during your trip, make sure you aren’t caught off-guard by your cravings. Keep your preferred stop smoking aid, like your NICORETTE® QuickMist 1mg Mouthspray with you on hand, to fight any cravings that may break through.
Be prepared for the plane
You may not be surprised to hear that smoking on planes has been restricted for nearly 20 years now, but many smokers and ex-smokers struggle with cravings while in the air. Prepare in advance by equipping yourself with tools and coping strategies before you fly, so you don’t need to instantly light up a cigarette when you land.
If the airline allows it, take some healthy snacks on board, so you can reach for them when the cravings hit. You could also try packing a NICORETTE® Inhalator into your hand luggage. Held just like a cigarette, the Inhalator keeps your hands busy, and can help to relieve your cigarette cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Unlike e-cigarettes, the NICORETTE® Inhalator can be used on planes and other public transport.
Cut back on alcohol
For many people, alcohol and smoking go hand in hand, and having a cigarette can be very tempting when you’re drinking. Alcohol impairs your judgment, and makes you far less likely to make rational decisions, so even when you’re committed to quitting, drinking can make it more difficult to stay strong.
Ideally, you should try to avoid alcohol completely – and any other triggers – for the first few weeks of nicotine withdrawal. Replace your beachside cocktail with a “mocktail”, or your glass of wine with a soft drink. If avoiding alcohol completely isn’t what you’d call a holiday, then at least try to drink in moderation and be mindful of your self-control.
A good way to combat cravings is to keep yourself busy. When you arrive at your hotel, have a look for leaflets and brochures on activities you could try in the area. By quitting smoking, you may already have noticed your health beginning to improve in a number of ways, so make the most of this and try some healthy activities – like yoga on the beach or hiking in the local mountains. Even a quick swim in the hotel pool may be enough to distract you from any cravings you’re experiencing.
You could also try keeping something in your pocket or bag that can occupy your hands when you want to smoke. Whether it’s a puzzle or a stress ball, it’s good to have something on hand to take your mind off cigarettes.
Pick your travel partners wisely
Being around other smokers when you’re trying to quit can be difficult at the best of times, but when you’re travelling with them it can be even more difficult to escape the temptation.
If you’re going away with a partner or friend who smokes, why not suggest attempting to quit together for the holiday? If this isn’t possible, try speaking to your partner or friends who do smoke and ask them to smoke away from you while you are on holiday together. Keep a book, or headphones and a good playlist, with you, so that you have something to do when they go outside to smoke.
Relax and recharge
Holidays should be all about relaxing and letting your day to day worries slip away. But no matter how relaxed you feel, cravings can creep up on you when you least expect it. Trying some mindfulness techniques can help you to accept the negative emotions, stress, and cravings associated with quitting smoking. Instead of giving in to them and smoking, mindfulness can help you to realise that they will pass and help you to move on from them. You can do many of these exercises from anywhere (including your sun lounger). Check out our guide to mindfulness for some exercises you could try while you’re on holiday (or anywhere).