Sober Vacations International History
In the summer of 1987, our president and founder, Steven Abrams, faced a dilemma. He was a well-seasoned vacationer, highly experienced in the travel industry. Newly sober, however, he worried about the temptations typically associated with travel. Counting on the principle of strength in numbers, he decided to reach out to his fellow friends in recovery to organize a group trip. The response was overwhelming.
Over 200 vacationers embarked to Ixtapa, Mexico, in May of 1988.
Alcohol-Free Camaraderie and Community
After that first trip, Steve realized that many individuals in recovery were seeking a safe environment in which to travel. Sober Vacations International (SVI), a specialized travel company dedicated to providing alcohol-free vacations for sober individuals and their loved ones, was now formed.
“It isn’t the availability of alcohol that matters,” he explains, “It’s the availability of people who understand.”
The concept resonated with hundreds of travelers. By 1989 (and only our third trip), SVI had enough vacationers to book an entire Club Med destination. Nestled in the pink sand beaches of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, the group soon christened their location “Sober Village” and the name stuck.
SVI: Largest of its Kind
Since our inaugural visit to Ixtapa, SVI has hosted over 30,000 vacationers and organized over 150 trips, making it the largest company specializing in alcohol-free vacations. Over 85% of our clients are repeat travelers; many have journeyed with SVI annually for nearly 30 years.
To support this remarkable growth, Max Abrams, Steve’s son, was brought on as VP of Marketing and Development in 2010. Today, SVI has now grown to average six trips a year, with at least one destination to a designated Sober Village. SVI destinations span across the globe: from Alaska to Africa, Puerto Vallarta to Prague and numerous spectacular locales in between. Sober Vacations also offers recreation-based trips throughout the United States, including snow skiing in Utah, golfing in Scottsdale, and white river rafting in the Grand Canyon.
Sober Doesn’t Need to be Somber
SVI actively dispels the misconception that getting sober means giving up enjoyment. As Steve explains, “Sober Vacations is a celebration of life and sobriety.”
Visitors to one of our Sober Villages typically take part in a variety of activities, including scuba diving, water skiing, sailing, wind surfing, tennis, yoga, and volleyball. All our vacations offer multiple 12-step meetings. Fostering an environment of support, fellowship, self care and most importantly – FUN – is SVI’s primary focus.
Join in the Fun! Contact SVI today!
To learn more about Sober Vacations International or inquire about one of our breathtaking destinations, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-762-3738.