Should You Travel for Rehab? - Luxury Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers

First, we want to congratulate you for making the difficult decision to get help for addiction treatment. Secondly, we want to help you through your next challenging decision: choosing where to go for rehab.

Obviously, each rehab center has its own unique approach to addiction treatment. But, before you start comparing features, there’s something else to consider. Namely, should you travel for rehab?

It may seem a little silly to go to a distant city for treatment when there are rehab centers ten miles from your home. But there are actually a lot of benefits of being treated in an unfamiliar setting.

So, to help you understand your options, we’ve written you this guide. Read on to discover if traveling for rehab treatment is right for you.

Pros of Traveling For Rehab

Many patients purposely choose to be treated far away from home. Here are some reasons why this can be a good idea.

You’re Physically Removed From Many of Your Triggers

First of all, addiction is a routine. The locations you live and work in are an integral part of that routine.

For example, you know the usual hangout spots where you might obtain or abuse your substance of choice. You also know when you’re likely to use. You might, for example, start drinking every day the moment you get home from work.

There are also some typical, daily stressors that can trigger your addictive behavior. These, too, exist as part of your routine in your familiar locations. So, when you remove yourself from these locations, you’re also removing yourself from most of your triggers, too.

It’s More Difficult to Quit

Also, it can be quite easy to relapse during treatment when nothing else in your life has changed. If you still go to work and then come home as normal, you’re likely to use as you normally would, too. Furthermore, you might even decide to stay home and not go to rehab at all.

This is more difficult to do when you’re miles away from your comfort zone. By being further removed from home, it’s easier to get more attached to your treatment center.


Many recovering addicts don’t want a lot of people to know about this struggle they’re going through. Some are afraid others will judge them. And others just don’t like to talk about it with everyone.

That’s why it’s usually better for these patients to travel for rehab. If they’re treated locally, they’re more likely to run into someone they know. This is much less likely to happen at a distant rehab center.

Traveling For a Particular Treatment Type

Lastly, there are many different approaches to addiction rehab, including everything from spa treatment to animal-assisted therapy. Finding a rehab center with the particular type of treatment you’re looking for may require travel.

Cons of Traveling For Rehab

As great as these benefits are, they don’t come without a downside. Here are a few ways in which traveling for rehab could be a problem.

Unfamiliarity Could Be a Trigger

First of all, removing yourself from your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop a new comfort zone. You could be left with no comfort at all, which can make treatment even more stressful. So, unfortunately, the added stress of unfamiliarity could be enough to trigger a relapse.

Time/Monetary Cost

Traveling for rehab would most likely mean taking a leave of absence from work. However, this level of commitment isn’t always necessary for a successful recovery.

A lot of outpatient recovery programs are completed by patients who continue to live and work as normal. Getting treated at a distant rehab center might mean taking an unnecessary amount of time off of work.

This could also hurt your finances and cause undue stress. Plus, the cost of travel/possible hotel arrangements will further increase the total price of treatment.

Cut Off From Support

Recovering addicts are always encouraged to seek support from friends and family throughout this challenging time. If traveling would make this difficult, then it would not be a good idea. It would be better in this instance to be treated at a local clinic.

Aftercare Difficulties

Lastly, you’ll want to set up aftercare once your rehab program is completed. Traveling for rehab might make this difficult.

Specifically, the staff of the distant rehab center probably aren’t familiar with the aftercare options that are available in your local area. So, if you do travel for rehab, you might want to make local aftercare arrangements before you leave.

Pros and Cons of Local Rehab Treatment

Although there are many benefits of traveling for rehab, there’s nothing wrong with receiving local treatment either. Most importantly, if money is an issue, local treatment is the wiser option. Furthermore, it also makes it easier to make aftercare arrangements and to stay in touch with supportive friends and family.

And that’s important because you definitely need some very reliable support if you are being treated locally. That is, it’s more difficult to resist all your familiar temptations when you’re treated in the same town you live in. Make sure your rehab care specialists help you to plan for this.

Inpatient Care

Something else to think about is whether or not you need inpatient care. If you must remain at the facility, it makes little difference where that facility is located.

Should You Travel For Rehab?

Now that you know, consider these points to decide if you should travel for rehab. Also, if you found this guide helpful, please share it with someone else who may benefit from it.


For related reading, check out these 10 Tips for Choosing an Ideal Treatment Center That’s Close-to-Home.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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