Taking an "Unplugged" Vacation


When you go on vacation, do you still remain connected to work? If you’re spending just as much time taking calls and answering emails as you are relaxing on the beach, consider taking an “unplugged” vacation. An unplugged vacation is a growing trend in which people avoid cell phone use entirely in order to reap the benefits of being disconnected. Whether you want to take a phone-free vacation or limit your phone usage, here are some tips to make the most of your vacation...

Relax and focus on the moment –
It seems obvious, but unplugging really makes a big difference in your vacation experience. This is your time to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate. If you’re thinking about who might be contacting you, then you’re splitting your focus between your phone and your trip. Try turning your phone off, or putting your phone on airplane mode, and choose one activity to center your attention on. You could read a book, go swimming, go out to a nice restaurant, or try something new. Disconnecting will encourage you to enjoy and appreciate the time off.

Prepare and plan ahead of time –
Even the idea of disconnecting for an extended period of time can make people feel anxious. You might become concerned about how people at work will reach you, or if you’ll be behind on a project when you get back to the office. Plan for your unplugged vacation before you leave your house. Let your co-workers know that you’ll be away and set an away message on your email and voicemail with someone to contact in your place. Do as much work as you can before your trip to cover yourself, and make a to-do list of what you’ll likely need to work on when you get back. That way, you won’t have to worry about work while you’re out of the office.

Set Limits if You Can’t Fully Unplug –
Totally disconnecting can be tough for anyone. Start by setting a small amount of time for checking emails or using social media. Consider limiting yourself to 15 or 30 minutes a day of online activity. It’s helpful to keep your online time to around the same time of day throughout your vacation. Establishing a routine for online activity will make you less tempted to check your phone multiple times throughout the day.

Your vacation time is your time off—your time off from work, from the day-to-day routine, and maybe from your phone as well. By spending less time on your phone, you can enjoy more memories with loved ones. Give yourself a break from being constantly connected. By limiting your phone usage or avoiding your phone altogether, you’ll feel more relaxed, at ease, and recharged.