Tips to Help Unplug on Vacation


Looking for a chance to de-stress and take a break from your digital life? Why not unplug while you unwind on vacation? Phones, tablets, and laptops tend to stress us out with endless work emails, constant notifications, and comparisons to people’s “perfect” lives on social media. Vacation is your opportunity to relax and enjoy new experiences, so it makes sense to unplug while you’re away.

Of course, it’s tricky to fully detach from your devices. However, even limiting electronic use while you’re away can be a great reprieve. When you disconnect, you’re able to avoid digital distractions and focus on the experience. You’re able to be fully present in the moment, to take it all in, and enjoy your trip. Whether you want to take a phone-free vacation or simply limit your phone usage, here are some tips to make the most of your vacation...

Plan ahead –
Just like you plan for a trip, make a plan for when you unplug. Let your co-workers, family, or friends that you often talk to know that you’ll be away for a couple of days. You can even set an away message on your email and voicemail to cover yourself. That way, you don’t have to worry about missing an email, call, or text. In addition, make a list of what offline activities you would like to do while you disconnect. Maybe you’d like to read a new book, sketch in a journal, or explore around the area. When you’re prepared to unplug, it will be easier to enjoy the time away from your devices.

Set up your phone for disconnecting –
Everyone gets tempted by the “ping” of a new notification. Luckily, there are ways to avoid digital distractions. Get your phone ready for some unplugged time by temporarily turning off push notifications and silencing your ringer. Also consider re-organizing your apps by making a group for the apps you’re most tempted by. For example, you might add Facebook, Gmail, and Instagram to a new group on the last page of your apps. You’ll be less likely to check these apps if they’re out of sight.

Allow yourself to enjoy the moment –
This is your time to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re thinking about who might be contacting you, then you’re splitting your focus between your phone and your vacation. Try turning your phone off 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. You’ll notice how removing distracting devices improves your ability to enjoy the experience.

Set Limits if You Can’t Fully Unplug –
Totally disconnecting can be tough for anyone. Start by setting a small amount of time for phone usage. Consider limiting yourself to 15 or 30 minutes a day of online activity. That way, you can maintain a connection to what’s going on at home, but you don’t let your devices distract you from enjoying downtime.

Instead of constantly re-charging your phone, re-charge your mind on your next getaway. Your vacation time is your time off—your time off from work, from the day-to-day routine, and perhaps from your phone as well. By spending less time on your devices, you can savor more experiences with the people you love. Give yourself a break from being connected all of the time. By taking an “unplugged” vacation, you’ll feel more relaxed, at ease, and recharged.