Getting some much-needed rest and relaxation while on vacation is the perfect way to recharge and head back to work feeling refreshed. Unfortunately, it’s hard to fully disconnect from everyday life as technology updates us instantly on everything happening at our job and school, and in our personal lives.
However, you can make it a priority on your next vacation to unplug from your gadgets. The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that benefits of taking a break from technology include increased mood, reduced stress, and improved health. The following tips can help you get the physical and mental rest you need while on vacation.
Let people know
A good first step before you leave for your trip is to give the people in your life—friends, coworkers, and family—a heads up. Tell coworkers when you’re leaving, how long you’ll be gone, and how to reach you in case of an emergency. You can set up an out-of-office message on your work inbox letting people know when you’ll return and a way to contact a coworker if they need immediate help, and you can set up a digital work calendar to show you’re not in the office. You can also send out a quick email or text to friends or family you regularly have contact with letting them know when you’ll be gone.
Schedule a shorter vacation
If being away from work or school for an extended period is too much to bear, schedule a shorter vacation. Instead of a week-long trip, a long weekend without technology could be the perfect amount of time away from life to recharge.
Pack less gadgets
An easy way to use less technology is to not pack it at all. While going completely tech-free is a stretch, you can plan your vacation by packing fewer devices. Your phone is a must-have in case of an emergency, and a tablet is great for watching movies on a plane or reading a book while relaxing by the pool. That may be all you need to make the most of your vacation.
One extra gadget you may want to pack is a camera. This way, you won’t be reaching for your phone when you want to capture the memories you’re making on vacation.
Plan out your tech use
Honestly, going completely unplugged from technology is a tall task. From reading a book on your tablet to checking out restaurant reviews on your phone, it plays a big part of your vacation. Instead of eliminating technology use, set limits for how you’re going to use your phone or laptop. You can plan out how much time you’ll use technology per day, when you’ll use your devices, or certain tasks you’ll use your gadgets for. There are also apps like Freedom and Space that help you manage your screen time.
Travel to a remote destination
One of the best ways to avoid using technology is by going somewhere with limited internet access. There are countless travel destinations across the country that offer plenty of fun and adventure that will keep you and your fellow travelers’ minds away from technology. From the Hoh Rainforest in the Pacific Northwest to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Southeast, there are plenty of remote and entertaining destinations to choose from.
Turn off notifications
Instead of having your phone alert you about a new email or an update on social media, turn off the push notifications on your devices. Also, turn off your ringer. If there isn’t anything calling you to look at your phone, you’ll be lest tempted to use it.
Turn on airplane mode
If you’re flying to your destination, you’ll be setting your phone to airplane mode before takeoff. However, once you land, you may want to leave it on for portions of your trip. Your phone won’t receive notifications or updates, as airplane mode deactivates both your cellular data and WiFi. If you find yourself reaching for your phone, you’ll need
Plan activities not involving devices
You won’t have time to even worry about your devices = if you plan your adventures wisely. From kayaking to hiking to swimming, there are many vacation activities to choose from that don’t involve technology. If you’re staying in a hotel, avoid searching the internet for things to do; instead, check out pamphlets your hotel may have in the lobby. If you’re traveling with a group, try to have a tech-free dinner and make a game out of not checking your phones. Before a meal, place your phones face down in the middle of the table. Whoever looks at their phone first loses.
Unplugging from your life for a few days is hard, but by following these tips, you’ll be closer to finding the serenity you need on vacation.