Most adults spend up to 11 hours per day digitally connected one way or another. We use screens for work, for fun, for shopping – basically our entire lives revolve around a screen. While some people don’t see that as a problem, 1 in 5 people have taken a digital detox, and 7 in 10 people are trying to limit their screen time.
Since most people can’t afford to disconnect at any time they want, the best moment to do that is on vacation. However, for many of those who spend their days glued to their phones, even that can be quite challenging. This is why we put together a little guide meant to help you keep away from the screen while on vacation.
Change your mindset
You will find it almost impossible to go through a digital detox if all you can think about is checking your email and social media. Vacation should be that time when you are evading reality and taking a break from day-to-day life.
Before starting your journey, take some time to set a few goals. Think of what you want to accomplish, what is important for you, and what your priorities are.
During your vacation, each time you feel the need to check your phone, ask yourself whether you really need to do it right then. If the answer is no, put the phone back and get involved in the activities happening around you. Or even interact with the people standing next to you 🙂
Set a schedule
For some people, being completely disconnected from their digital stuff is just impossible due to the nature of their jobs or other life arrangements. If you are one of those persons, the least you can do is tone it down, especially during vacations.
Instead of being available 24/7, set a schedule during which you won’t even check your phone. For example, during lunch time and after a certain hour in the evening. Just put your phone out of sight and try to forget about it. Let people at the office know your schedule and set a short interval during which you are available for updates every day and do your best to stick to that plan!
Anyone’s greatest fear when it comes to portable devices is a dead battery. Especially on vacation, when you most likely rely on your phone to take pictures as lifetime memories. Which you will eventually post on Facebook or Instagram 😉
Browsing social media on the beach, or while having lunch will not only disconnect you from the present and stand in the way of relaxation, but it will also drain your battery, so you won’t be able to use your phone when you really need it.
Did you know that airplane mode is not only useful when you are actually on a plane? Using that function turns off the internet, roaming, and stops all the apps from checking on updates. And the best part is that you will still be able to use the camera or listen to music!
Leave it home!
While you can’t leave your phone at home when you’re away on vacation, you most likely can leave the tablet and the laptop. Yes, it might be tempting having them there for the dead times so you can chat with friends or watch some YouTube videos while your partner is taking a shower. However, we all know that is a slippery slope.
You will be better off quietly sitting on the balcony and enjoying the landscape than watching the same screen you see every day.
Challenge your friends
As everything in life, a digital detox is more enjoyable when shared with friends. Challenge whoever you choose to spend your vacation with to join your digital detox quest.
Everybody loves a little friendly competition: Who can last longer without touching their phone? Who is brave enough to leave their phone at the hotel when going to the beach? Create fun little games that will bring you closer together and help you keep away from the screen.
Live in the moment
Life might seem boring at times, especially while waiting for others. And vacations offer plenty of waiting times – you’re waiting in the airport to embark the plane, you’re waiting at the hotel to get your room, you’re waiting for your meals to be served, you’re waiting for your friends to be ready, so on and so forth.
With that amount of waiting, anyone would be tempted to pick up the phone and check social media. But in doing so, you forget to live in the moment. Why looking at the same people you see every day instead of looking around and studying new people? Watch the locals, count their tattoos, analyze their clothing, see what they eat and try it yourself. Not every day you get the luxury of being able to just sit and look around to see such diversity and novelty, why waste that?
If the digital detox is not just an added bonus to your vacation, but the main purpose, the best way to get serious about it might be choosing a digital detox retreat as a final destination.
Screen addiction is such a widespread issue that a large number of vacation destinations changed their purpose into digital detox retreats. You can find them everywhere in the world, and the degree of screen fasting varies from no gadgets at all on the premises to no internet access, or just no screens for a few hours each day during different activities.
Readjusting to the routine
The worst part of every vacation it that at some point it comes to an end. After several days spent far away from home and work, you eventually return to the old routine and need to catch up with everything that has happened in your absence.
Obviously, totally disconnecting during your digital detox will make it harder to catch up. You can ask coworkers to bring you up to speed and spend hours going through past emails and trying to connect the dots. But if you are lucky enough to be working in a company that uses modern team communication apps such as Hubgets, that won’t be an issue. You will have access to past conversations, team decisions, shared documents, and with everything in one place you will get back on track in no time.
Enjoy your vacation!
When you manage to forget your concerns and overcome the need for digital connections, you will finally be able to enjoy your vacation. Live in the moment, allow your body to relax and your brain to reset.
So enjoy your vacation and your digital detox!