Holidays should be a time of relaxation and exploration – not an excuse to lie on a sun-lounger Instagramming and Tweeting every single detail of your day. You’ll be able to catch up with your friends and followers when you return home; this is the time to unplug yourself from technology and enjoy being in the moment. Whether it’s peeling yourself away from Netflix on your iPad or enjoying a social media detox, here is our four-step plan for enjoying an unplugged holiday.
Step 1: Prepare
A clean break is the best way to unplug, but we know that some of you will experience anxiety at the thoughts of unanswered emails and a week-long gap in your tweeting. Before you leave home, set an out-of-office on your emails to explain that you’re taking a break and will be unreachable for the next week, providing an alternative contact for urgent work messages. Post on all of your social channels explaining that you’re taking a digital detox and perhaps go as far as temporarily deleting the apps from your phone if you think you won’t be able to avoid temptation. Use a scheduling tool such as TweetDeck to line up a scattering of tweets if you simply can’t disappear from the internet for a week.
Step 2: Persuade your travel companions to do the same
It can be tricky to have a successful digital detox if your travel companion is still glued to their devices. Imagine being the only person on your trip that isn’t scrolling through their phone when sat in a bar, or can’t gather round and watch a film on the iPad in the evening. For your best chances of remaining unplugged throughout your trip, persuade your travel companion to do the same. Not only will this help you to stay away from your phone, but it will allow you both to enjoy the moment and to reconnect without the distractions that come with technology.
Step 3: Lock your phone in the hotel safe
If you keep your phone in your bag or by your side, you won’t be able to resist temptation to check it. It’s a sad fact, but many of us are addicted to checking our smart phones for notifications. As for laptops and iPads – don’t even bring them away with you! Unless you really need to have your phone on you to contact your travel companions, lock it up in your hotel safe while you’re out and about exploring your holiday destination. If you do choose to carry it around with you, turn off your data (which will also save you extortionate roaming charges) to remove the temptation of checking your Instagram or emails – or at the very least, disable all of your push notifications.
Step 4: Carry a camera with you
One legitimate reason for wanting your phone on you at all times whilst travelling is to capture the experience via photographs and videos. Once you’ve taken a photo on your phone, the temptation to post it on Facebook or Instagram, or to send it to a friend is too great. Rather than snapping away on your phone, ensure that you have a camera with you to document your adventures. You can edit and share your photographs once you return home.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.