We know it's true — most people are way too attached to their devices these days. Sometimes, even when in the most idyllic of locations, we feel the constant pull to check our phones when we should be trying to disconnect. Whether you're constantly thinking about work or just worried about FOMO from all those Insta-stories you'll be missing, being attached to technology 24/7 can be a hard habit to break. But unplugging is essential for both our emotional and cognitive health, and let's face it — a cocktail or two is always more fun when we're not scrolling at the same time.
Whether you've planned a trip months ago, or you're seeking an adventure with some last-minute travel, below are some tips to help you disengage from technology and truly feel out-of-office:
1. TURN OFF YOUR PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Even if you've set up your out of office message to auto-respond to emails, it's likely that you still get a constant barrage of notifications from Instagram, Slack, Twitter, etc. One way to help avoid the temptation to check in constantly with the digital world is to turn the push notifications off on your device. You'll be far less tempted to log on if there isn't a constant reminder popping up.
2. CHOOSE A VACATION DESTINATION THAT FORCES YOU TO GO OFF THE GRID
If a real break from constant notifications and information overload is what you're after, choose a hotel that'll help you unplug — a destination that offers (almost) no Wi-Fi! There are gorgeous vacation locations that'll actually encourage you to disconnect by only offering Wi-Fi in places like the lobby, restaurant, or lounge areas, and even recommend that you stay off your gadgets as much as possible to be more engaged in the surroundings and present moment.
3. REMOVE YOUR WORK EMAIL AND FREQUENTLY USED APPS FROM YOUR DEVICES (DON'T FREAK — IT'S JUST TEMPORARY!)
If you've decided to try and leave the office behind for some digital detox, there's one way to ensure you'll keep those hands away off of work emails: Delete your work email and work-related apps from your mobile devices while on vacation. The real key? We recommend not turning them back on till you're actually back in the office. After all, there's nothing worse than opening your email and immersing yourself in work the night before you actually go back to work. Ride that vacation bliss out for as long as you can!
4. SIGN OUT OF THE APPS YOU USE THE MOST
If you're like me, you basically open apps like Instagram on autopilot, almost without even realizing you're doing it. One way to try and mitigate that? Sign out of all of your social media, and most frequently used apps! Once you remove the easy access, the endless scrolling isn't so easy. Being prompted to sign in is an excellent reminder to put that phone down and remind you to stay unplugged. Better yet? In addition to signing out, move them to a "Do Not Open" folder on your phone. Just putting this extra step into place can make it harder for you to open and scroll away mindlessly like a zombie.
5. KEEP ALL OF YOUR TECHNOLOGY INSIDE
If you absolutely must feel a little more connected to the outside world while on your trip, you should try the inside vs. outside rule. It's simple: when you're inside of your hotel room in the morning or while getting ready, allow yourself to check in on things. But once you go outside, all technology must. be. ignored. This enables you to stay somewhat sane by ensuring you're not missing anything major but can also help to make sure that you won't miss out on the point of going away in the first place — relaxation, good food, and cute outfits (naturally).