Woman in a hammock with book on holiday completely disconnected from work.

Ready or not, it’s time for a digital detox on your next vacation.  Instead of looking down at your phone or other devices, it’s time to look up and out at the sights and people around you. Yes, we know vacations can help recharge your energy and anxiety levels, but did you know much of this stress could be connected with email, social media, and the world inside your Smartphone? Here are our favorite tips to unplug on vacation.

Just tell yourself now that it’s going to be ok not to post incredible vacation pics right away, and check in on those Instagram likes.

We know you can do it!

Choose a Destination with Limited WiFi

Glamping in the mountains, the jungles of Costa Rica, or a tiny village on the Amalfi Coast, can force you to just turn off and put away that phone.

Make a List of Non-Tech Ideas You Want to Do On Vacation

Pack a paper journal or even jot on a napkin in the airport a list of things you would like to do on holiday. Take a yoga class, go for a hike, read the latest New York Times Best Seller by the pool, take a cooking class, and try all the gelato flavors in the city, can all create positive and relaxing memories on your tech reduced (or tech-free) vacation.

Declutter Your Digital Space

Before vacation, take the time to unsubscribe to those annoying emails you get day after day about the latest and greatest sales that don’t really matter. Delete the apps you don’t use. Make your phone a more functional and minimal place.

Turn Off Push Notifications

The constant flash and dinging of push notifications can immediately distract you from your vacation bliss. Take a break from the news and celebrity gossip. You’ll feel much more relaxed just not knowing about it.

Young girl using smartphone while on vacation

Set Up a Smart + Creative Out of Office Reply

In a polite way, tell your emailers that you are out having a must needed vacation where you are making it a goal to truly unplug. They can help you by waiting to send that email until you return to the office. Of course, provide an alternate person to contact during the time you are away. This way you aren’t flooded with emails during your vacation.

Airplane Mode or Just Turn It Off!

Keep your phone on airplane mode during your travels to avoid international fees, or if you want to jump in with both feet on our digital challenge, just turn it off during your getaway. Or, at least turn it off at night.

Use an App to Help

Yes, we know it sounds silly to use an app to help you create distance between you and your digital device, but give the app, Moment, a try. This app automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you are using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit. This is a great app to monitor and manage the whole family!

The Phone Stacking Challenge!

It’s almost like Jenga, with cell phones. If you are going out to dinner with a large group of travel mates, have everyone stack their phones away from reach for the entire meal. Raise the stakes! The first to look at their phone has to buy a round of drinks!

Delete Social Media Apps and Keep Travel Apps

Just on your vacation, delete all of the social media apps (and even email if you are feeling gutsy), and just stick with apps that will help you on your journey. Roadtrippers, Waze, WhatsApp, Splitr and Splitwise, your favorite language app, and of course your phone’s camera can all assist you in a positive way during your travels.

Schedule Specific Check-In Times (and follow them!)

You may be fine taking a break from social media sites during your vacation, but does checking email bog you down? Make a pact to just check your email once a day. And leave it at that.


Do you stay plugged in or are you able to fully unplug while traveling? What are your favorite tips to unplug on vacation?


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