Do you unplug when traveling?? I have the hardest time not checking in. When your day job is in social media and your side hustle is in the blog-o-sphere it is so hard to just not check the emails, dm’s, and messenger. I mean – my work is literally all on the internet!
Two years ago I went to Costa Rica and I chose our rental house not only because it was beautiful and perfect but, also due to the fact that it had “reliable uninterrupted WI-FI over the whole property”. Well, apparently the word reliable and uninterrupted means something different in CR than it does in the U.S. By day 2 I was taking a trip down the mountainside each day to the ocean’s edge to sit at a restaurant, have lunch, and catch up on all of the things using their reliable, uninterrupted internet. By the end of the trip my husband was so done with me “needing to find WI-FI” at every stop we made he requested that I see someone about my addiction as soon as we got home. Needless to say – he doesn’t feel the need to be plugged in while traveling.
So here we are 2 years later and we are planning our next trip. I know that I need some guidelines to help me unplug so I started doing a bit of research.
Countless studies have been done urging people to power off when on vacation. Is it possible to get R&R while being so connected?
Unfortunately, some of us can’t just leave town and never check in. Is work keeping you from enjoying your vacation? How do you unplug when traveling?
New research from the 2018 Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey shows:
- 51% say they feel guilty for taking time off to go on vacation because their coworkers have to cover their job duties (THIS IS me 100%)
- Significantly fewer workers (25% less) say they prefer to “completely unplug” from work while on a vacation compared to last year
- 59% of workers say they put pressure on themselves to work during family vacations, and 57 percent say they do this because they don’t want to come back to a mountain of work
You can read more about the study’s surprising findings and what they mean for travelers here.
5 Ways To Unplug When Traveling
No matter how you look at it, we all need to reap the benefits of unplugging to get some true rest and relaxation. Here are some of the ways to help you unplug on vacation.
Set Work Times
Social media might be fun but your work email triggers anxiety. If ignoring it is going to stress you out even more set aside a time each day to check on work. Fifteen minutes each morning & evening is enough. You can check for fires and respond as needed. Set your designated “work time” before & after people are in the office. You don’t want to find yourself pulled into a back and forth. You will have time for that when you get back to work.
Set Up An OOO
Setting up an out of office (OOO) message is the best way to cut down on getting sucked into unnecessary work while traveling. Let them know that you are gone and that they should email you after you return if they need a reply. Provide another way for them to address their issue while you are gone. Leave a contact number for an assistant or colleague. Nine times out of 10, the issue can be taken care of before you are back in the office.
Turn Off Push Notifications
This one might be hard – I know! But you will be so happy when you do it. You will be much less tempted to keep checking work emails/chat groups if there is nothing drawing your attention to it. (It also saves your phone battery!)
It is so easy to pull out your phone at dinner to check on “one little thing” and check out of the group completely. The next time you are all together – at brunch, playing a game or any place where the focus should be on the group – suggest that everyone places their phones in one stack, where they’ll stay until the event is done.
I did this in Costa Rica last year with a group of friends and it worked really well. We made a rule that the first one to check their phones bought dinner/drinks/etc.
Only Pack Personal Devices
The best way to unplug on a trip is to separate work from play completely. Leave your work phone & computer… at work! If your devices are personal & work in one, set up a separate user profile and account on your computer so that you are not logged into work business while on vacation.
Take your time. Relax. Enjoy a walk on the beach. Take some pictures with a CAMERA, not your phone. No matter how you do it if you can unplug you will have a more relaxing and enjoyable time. How do you unplug when traveling?