While we all know we should unplug while on vacation, the truth is, that’s sometimes much, much easier said than done.
Between work, life, and all the trappings of social media, it’s hard to even realize how much of our lives depend on being plugged in until we set an intention not to be. That’s why it’s so important not to wait until you’re on vacation to actually disconnect. With that in mind, travel website, TheLocalVibe.com has created this simple, pre-trip check list of six things that will help you keep the commitment to sever your digital ties, so you can really focus on having a great holiday!
- Don’t wait until you get to your destination to disconnect.
We’re not entirely sure when it happened, but at some point, voracious social media users decided it just wasn’t enough to post every minute of their actual vacations online. These days we’re subjected to pictures of awaiting airplanes with captions that say things like, “Group 5, ready for takeoff!” or “Maui, here we come!” Even boarding passes are now routinely posted for all to see (a very, very bad idea for safety reasons alone).
One of the best ways to ensure that you’ll get your vacation off to a good, digital-free start, is to abstain from sharing your vacation before it begins. We know you’re excited and you have every intention of disconnecting once you get there, but if you can resist the temptation to make one last post (does anyone really need to see that your cat keeps jumping in your suitcase?), we think you’ll find unplugging a lot easier.
2. Create a plan for emergency work situations.
While an “OOO” response might fend off clients and co-workers, it might not stop you from worrying about what’s not being handled at work. Before you leave on vacation, it’s important not only to brief a trusted co-worker about what needs to be dealt with in your absence, but to set parameters on what constitutes a true emergency (e.g., If “X” happens, call me on my cell). If you know that a phone call, rather than an email, signals a true emergency, you’ll also be less tempted to keep checking that little envelope on your phone.
3. Choose a vacation rental with minimal connection to the outside world.
While many, if not most vacation rentals advertise their WiFi systems, video game consoles, and extensive television viewing options as major bonuses, we think you’ll be much, much happier if you look for vacation rentals without those. While they can be difficult to find, these rentals not only exist, but are sometimes the coolest vacation rentals out there. The Local Vibe is a perfect place to start your search, with plenty of yurts, cabins, and even treehouses that are totally connection free!
4. Set a cool, busy itinerary for the first day.
You can always play loosey-goosey for the rest of your vacation, but if you plan a full first day of adventurous activities, you’ll get into vacation mode faster and have less time to think about all the emails with which you’re not dealing or all the potential work issues that probably aren’t happening anyway. It’s also a great way of wearing yourself out so you can get on local time quickly!
By the same token, print or even write out those first-day plans before you leave, rather than relying on a notes app, email or any other digital toy to make sure you distance yourself from electronics.
5. Pause any non-work-related internet accounts.
As we all know, it takes absolutely nothing to start down the rabbithole of the internet, so before you leave, put any non-work-related accounts you might be tempted to check on hold. Poshmark, Ebay, Netflix, etc., all have vacation hold options. If it’s really, truly going to drive you crazy that you’re old Juicy Couture track suits aren’t selling while you’re gone, arrange for a trusted friend to deal with things while you’re away but otherwise, freeze all your accounts. Not some of your accounts. All of them.
6. Bring a journal.
Or just a little writing pad. Or even a pad of Post-It notes if you have to. Anything that isn’t digital. And for your first entry, talk about your impressions of where you are, not what you left behind. If you’re not a writer, bring a little sketch book and sketch something but connect yourself in some way to your current experience. Also, make a deliberate plan not to post it on social media—even when you return—so you’ll be more likely to really focus on your experience.
The Local Vibe helps travelers find the best vacation rental properties by carefully curating options according to interest and then supplementing them with entertaining local tips about what to see, do, and eat. Whatever the reason for your trip and wherever you’re going, we’re striving to find the perfect rental property for you.