On our summer vacations this year (a time supposedly designated for resting and recharging), few people will actually leave their work and everyday digital distractions behind. According to a TeamViewer survey, 38 percent of people will read work-related emails while on vacation, and one in four will respond to work-related text messages.
But vacations should be a real break from our technology-saturated lives — not a time to Instagram beach photos or check work emails from a hotel room. Unplugging is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being, and there’s no better time to do it than when you’re out of the office and enjoying your hard-earned days off.
On your next trip, try these 10 simple technology hacks to enjoy a blissfully smartphone-free vacation.
- Leave your phone charger at home and depart with a full battery — you’ll able to check your phone when necessary, but otherwise have to use it conservatively to save battery.
- Keep your phone on airplane mode after your flight lands.
- If you think you’ll be tempted to turn your data back on, try the Digital Detox smartphone app, which disables your phone for time increments of between 30 minutes and one month. And if you must bring your laptop with you for work purposes, try installing Anti-Social, a Mac app that will block social media sites from your browser.
- For a digital detox and wellness-boosting vacation, try a Via Yoga Retreat in Mexico or Costa Rica — you’ll get a 15 percent discount for surrendering your phone upon arrival.
- Addicted to Twitter or Angry Birds? Delete the app from your phone before you leave, and don’t reinstall it until after you get back. Having to take the one extra step of re-installing the app will likely prevent you from doing it.
- Buy a disposable camera (yes, the $10 drugstore kind) to capture memories from your trip — without spending time staring at your screen to find the perfect filters and hashtags.
- Make your itinerary before you go, and bring good old-fashioned maps and guidebooks with you to avoid spending a good chunk of your vacation staring at the moving blue dot on your Google Maps app.
- If you’re traveling abroad, DON’T spring for an international plan — knowing that you’ll be charged exorbitantly, you’ll be forced to be more selective about how you use your data.
- One Lifehacker commenter recommends loading up on all your Internet-related activities before you go — and then unplugging completely. “Get maps, tips, make reservations, buy a (real) book on Amazon, set up email auto-responders saying you’ll be away. Then disconnect and stop worrying about wifi or missing your favorite tv-shows and go on vacation.”
- When you return to your digital life with a new appreciation for how wonderful unplugging can feel, Fast Company advises setting aside technology-free slots in your schedule and time to yourself when you can unplug.
Would you ever turn your vacation a digital detox? What are you favorite vacation hacks? Tell us in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTravel.