Girl, are you a distracted traveler? Are you always checking your phone, scrolling social media or worrying about work or what’s happening back home?
Now putting the phone down is hard but when I’m jet-setting across the globe, I want to take it allll in. I want all the experiences, the adventures, the culture, the food – every single second of it – and I don’t want to miss out on something just because I’ve got my head down watching a cat video my sister sent me on Instagram!
I’m sure you don’t want to miss out on all the travel things either but I also know how tough it can be to ignore your phone. Especially when your email dings every few minutes and your friends keep blowing up the group chat.
But look – you didn’t come all this way to do what you do at home. You’re paying for this trip and you deserve the FULL experience.
Now my solution might ruffle a few feathers but I’mma say it anyway: unplug from your phone when you’re traveling.
Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, let me explain. I’m not saying you can’t take your phone with you when you’re traveling. I’m also not saying you can’t use it to take pictures or listen to music.
I’m saying to cut down on distractions. Mute your notifications. Temporarily turn off email notifications. Remove Instagram and Facebook from your phone.
Here are a few reasons why I recommend doing a digital detox when you travel:
Increase Post-Trip Productivity
Listen, you’re not on vacation to answer emails or field a bunch of work-related questions. You’re on vacation to get away from all of that and relax.
So, if you’re constantly checking your phone or answering emails, you’re still working. Sure, you might be doing it poolside or at the beach but some part of you will resent “having to work” when you should be doing anything but.
Disconnect from work completely. Silence your email. Set up an out-of-office email that automatically sends when anyone emails you. And resist the urge to check email or check in with your colleagues or team when you’re having some downtime in the hotel.
By not working on vacation, you’ll return to your job more relaxed, rejuvenated, and productive than if you had split your vacation time with work.
It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand but that little phone can be a huge contributing factor to your stress.
And by constantly checking emails, texts, and social media, you’re amping up your stress level, even if you don’t realize it.
When you’re on vacation, cut ties with your phone and only use it for emergencies or to check in with your family or friends at specific times of day.
As I suggested above, temporarily remove social media apps from your phone, silence email notifications and only allow yourself to “check” your phone for a few minutes a day.
This won’t just help you stay more present on vacation, but it will let you truly relax and rejuvenate while you’re taking in all the sights, culture, and food.
Improve Mental Health
Just as technology can increase stress, it can also have a negative impact on your mental health.
For many of us, when we scroll social media, we compare ourselves and our lives to the posts we see. So-and-so is so in shape. So-and-so got a promotion. So-and-so no longer has to work for a living. So-and-so is enjoying a luxury, all-expenses-paid vacation. And so on.
While we’re meant to be enjoying this wonderful trip we’re on, we’re comparing ourselves and our life to what we see on Facebook and whether we realize it or not, it’s affecting our mental health.
Tuck your phone away and get out and explore the sights, sounds, and food when traveling. Just stepping outside and taking it all in can boost your mood, inspire creativity and improve your brain function.