A digital detox vacation will help you clear your mind, connect with the people you love, and actually enjoy your travels!
As part of the Social Media on the Sand Conference I was given discounted rates to Beaches Negril Resort and Spa. Thanks for supporting the companies that support Hey, Let’s Make Stuff!
I’ve scheduled this post for the morning I arrive in Jamaica. I’m headed to the Social Media on the Sand conference at the gorgeous Beaches Resort in Negril, Jamaica.
And I’ve left almost all of my technology at home.
As a blogger (as with many professions), my work is online. I spend so much of my time behind a screen. And don’t get me wrong — I actually enjoy it most of the time. I’m an introvert, so finding my social interaction online is a less stressful way for me to engage with my friends more often, plus I love meeting new people through my blog and social media. Technology has brought me closer to the world and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I spent the week before my trip hemming and hawing about taking my laptop and iPad. There’s so much downtime on this trip that I thought it would be a great time to get caught up on some of those things that have been sitting on my to-do list for so long.
I seriously need this vacation to be a vacation. I’ve been going, going, going and it’s taking a toll on my mind and my health in the last month. I need to step away from it all and sit on the beach and listen to the ocean. I need to not care how many likes I’m getting on Instagram or who is re-tweeting me. I need to connect in real life to some of my favorite friends over a good meal late into the evening.
And while I can’t sign off entirely (part of the reason I’m headed to Jamaica is to be sharing our trip on social media), I am taking steps to make this a time when I can detox from my digital life a bit. Here are five ways I’m planning on letting go of my digital life for a few days.
Plan, Plan, Plan
I didn’t want to let everything drop off because I am traveling, so I met with my virtual assistant who is going to keep things moving along while I’m gone. It’s not a lot of work — making sure posts go live, social media sharing, and pinning on Pinterest for the most part.
But just knowing that everything isn’t coming to a grinding halt while I’m out of town gives me peace to let go of my internet connection. I don’t have to worry that I’ll have three times the work when I get back, negating all of the relaxing I did on vacation! Think about how you can hand things off to an assistant or coworker, or even an online automated scheduler or virtual assistant. I’m happy to pay a little extra during my vacation to not have to actually work on my vacation!
Only Take the Necessities
If you don’t have a reason to be online during your vacation—stay off the internet! Leave everything at home. If you’re like me, however, and have to remain connected for work or communicate with your family back home, bring just the basics. For me, that’s my iPhone and that’s it. Other than my camera, it’s the only thing I’m bringing with me on this trip that plugs in. No Kindle, no iPad, no laptop. It makes traveling light a lot easier!
A note about my camera: as a blogger, especially as a blogger traveling on a trip that is sponsored, it’s impossible for me to travel without it. No one wants to see a post about a gorgeous Caribbean vacation and not see any photos! Thankfully, my personality type allows me to put down my camera and experience life directly. But if you find that you can only take a vacation from behind a viewfinder, you might want to leave it at home, or set small goals for yourself, as seen in the next section.
Set Small Goals for your Digital Detox
While it might be hard to turn off completely for a week, give yourself some small goals. For instance, only check your email and social media accounts once or twice a day, for no more than 15 minutes. Or go completely tech-free every other day. For me, I plan on only going on when I actually have something to post—and then not checking the “results” until I get home. And my goal is to only post when I have a bit of downtime—I don’t want to interrupt dinner with my friends to do so.
Don’t Get Online in Flight
Airlines make it easy to stay connected with wifi on most flights. Instead, get yourself into detoxing mode by choosing to read a book instead. You’ll not only feel more relaxed when you land, but you’ll most likely also save yourself some cash to spend on something delicious when you land. It will also give me a better shot at sleeping on our red-eye flight if I don’t have the blue screen on my phone telling my brain it’s daytime.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
A vacation is a vacation for a reason. You need to get away from the stresses of daily life. I put so much pressure on myself week to week that it’s good for me to take some time to just relax. So if I find myself surfing Facebook without realizing how I got there (because we’ve all been there, haven’t we?), I am not going to be hard on myself. I’m just going to tuck my phone back into my bag and have a moment to be thankful that I can turn it off without the world collapsing.
Have you ever taken a tech-free vacation? If so, how did it go? What are your best tips and tricks?
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