In the world of today, most people can’t last a day without their tech gadgets. And as much as tech devices have become an essential part of our social and professional lives, too much of anything can be poisonous. To bring the point closer to home, a vacation is supposed to help you relax and get away from the normal day to day routine. But this may sometimes not be entirely possible when you bring devices along with your vacation. Frequent email pop-ups, phone calls from work, and text messages can bring a great deal of frustration to your retreat. As a matter of fact, some of them can make you cut your vacation short and go back home before your stay is over.
One of the best ways to enjoy your vacation is to minimize the use of devices as much as possible. But then again, it’s easier said than done. As a matter of fact, some people are too attached to their tech gadgets that leaving them behind can ruin all the fun in the first place. Moreover, tech gadgets are the primary means of communication and socialization. For a good number of people, they’re a dear source of entertainment.
But considering you want to make your vacation as stress-free as possible, how can you hack leaving your devices behind? Well, here are some tips on how to plan a device-free vacation.
Practice Makes Perfect
As hinted out earlier, staying away from technology doesn’t come easy, especially for people with a certain ‘addiction’ to the internet, social media, and gaming. In such a situation, going cold turkey will rarely work. It is important to practice minimizing your use or access to devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the like before going on your trip. Starting small will help ease off your dependency. You can compare it to habits such as smoking, where it is extremely difficult for a willing quitter to wake up one morning and say they’re never smoking again and stick to it. Start by reducing the number of times you visit Facebook, get social on Twitter and post on Instagram. You can also benefit from disabling pop-up notifications for updates, new posts, friend requests and stuff. These can be so tempting. Also, it is important to prepare your kids and device ways to minimize their dependence on mobile gadgets.
Inform Your Close Contacts about Your Trip
When someone is aware that you’re on a vacation, they’ll rarely try to contact you unless it’s an emergency. You also get to have the peace of mind when you know that people know where you are. Before leaving for your trip, take the time to inform at least a few of your close friends and contacts about your vacation and let them know when to expect you back. This way, leaving your devices behind can be less stressful.
Email to Autoresponder and Phone to Voicemail
As earlier mentioned, emails can be so annoying when on a vacation. The thought of getting back from your trip to find tends or probably hundreds of emails to read and reply can even be more frustrating. But thanks to the technology you’re trying to take a vacation from, you can always set your email to autoresponder. “How does this make things any better?” some may ask. Well, Email services such as G-mail have the option to set this function and include a message informing the sender that you’re away on a vacation and the date you’re set to come back. On receiving such a message, the send won’t bug your inbox with strings of new and follow-up emails. With the auto-responder on, you can reduce the number of emails coming into your inbox. This way, you can reduce the fear of leaving your phone or laptop behind during your vacation. With your phone set to voicemail, you can always contact your caller back when you return from your trip.
Plan for Alternative Fun Activities
You may have lots of fun activities to engage in during your vacation, but these will not always stop the urge to use tech gadgets, especially when relaxing down at the beach or in your hotel room. How about bringing a book, some crossword puzzles, or even some cards if you’re on a family vacation? Even the classical photo album can make an amazing alternative to using mobile devices. For family vacations, you can even engage in fun family games such as Car Bingo, Uno, Mad Libs, just to name a few.
Especially when you have kids, a device-free vacation might not be the easiest things to get through, but you can always hack it with proper planning. In addition to the above tips, you might want to consider employing measures to control what your kids do with mobile devices. Known as parental controls, these are utilities that you can use to filter out content that your kids shouldn’t be seeing or reading online. It may involve blocking content on YouTube and other sites online that may contain material that is unsuitable for your kids.