Mobile technology has transformed the way people live their lives. Arguments can convincingly be made that modern life is virtually impossible to live “un-plugged.” Modern man lives in a time when text-messaging, mobile e-mail, GPS and phone applications for choosing restaurants, recipes and syncing calendars with significant others reign supreme. As a result, many may find un-plugging on vacation desirable yet unfathomable. Here are ways to ditch the electronics and actually relax on an electronics-free vacation and enjoy the uninterrupted company of your vacation companions.
Leave the Devices at Home
Obviously, leaving cell phones, computers and other electronic devices at home is the most simple and surefire way to ensure electronic equipment does not dominant the best laid holiday plans. Make the decision that enjoying human companionship and the pleasures of being absent from the responsibilities of daily life will take precedence over being accessible to work and Facebook friends at all times. Most major chain hotels have computers and internet access for guest use if it really is necessary to log-on and check email. By establishing a simple barrier to entry (i.e. not having immediate access to internet and cell phones), you can significantly improve the odds that technology devices will not cut into your R&R.
Establish Rules and Boundaries for Contact
Institute a need to know rule and only provide the phone number of hotel accommodations to people who truly have a legitimate reason to contact you while on vacation. These may be people like pet sitters, baby sitters or close friends or family members for emergency situations that could arise. If at all possible, try to avoid including co-workers and bosses. Create clear boundaries and let others know the specific occasions that it is okay to interrupt, as well as when it is not acceptable to contact you. Your accessibility to others will likely directly correlate to your own feelings of obligation to “check-in” with work and other daily life obligations. It is wise to guard the access others will have to you so you will be more able to relax.
Vacation in a Destination that is Less Wireless Device Friendly.
Perhaps you know yourself well and can admit unplugging from technology just will not happen if it is accessible. In that case, choose a vacation destination that is in a rural location and that cell phone towers and Wi-Fi cannot reach as easily. Rural does not necessarily mean desolate, but less populous areas may have fewer wireless service providers, and as a result, less reliable services for your own devices. Sometimes geography will play a factor too, so choosing a vacation destination that is hilly or mountainous and blocks cell phone and Wi-Fi signals can provide a physical barrier to combat your own dependency on wireless technology.
Some lodgers are tuned into the need for guests to literally be disconnected and offer low-tech guest rooms that do not have Wi-Fi, in-room telephones, televisions or clocks. Some people find completely disconnecting from all electronics to be very freeing and relaxing, and immerse themselves in enjoying nature, reading books, good old fashioned conversation and long naps.
Choose Vacation Activities that Require Your Full Attention
Selecting to do activities that force a person to unplug may also be warranted if you are a diehard wireless device fan (or slave). Choose to participate in device un-friendly activities like river rafting, scuba diving and zip-lining where it is unwise to even take a wireless device because of the risk of damaging it. Select to do things that you will find so engrossing you won’t want to answer your phone. Perhaps it is attending your favorite band’s concert or going to a very interesting museum exhibit or a busy theme park you have been itching to visit for several years. In other words, choose to do very motivating activities that will keep your undivided attention and deter you from plugging back into laptops and iPhones.
Set yourself up for success in having a device-free trip by acknowledging your own limitations and choosing settings that will support your goal to ditch the technology leashes for the duration of your vacation. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised at how refreshed you feel and how much fun you had without staying connected at all times.