Lauren's tips on how to full unplug on vacation

Gone are the days of traveling to get away, disconnect, and reboot… It’s a sad truth, but on my own vacations in the last couple years, I’ve noticed so many more people on their laptops and phones than ever before. Admittedly, I even find myself having a hard time disconnecting too. While it can be tempting to be posting on Instagram and going through your inbox while you’re out of office, the whole point of a vacation is to really unwind… And that means from technology too. I recently received a question in our inbox from a reader asking if I unplug on my vacations and if I have tips for doing so. The truth is that while I used to be on my phone when traveling a lot more often, in the last couple years I’ve challenged myself to put my phone away. And it has made such a difference in how relaxed and rejuvenated I feel while on vacay, as well as when I get back home. So, in an effort to answer this reader’s question, today I’m going to share some tips I recommend trying if you actually want to unplug on your next trip. After all, it’s called paid time off for a reason, right?

Delete your work email from your phone.

One of my editors recently shared this tip with me, and it’s too good not to share. If you want to take a break from work while traveling, simply delete your work email from your iPhone. It will make all the difference if you are trying to unplug because you won’t even be tempted to get online and respond. Plus, does anyone else get anxiety over seeing the little red notification bubble show a number in the hundreds? Yep, me too. When you’re home from your trip and ready to tackle that inbox, you can easily add your work email right back to your phone.

Go somewhere off the grid.

We all go on trips where we know we will need to be connected or working remotely while there. And, if this is the case, it’s smart to pick a destination and accommodations that have wifi and good cell service. However, if you’re traveling in order to relax, there’s something to be said about planning your trip around disconnecting. That could mean going off the map, or staying at a hotel or Airbnb that’s in a more remote area. Think the beaches of Tulum, the camping trails of Big Sur, the mountains of Jackson Hole… There are so many beautiful places to explore that are more off the grid, which will make it easier for you to unplug altogether. If your goal is to relax, keep your location in mind and don’t be afraid to go off the map.

Leave your laptop behind.

It sounds scary, I know. But if you’ve been planning a vacation for months and getting ahead with your work, why even bother taking your laptop with you on your travels? It will only sit there tempting you to get online, and I can assure you that you will regret it the moment when sifting through your inbox takes up an entire afternoon of beach time (also known as piña colada time). A better idea is to do your work ahead of time, set your out of office (directing any emails to a trusted coworker or someone within your department) and truly unplug.

Bring a paperback book instead of your iPad.

Call me old fashioned, but lately I’ve been a big fan of bringing a good old paperback book with me on my travels. If you really want to disconnect, leave the iPad and pack an actual book (or two). You’ll be less likely to check social media or your email if you’re reading your of-the-moment novel the old fashioned way instead of on an iPad.

What tips do you have for unplugging on vacay?

Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to leave your requests for any Ask Lauren posts you’d like to read here on the site, too!

XO Lauren

P.S. If you liked this post, be sure to check out my Ask Lauren about how to stay in the moment.

Photos: Valorie Darling Photography