How to Truly Unplug While on Vacation

If you’re anything like me, then you have your phone with you, volume on, at all times. Whether it’s checking texts or emails, scrolling Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook, I feel like if I don’t keep up with it as much as possible, not only may I miss something big, but it’ll just take me that much longer to catch up on everything.

On the rare occasions that I leave my house without my phone, I have a moment of sheer panic, then breathe through it, telling myself that it will be okay if I don’t have my phone for two hours.

Do I do this while I’m on vacation as well? Um, yes. But, I mean, what if I miss an important message or news?

I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in feeling like this. But, I’ve *heard* that unplugging, especially on vacation, is good for you.

“One of the best things about unplugging is that it allows you to focus on the present, says Mark Joseph, founder of Parental Queries. “When you’re not constantly checking your phone or refreshing your social media feeds, you can be present in the moment and truly enjoy your surroundings.”

So how do we do this?

person on vacation

How to unplug while on vacation

Tayyab Mujtaba, who runs the travel site Trip Stations, tells us how and why to have an unplugged vacation.

1. Leave your work at work.

This may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to resist checking your work email or taking a few calls while you’re on vacation. If you can, leave your work laptop and phone behind and enjoy a digital detox.

 2. Set some ground rules with your family and friends.

For example, tell them you’re on vacation and unavailable for work calls or texts. If you’re traveling with family or friends, ensure everyone is on the same page about unplugging and enjoying quality time together.

 3. Get outside and explore.

One of the best ways to disconnect from technology is to get outside and explore your surroundings. Take a hike, swim, or sit and enjoy the view.

 4. Disconnect from social media.

It can be tempting to document your every move on social media but try to resist the urge. Instead, focus on enjoying the moment and being present with your travel companions.

 5. Connect with nature.

Being in nature can help you feel more connected to the world and can help reduce stress and anxiety. So, take some time to appreciate the natural beauty around you on your vacation.

 6. Unplugged doesn’t have to mean bored.

Just because you’re disconnecting from technology doesn’t mean you have to be bored. There are plenty of fun activities to do without screens. Play cards, read a book, or nap in the hammock.

 7. Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all about being present at the moment and letting go of distractions. It can be helpful to practice mindfulness on vacation as it can help you fully unplug and enjoy your surroundings.

 8. Get some rest.

A vacation is a perfect time to catch up on some much-needed rest. So, make sure you get plenty of sleep and take some time to relax and rejuvenate.

9. Have fun!

Vacation is all about having fun. So, make sure you take the time to do things you enjoy and create lasting memories with your travel companions. 

The bottom line: These options are practical, make a lot of sense, and seem doable. I mean, years ago, we went on vacations and had no real connection to work, and we survived, right? I’m going to travel soon and certainly intend to try it (she said with her hands quivering).

Mindfulness Think & Feel

About Ronni Robinson

Ronni is a member of the Sandwich Generation; she's the tired lunch meat layered between two children and aging parents. She is an eating disorder recovery coach, a 3-time Ironman finisher, and is a certified spin instructor. Her first book, Out of the Pantry: A Disordered Eating Journey, can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can find more of her professional writing and coaching info on her website (