The notion of unplugging while traveling seems tranquil to some people—while others say periodically checking work email reduces the stress of returning to an overflowing inbox. So who’s right?
It’s important to distance yourself from the clutter of everyday life while on vacation. Health experts say that frequent checking in with your life back home while on vacation does not help you relax even though it may ease your workload upon your return. And it certainly doesn’t help you reconnect with your loved ones or your traveling companions.
In fact, contrary to popular belief, Americans do know how to unplug, unwind, and rejuvenate on vacation. According to a survey of 1,000 vacationers, 75% of respondents don’t do any work on vacation (Source: The Research Intelligence Group 2013). And while you do see many travelers using their phones or other technology while on vacation, in most cases, it is for pleasure and not work—uploading vacation photos, finding nearby restaurants, or searching for tickets to a local museum.
If you’re unsure of how to take the first step of unplugging while on vacation, here are few hints to make your next vacation better:
- Disconnect: leave work behind, especially your work-related technology.
- Plan accordingly: let your work colleagues know that you will not be checking email or voicemail until you return.
- Plan the right amount of time: you need enough time to relax, rejuvenate, and unwind. For most people, that’s a week.
- Reconnect: encourage everyone in the family to put down their phones, laptops, and screens and reconnect with each other!
- Create a memory: pick one activity to do together each day, take a picture, and hang it up in your office to remind you of a more relaxed time.