How to unplug on vacation

I did a digital detox in the Maldives and it was amazing.  Here’s how to unplug on vacation.

What’s your ideal vacation?  White sand beaches and fun in the sun usually tops most people’s idea of a great vacation but what I see more often than not when I travel is people looking down at their phone doing the infamous thumb scroll and it never crosses their mind to unplug on vacation.

Although the line between travel blogging trip and vacation are a bit blurred for me,  I decided to unplug in the Maldives not because of spotty wifi or expensive data but because I needed to truly relax and enjoy the beauty of where I was.

For most of us the idea of ‘going offline’ terrifies us.  We don’t know when to quit whether it is work or family.  I am very lucky to live in New Zealand where they pride themselves in having a work/life balance and don’t really take work home with them.  They also know how to travel well.

I met an Australian in Central America who had been working in the States for the past year.  He told me a story about how his boss had emailed him in the middle of the night and told him off when he didn’t reply.  We didn’t get into specifics about whether it was urgent or not but that type of work culture is strange to some of us who work to live instead of live to work.

I found myself worried about what I should be doing.  Taking those Instagram perfect shots and snap-chatting about my adventures when all I want to do is live in the moment and enjoy myself.  Its sad to think that working while on holiday is the new norm.  I see too many people checking emails and replying while laying on the beach or by the pool.

How to unplug on vacation

1. Choose how you spend your time
You really need to focus on being kind to yourself and unwind from your everyday stress.  Its ok to be totally lazy – that may be exactly what you need.  Just make sure it is something you want to do.  I find if I lay around too much I start to feel sluggish.  Go for a swim or a stroll to keep moving.

2. Try meditating or doing yoga

I love to wake up and do 10 minutes of yoga everyday.  A few simple breathing exercises and some sun salutations to start my day and get my body moving.

3. Do your favorite activities

I love to read.  Having a good book on holiday is an important step for me to unplug on vacation.  I recently bought a kindle to use as I was reading on my ipad before and of course there was the temptation to go online and check things.  This way when I’m reading that is what I am doing, no distractions.

I also love to go snorkelling and using my snorkeling gear to see the fish!

Just a note, the more it scares you to unplug on vacation the more you need to do it.

While in the Maldives I spent a lot of time snorkeling.  The fish were so beautiful and there was so much to see from whale sharks to turtles to manta rays.  I spent a lot of time talking with the other guests on the island too.  Finding out where they came from and why they decided to visit the Maldives.

After looking through all these photos can you see how easy it was to unplug on vacation?  Ok, not completely easy, but totally worth it.  Have you ever thought how you could unplug on vacation?


Nicole LaBarge is a travel expert who has been traveling internationally for over 25 years and she has visited over 115 countries all while working a 9-5. She has lived in England, Scotland, Japan and New Zealand. Check out her detailed destination guides and travel product guides.

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