Unplug on Vacation: Relax and Make Memories, Instead!

It isn’t any secret that like most families, mine loves to travel.  We love planning new adventures almost as much as we love to experience them.  The thrill of planning what we will see, what new things to experience as well as tucking in some of our favorites and all the memories we know will be made can be quite thrilling.  Lots of research goes into all the details.

Are you the planning type or do you enjoy more spur of the moment, spontaneous trips?

We enjoy both, but more often than not find ourselves packing our four children into our van for a fun…road trip!

Road trips allow us to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the states we travel through, to create experiences we could not at our destination and spend quality time together as a family.  After all, that is what vacations are all about, creating memories with the ones we love and recharging from the everyday hustle.

Unplugging and Relaxation

When we were growing up, vacations were a time when work and all of the cares that went with it took a back seat to family time.  A beach day was just that: a day spent building sandcastles, hunting for shells, jumping into the waves and relaxing under a giant colorful umbrella.  The hottest accessories to bring would be sunscreen, bright sunglasses and a good book.  A day in the mountains might have been filled with a good hike, searching out wild flowers, a picnic or seeking out a beautiful waterfall.  Yes, pictures might have been involved, but you had to patiently wait to share them until they had been developed.

Vacations were truly that, a vacation.  It was time away, to unplug and recharge.  Family time was spent with your family.  Work waited until you returned, refreshed ready to tackle it head on.

In the digital age we live in, coupled with social media being a part of daily life, truly unplugging and allowing ourselves to relax can be such a difficult thing to swallow.  In the Alamo vacation survey of 2017, it showed that only 53% of individuals on vacation completely unplugged from work.  The same 2018 Alamo Family Vacation Survey  showed a significant drop in that number to only roughly one-third of individuals completely unplugging from work while on vacation.

And then there is social media!  While sharing memories from vacation can be enthralling, social media addiction can actually ruin family vacations.  Over a third of social media users admit they use it more while on family vacation than usual.  Nearly one in four people say they’ve seen social media ruin a family vacation.  Millennials feel the pressure even more than others when it comes to posting on social media.  With all the pressure, it is not surprising that 53 percent actually wish they could take a vacation from social media.

With blogging and working in social media, there are many days I wish I could myself step back from it or dial down.  After blogging now for eight years, I’ve learned there has to be a balance for myself.  I am a much better individual, wife and mother when I can actually recharge.  I sleep better at night, am a more cheerful person living in the moment and am ready to tackle work when I return.

Steps I am Taking to Unplug

On our most recent vacation, I worked hard to unplug and be in the moment with our family.  My first step was to remove the notifications from my social media apps while we vacationed.  This helped me prevent the urge to check in as often to see what they were from.  While we were out as a family, I logged out of my apps altogether.

I still took plenty of photographs but resisted the urge to share right then.  Instead, I focused on creating memories with my family.

Sharing on social media still happened, but I did so in the evening after we were finished making memories, or scheduled them out with various apps.  It didn’t truly constitute unplugging completely, but it allowed me to be much more present as we experienced our adventures and made memories.

On our next trip I will be more prepared and set up auto-responding emails to let others know I am away and unavailable.  If you need to be connected to social media for consistent posting like I attempt, why not try to schedule those days out prior to vacationing and share your vacation memories once you return?

Do you try to unplug from work and social media while on vacation?

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