Vacation: Unplugged

Oh. The. Irony.

I feel a bit silly writing about the benefits of unplugging on vacation as I sit typing on my laptop with my iPhone plugged in next to me. Just a few minutes ago, I was totally stressing because of the lack of wifi here in the Italian countryside and the necessity of me posting this tonight.

But the thing is, vacation is not all about being completely disconnected from work, the people at home, or the world around you.

What I've realized is that keeping myself completely away from my phone and laptop is often more stressful than being connected all the time. A missed email here, a missed text there... and suddenly there's a lot to catch up on. And for me, it's really the instagram photos that get to me. It really bothers me when I'm not completely up to date with the latest pictures because then it's like this eternally scrolling page.

That being said, when you're on vacation, you're on vacation. You should be spending time out and about and with family and friends. My trick is to not completely unplug while on vacation- but to set appropriate limits on "screen-time." Here are a few tips for achieving that balance between being totally connected and technology-free while on vacation:

Establish A Time: It's important to have boundaries while on vacation, especially with technology. If your hotel has free wifi, then how about allow yourself to only use your phone while you're in the hotel? Or, better yet, try setting a specific time for when you'll be plugged in. For example, only use your tech items for an hour before bed.

Dine Sans Technology: A big pet peeve of mine is when people use their phones at the dinner table. Or lunch table. Or breakfast table. Or in any situation that involves food. That being said, I am absolutely guilty of doing so myself. Nowadays, lots of restaurants in major cities across the world will offer free wifi. And it isn't too difficult to hack into a nearby service, either. But try to refrain from using your phone during dinner. It's disruptive, especially when you're around lots of other people. Enjoy each others company. Enjoy the wonderful food. And only take your phone out to take a #foodstagram (totally fair game).

Say "No" to TV: The one thing I absolutely will never do while on vacation is watch TV. Especially with my laptop (and therefore Netflix) at my disposal, it's pretty tempting to click over to a site to watch my favorite TV shows from home. But to me, TV is essentially worse than doing nothing. It's not particularly productive. I'd rather be reading a book or even just sitting outside. If I am planning on watching TV, I'm always watching either CNN, BBC, or foreign cartoons (they're hilarious- especially if they're American cartoons dubbed in another language).

How do you unplug while on vacation? Do you like to completely disconnect or have a little bit of "tech-time" every day? 

P.S. My Passport (complete with Student Visa stamp) is on its way! *cue huge sigh of relief*


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