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You’ve planned this vacation for months and you’re finally on the plane. As you’re taking off, you can feel your heart rate drop and your muscles relax. But when you put your phone down and turn off the TV, where does your mind go?

The next thing you know, it’s been three hours and all you can think about is how many messages are waiting for you back at home.

We know that social media can be a huge distraction when we’re supposed to be enjoying our time away from work, but it’s still difficult to resist the urge to check our messages or Facebook feed. Here are some tips that might help.

Travel Planning. Photo by Vlada Karpovich
Travel Planning. Photo by Vlada Karpovich

Plan Ahead to Be Able Stay in The Moment

Try to keep work at work. The more you can plan ahead, the easier it will be to disconnect. Try to finish that project before you leave. Let your coworker know to not bother you while you are on vacation.

Likewise, try to delete apps like slack off of your phone before you leave so your coworkers don’t have the chance to bother you.

If you know you’ll be tempted to check your messages, don’t download the apps on your phone while you’re still in the airport. Once you’re at your vacation destination, delete the apps from your phone.

Schedule Activities You are Interested in

This is probably the easiest way to keep your head in the moment. Although you might not be able to do this on your first day, try to plan fun activities that will keep your mind occupied while you’re away.

If you want to really get into it, research some new hobbies that are available where you are going. The best way to stay in the moment is to do something that engages you.

Notifications. Photo by Torsten Dettlaff
Notifications. Photo by Torsten Dettlaff

Turn Off Notifications to Stay in The Moment

One of the best ways to avoid the urge to check your phone is by turning off notifications. This is especially important if you’re using social media apps for work, but it can be helpful when you’re on vacation too. It’s as simple as going into your phone notification setting and switching them off.

Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by Errin Casano
Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by Errin Casano

If Necessary, Block Your Time

One way to manage your time is by blocking off all social media sites for a certain number of hours. It can be as short as one hour or as long as 24 hours, but it’s important to set a time limit so you don’t spend the whole day on your phone scrolling through photos and updates.

Five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes — whatever time you decide on — just make sure you tell yourself that this is all the time you’re going to spend on social media. That way you won’t feel like you’re limiting your time and missing out.

Krün, Germany. Photo by Mateusz Sałaciak
Krün, Germany. Photo by Mateusz Sałaciak

Set up Out-of-Office Notifications

Many people set up out-of-office notifications to let their contacts know they’re not available. Some go with a more subtle approach, like marking themselves as “invisible.” If you need reminders, you can also schedule an automated email to be sent.

Limit the Number of Devices You Bring

This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth noting. If you’re on vacation, try not to bring your laptop with you. You don’t need it for work purposes and checking Facebook or Instagram will just be a distraction.

New York Terminal. Photo by Dimitry Anikin
New York Terminal. Photo by Dimitry Anikin

Delegate to Stay in The Moment

If you have a significant other or a roommate, delegate responsibility to them. Pick an individual you can trust and ask them to keep an eye on things while you are away. This is always great because it can free you from worrying about small things. It affords you more peace of mind.

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Author Bio: Sandy Page is a life-long adventurer. In her free time, she reads and consumes copious amounts of hot beverages.

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