8 Tech Features To Help You Disconnect On Vacation

We love, love, love vacation, but if we’re constantly checking our phones, it’s nowhere near as restful as it needs to be. But even when we decide to disconnect and give our brains a rest, it’s not always easy to set that boundary, or to break the habit of checking social media. That’s why we rounded up some of our favorite tech features to help you actually disconnect during your travels and get the rest you need.

Set Up Your Email OOO

You probably already know about this one, but it’s such an easy way to take a break from emails that we had to include it! You can set your email OOO message ahead of time to start and end on certain days so you won’t leave anyone hanging. Don’t forget to send a Slack to your coworkers too (followed by promptly turning off notifications)!

Email OOO Template

“Thanks so much for reaching out. I’m out of office from [insert vacation start date] to [insert vacation end date], but will be happy to respond when I return the following Monday. If you’re reaching out with an urgent request, please contact [insert a colleague’s email]†

girl laying in bed with a magazine

Do Not Disturb + Sleep Modes

While these features don’t prevent you from opening other apps, they silence notifications, which can be a big reason you get on your phone in the first place. Sleep mode in particular is great because it will give you a bedtime reminder before it takes effect so you’re not aimlessly scrolling on TikTok until 2am.

woman walking through the city looking at her phone

Screen Time Limit

If there are particular apps that you waste the most time on, this hack is for you! You can go into your phone’s settings to set time limits on individual apps. It doesn’t prevent you from opening them after your time is up since you can get out of it, but sometimes all we need is a nudge in the right direction.

girl sitting on her floor looking at her device Disconnect On Vacation

Focus Apps

There are a number of apps that will block other apps, silence notifications, or even shut down your phone for a certain period of time.

forest is great for houseplant lovers and non alike! It plants a virtual seed when you put your phone down, which grows into a tree as you stay off your phone. When you leave the app before your time is up, the tree will die. But staying focused and growing a full tree earns you coins, which you can turn in to plant real trees.

freedom will let you block sites or apps (depending on whether you’re using mobile or desktop) to prevent you from wasting time. Or you can just block the internet as a whole if you’re really going for an off the grid vacation. You can sync across your devices, plan ahead, and make exceptions for the sites that you need.

woman sitting on the couch reading a book

Offload Your Apps

Sometimes when we go to check our phones, if there’s anything to deter us from opening an app, we’ll recognize that we don’t actually want to get on social media. We’d rather pick up our latest readOffloading your apps is like the middle ground between keeping your app and deleting it, and it will save all your data. Even if you click it out of habit, it takes a few seconds to re-download — just cancel the download before the app is ready to go.

work laptop on a desk Disconnect On Vacation

More Ideas

Log Out Of Your Profiles

Similar to the way that offloading your apps will give you extra time to recognize whether you want to be on your phone, logging out of your social profiles (and even deleting the saved passwords) will provide another buffer. Having to log in over and over might make you not want to login at all.

Rearrange Your Apps

If you have a habit of checking Instagram that you’re not sure how to break, try rearranging your apps. That way, when your muscle memory kicks in, you’ll open your grocery shopping app instead, giving you time to consider whether or not you really want to scroll.

Set An Alarm

When all else fails, set a good old alarm as a social media time limit. The noise will break your zoned out state and give you the clarity you need to stop scrolling.

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