You’re between meetings on a business trip and on the sun lounger. Three bright young things sit in front of you. Not one of them stops to behold the postcard perfect sea before them, and instead take selfies to post on Instagram. Appalled, you take a picture of them and caption your outrage on Facebook. The irony is complete.
With smartphones, roaming bundles and portable chargers, it’s never been easier to keep our tech on while abroad. The idea of a digital detox may sound lovely in principle, but for those who need to check in regularly with work while away, logging off is out of the question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tune out at all.
Here are a few ways you can optimise your holiday experience by calling time out on tech.
Be Selfish about Social Media
We never learn, so need constant reminding. You post a holiday snap thinking that’s it. But then someone says something snide like ‘ooh, away AGAIN I see’, and you feel compelled to point out that, actually, you’re on a work trip, and by the way, what’s with the only 12 likes?
Whether it’s a comment or a news story, snippets from social media have a habit of boring into the mind. This is your opportunity to unwind. Rid yourself of the need for unnecessary communication. Free your mind from pointless information.
Have Set Times for Work Issues
There’s a condition, let’s call it ‘Let Me Just Check’, that inflicts us just before indulging in a spot of relaxation. The thinking behind it being: if you check your email to confirm nothing urgent has come up, you’ll be able to enjoy your shiatsu all the more blissfully.
Only, even though all looks well on the work front, your quick glance through your inbox will likely reveal a message from your bank, or from your phone provider, or your sister-in-law, and you’ll wonder whether it’s important just as your face buries into the massage table. Check when you’re working – switch off when you’re not.
Strip Your Phone
It’s our lifeline for everything while away: recommendations of where to eat, shop and see, map to find them, app to get a ride there, music to listen to while you’re on your way, photos to take when you get there. If these are your essentials, use them only and delete everything else.
Facebook, Snapchat, Gmail, Exploding Kittens… dump the lot. It doesn’t cost or take much time to reactivate once you’re back home. An even freer way to explore is to do your research beforehand, then travel around without needing to check your phone every five minutes. You might even stumble upon something the internet doesn’t know about yet.
Find a New Ritual
The difference between a work-free holiday and a business trip is that in the case of the latter, it’s difficult to go completely carefree. Your brain is on work mode so expects to be achieving something.
Take up a new activity that challenges the mind and energises body: yoga in the morning, running on the beach at dusk (and no, you don’t need an app for that!). Do your preferred activity religiously at set hours, to regulate the idea that there’s a time for work, time for exercise, and time to enjoy that well-earned cocktail by the pool.