1. Ease into the tech-free zoneA couple of weeks before you leave for your vacation take some short technology breaks. Try going out on a weekend night without the phone, or leave your device at home when you go to the gym or the grocery store. We know you can do it! This way, when you stop using electronics for a full week, it won’t be such a shock to your system.
2. Create a pre-vacation checklistThe more diligent you are about preparing for your time out of the office, the easier it will be to unplug while you’re away. Lynze Wardle Lenio of The Muse recommends creating a to-do list that includes projects that need to be completed before you head out on vacation as well as those that need to be handled immediately upon your return. She recommends sharing the list with your boss so that he or she is aware of exactly what you are leaving on your plate.
3. Prepare colleagues for your vacationPrior to leaving, alert colleagues and clients to your vacation plans. Enlist your manager’s help in delegating any duties that cannot wait until you come back. Be sure to leave detailed notes and instructions for colleagues who will serve as point persons and provide those colleagues’ phone numbers and email addresses on your outgoing voicemail and out-of-office email messages.
4. Consider choosing a vacation destination without cell phone accessDigital detox vacations have become a popular option, especially for parents striving to get their children to put down their cell phones. Family camps such as Sandy Island, part of the Greater Boston YMCA, are an opportunity for parents and children to spend time together doing outdoor activities in a refreshingly low-tech environment. The Tyler Place Family Resort in Highgate Springs, Vt., another tech-free vacation spot, offers programming for infants, toddlers, children, teens, families and couples, all on the grounds of a beautiful, yet family-friendly all-inclusive resort.
5. If you absolutely must be online…While having an entirely unplugged vacation is a worthy aspiration, for some of it may not be in the cards. If you’re unable to commit to a complete digital detox, set some limits with your boss and coworkers and stick to them! Maybe you’ll set aside a half hour each day to read email, only responding to messages that are really important. Better yet, check in twice during the course of the week, and keep the phone turned off and in your hotel room the rest of the time.