Here’s How You Can Unplug and Be Present on Your Family Vacation

There’s little I enjoy more in life than a getaway trip with my family. More specifically, our annual week-long adventures to celebrate my daughter’s birthday are an absolute treasure. Throughout the years, I’ve experimented with how I divide my time for our trip.

As a working mom, I’m constantly tempted to check my work email, browse through social media, and be on alert for urgent assignments. None of those digital interactions were ever more important than being present and enjoying the company of my family. This is your excuse to unplug and focus on why you took the vacation in the first place.

If you’re eagerly awaiting an upcoming trip with your family, I challenge you to reconsider how you use that special time. Below are some tips on how you can unplug and be present on your family vacation.

Set clear expectations

Setting clear expectations with your family and co-workers is essential when taking an “off the grid” vacation. Sure, you may still have Wi-Fi and cell service, but choosing not to be available is another story. By setting clear expectations, your team will understand that unless something is urgent, they should not expect to hear from you. Getting your family in on this can be helpful too. As they can keep you focused and away from any devices.

Leave electronics at home (if you can)

One of the best ways to avoid work-related temptations is to leave your electronics behind. You can’t work from a laptop that isn’t around in the first place. Let your team know that you won’t be traveling with your work computer and phone and that you won’t be available while you’re away. If leaving these devices isn’t an option for you, find a safe space in the hotel where they’re out of sight but available if you need to reach for them.

Turn off push notifications

One of the biggest distractions when it comes to electronics are push notifications. They’re constantly reminding you to check your phone, to read a message, and to attend to something other than what’s most important at that moment. If you can’t leave your electronics behind, then at least turn off your push notifications and avoid the constant disruptions during your family getaway.

Delete distracting apps

If you’re a mindless social media scroller, a frequent email checker, or a speedy text responder, then even silenced notifications might not keep you from constantly checking your phone. If you’re serious about unplugging on your upcoming trip, then deleting these distracting apps might be the answer. Don’t worry, you can always re-download them. After your vacation, of course.

Set specific check-in times

If completely unplugging from work isn’t a possibility for you, then consider setting specific check-in times when you can check your work phone, email, and urgent messages. A great time to do this is early in the morning or late at night when the rest of your family is asleep. This time should not be dedicated to working. Instead, focus on addressing any urgent matters that need your immediate attention. The work will still be there when you return.