Attempting to Unplug on Vacation- almost impossible

Many of us plan a vacation in order to take a break from our screens. We make a valiant attempt to unplug on vacation. We escape to nature, the beach, the mountains or any destination for some peace and quiet. In this day and age, it can be challenging, as our dependence on technology and internet continues to increase – even on vacation.

Through no fault of our own, the days of “unplugging” and decreasing “screen time” are null and void. Business owners and even government agencies are depending on technology for almost everything and this is then expected of all customers and citizens- even on vacation.

Recently on an international vacation, we attempted to take a break from technology as a couple. With a booking at an all inclusive resort, complete with flight and transportation arranged and paid for ahead of time, we planned to relax, read “real books” (made with paper) and soak in the sun and all of the other luxuries associated with a beach resort. Unfortunately we needed our phones multiple times a day and were expected to refer to the in-room tablet for our navigation- even on vacation.

  • Daily activity schedules- on the tablet
  • Drink menus and Restaurant menus- scan the code on your phone
  • Complete surveys or questionnaires- on your phone or tablet provided

Entry into another country- scan the code and complete the questionnaire at the airport. This not only meant scanning and filling out the form, but also signing into airport wi-fi as a necessity. I am often leery of using public Wi-Fi- even on vacation.

Here is the scan coded required for boarding our plane in Mexico. Here is the current information for travel from the US into Mexico.

It’s not all bad

Resort Wi-Fi is wonderful and I appreciate the ability to communicate with family and friends back in the States, but I also enjoy peace and quiet and the ability to ignore my phone and decompress. My phone is normally with me at all times because I am the designated photographer for our family, but that is my choice. I often take pictures while in airplane mode to save battery and avoid interruption. I don’t want to be bothered- even on vacation.

What can we do?

There are still steps you can take to unplug on vacation. Pack paper books and magazines. Ask for paper menus. Do research ahead of time. The health questionnaire may have been able to be completed and printed prior to departure. Stay off social media. Just because your phone is handy doesn’t mean you need to be using it- even on vacation.

Here we are sharing the paper menu we received upon special request.

Times are always changing, technology constantly progressing, and the term “convenience” can be left up to interpretation. These facts and observations are present everywhere these days. If you want a paper copy it’s ok to be a bit stubborn. It doesn’t mean you can’t still make a stand- even on vacation.

Plan to come home with sand in your phone case as a beach souvenir. Due to increasing technology and the Covid-19 pandemic, I think paper and printed materials are becoming a thing of the past- even on vacation.

For now, I plan to read my PAPERback books, read PRINTED menus, and request a HARDCOPY boarding pass- especially on vacation.

Related Posts:
Weekend Getaways- Great option during the pandemic
Headed to Mexico- Basing travel on Lonesome Dove Quotes

518 thoughts on “Attempting to Unplug on Vacation- almost impossible”

  1. In today’s world, it is almost impossible to unplug.. Our phones and tablets make it so much easier to find things to do! But the funny part is now I have so much to do when vacationing I need a vacation from my vacation! But I prefer to do everything “old” style!

  2. I am incredibly stubborn when it comes to technology- I plan in the next five years to be completely free from personal technology aside from calling and text – maybe im ridiculous but oh well! I still write real letters, read real books and save every ticket stub or travel document. But it is definitely getting harder and harder

  3. I definitely understand the desire to unplug for a while. It can be great for your mental health! I think a great way to minimize the use, even with COVID restrictions requiring the use of it, is to mute all notifications! Then you have no distractions and can use it only for the menus or questionnaires!

  4. I just went to the doctor a few days ago and when I arrived, they sent a code to my phone with a link so I could sign their forms on MY phone. I don’t like it one bit!! I have a really hard time reading things on such a small device. I haven’t traveled since COVID and am disheartened to hear how much you were expected to use your phone for simple tasks. You’re right – it’s getting very difficult to unplug.

  5. I can relate. I love when we go camping in areas that are out of cell phone or wifi range! It just doesn’t give me the option to sneak a peak. I do take lots of pictures with my phone though

  6. I have started leaving my phone at home, more and more in the every day actions. On vacation, as a solo traveller, it is more difficult because like you it is my camera. However, I usually change SIM cards, and that means no messages and that sure helps!

  7. Unplugging is sooo important! Whether its on vacation or everyday, we need to relearn how to be present and live in the moment!

  8. I worked in IT for 10+ years before becoming a stay home mom in the past 3 years. My husband always said he hadn’t seen anyone earn a living in Tech and be so unplugged at the same damn time! I would take my laptop home and never once even look at it, till it was time to go to work. And all the latest tech news couldn’t even bother me. I felt Tech was me at work it didn’t have to be me at home. It is great to unplug!. I still love handwritten letters. I sue tech when I have to and leave it alone when I really don’t need it.

  9. I understand! During international travel or when I’m visiting a new place in the US my phone is an important part of capturing it all. I try to do at least one solo weekend getaway a year so I can unplug and have some downtime.

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