How to Unplug and Disconnect on a Vacation

[easy-tweet tweet=”“I’d like to dial it back 5% or 10% and try to have a vacation that’s not just e-mail with a view.” – Elon Musk”]


Work can get in the way of any vacation. Before you start packing your bags or checking the weather at your destination, be sure to have your work planned:

  • Your vacation schedule aligns with your work responsibilities
  • You have a trusted person to cover for you while you’re out
  • Any projects you’re currently working on won’t pull you away from your trip

These tips don’t apply only to work, however. Planning for any life responsibilities while you’re planning to disconnect will take a burden off your shoulders as well. For example, set your bills on auto-pay while away, so you won’t have to worry about missing a payment.

[easy-tweet tweet=”“In the technology industry, a 48-hour work week would be, for most, a vacation.” – Jason Calacanis”]


If you need to communicate with friends or family during a trip, or need to use your email to book a room or verify a password, consider creating a new email address only to be used on vacation. That way, when you do have to check your inbox you won’t be bombarded by the 45 new emails that just pushed through the night before. And, never use your work email address for any vacation-related activities; it’ll suck you right back into the office.

[easy-tweet tweet=”“On vacation, I totally unplug. I don’t bring a laptop with me.” – Will Wright”]


“Oh, I’m just going to log in from the hotel at night.” How many times have you either heard that or said it yourself? Bringing along a work laptop and related files mean you intend on working during your vacation. Why not just enjoy the destination for what it is and leave the work at home? By planning your trip appropriately, leaving a key person in charge, and finishing time-sensitive work before you leave, you shouldn’t have to work on your trip. If you do, consider a self-assessment of your delegation abilities and time-management philosophy.

[easy-tweet tweet=”“Technology is notorious for engrossing people so much that they don’t always focus on balance and enjoy life at the same time.” – Paul Allen”]


Nowadays, it is far too easy to use your smartphone as a substitute for a mobile office. Its easy accessibility will keep you from unplugging while on your trip. Instead, have your spouse or a travel partner bring along their phone for use in a pinch, but keep yours happily on the charger back in your hotel room. Or, delete your email app and set your phone to do-not-disturb, if you must have it for safety’s sake. Alternatively, you can purchase a simple temporary cell phone to leave your smartphone behind, while still having a means of communication for emergency calls or texts if you are traveling solo or your partner wants to disconnect as well.

[easy-tweet tweet=”“It doesn’t take money to turn off the television and cultivate real bonding time.” – Marianne Williamson”]


Instead of watching shows at night in your hotel room, go out and explore the sights. Listen to the sounds around you, and take in the experience without any distractions. The stillness may not seem enticing at first, but when you let yourself fully relax and let go, you’d be surprising how valuable it is.

It is a fact that American workers aren’t using all their allotted vacation time each year, and those who do often spend it working remotely. There is adventure awaiting you and much to gain by immersing oneself into the wonders of our planet and its people. The next time you’re about to head out on a vacation, unplug. Disconnect from what you’re intentionally not supposed to be doing at the moment, and reconnect with what is most important to you.

Adam Lackner - BrushBuck Wildlife Tour Guide
The backcountry is a place of enjoyment for this outdoorsman. Adam spent five years in the Marine Corps before heading for seasonal guiding positions in Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Mexico, and now Wyoming. “Being where the mountains are big keeps the complaints small!”