Unplugging on a Disney Vacation may sound impossible. In fact, chances are you have the Disney My Experience mobile app permanently attached to your hand. And given that it offers up ride wait times, Disney Genie, Mobile ordering, and the time of your dining reservation, why would you want a change? And we get it’s hard to stay away from checking the weather so you know if you need your poncho. You probably also have your laptop waiting for you back at your resort. And your Fitbit is attached to your wrist to make sure this vacation actually improves your health. We live in a digital age, so what can you do?
Just Breathe. Remember that you’re on vacation for a reason. To take a break from work, BREAK. To take a break from life. To bond with your friends. To spend time with your family. Whatever your reason, it’s a good one. Don’t doubt it. You need this. OK, So how can you unplug all the plugs- when you really really really need them? Here’s our best advice on how to make the most of your Disney vacation by staying a little more unplugged.
Leave your laptop at home
As much as you think getting work done while you’re on vacation is a good idea, it’s called Paid Time Off for a reason- cause you’re paid to be off. After an 11:30 pm fireworks show and a 45 minute Disney bus ride back to your resort, do you really want to stay up for another few hours to get work done when you have a 10 am breakfast reservation? Prepare for the time off by completing extra work a few weeks before. Finish up projects, set up your out the office Automatic Email Reply to say “I have limited access to email, please forward questions to…” And talk with a coworker about how to handle things while you’re gone. Faith Trust and Pixie Dust can get you through letting go a little bit.
Pack the poncho
Obsessed with checking the weather? Or perhaps just know the inconsistency of Florida rain a little too well? Read our post about how you can have fun at Disney in the rain and stop checking the weather. You can’t control mother nature so stop trying and just put that plastic bundle of joy in your bag. If you want to buy one at the gift shop on your first day, it comes with a Disney parks logo and runs for about $12 bucks. It makes a nice and reusable souvenir and ours has held up three years straight for the rainy season. Or grab this 5 pack of vacation ponchos for the family.
Set the Away Message on your phone
Check your phone to set up away messages for incoming texts, and silence your ringer. You can also download an app to help limit your texting/ phone distractions. The important people in your life will either be on vacation with you or should know about your upcoming vacation. For everyone else, let them see you’re busy by setting up an instant text that lets them know when you’ll return. Be sure to do the same with your work email and work phone.
Delete your Work Email from your Phone
Believe it or not, Microsoft Office 365 will still be there when you return from vacation. That said, the last thing you need is one dull moment waiting in line when you check your work email, realize you need to fix something and spend the rest of the day at Disney working or being upset. Just delete your work email app. You can reinstall it when you re-enter reality later.
Turn Off Notifications on Apps
Nothing is more stressful than seeing that little red bubble with numbers pop up on your app. Because it always equals Unfinished Business on your phone. And even then, it’s not so much the bubble as what’s on the other side of it. Perhaps it’s a coworker who can’t find a file, your mother calling to complain about the neighbors, someone wanting you to donate money, an Instagram post from someone cooler than you, a Facebook post about a tragedy in your hometown. You get it, the list goes on and on. All of this can wait. If you’re really worried about your virtual social life, put a little away message in your bio so your followers don’t freak out if you don’t reply right away.
Let your Family know you’re on Vacation
A quick email to your family or a call to your mother will allow you to hash out any concerns ahead of time so you can let them know you’ll be off the grid for a while. This will give them some instruction and give you the peace of mind that they won’t call unless it’s urgent (hopefully).
Replace your Fitbit with a Magic Band
Unless your doctor has required you to wear it, take a vacation from tracking the details of your life. You will walk between 9-15 miles a day while you are at Disney. Feel free to unplug with that knowledge. Your vacation isn’t supposed to be “purposeful” or a tick on your fitness goal list. Take it easy. Relax.
Bring a Real Camera
Having a camera around your neck or on a wristlet will prevent you from using your phone every 5 seconds to take pictures. Not only will your pictures look better but you’ll be surprised how many new things you will actually see when those notifications aren’t popping up all over the place. And while you shouldn’t experience your Disney Vacation through the lens, chances are you’ll see things differently, knowing that another picture could be around the corner.
Purchase Early Check-In for your Flight Home
Get rid of the worry about checking in for your flight 24 hours before you depart. Purchase the early check-in option so you don’t have to interrupt the ride, the meal, the sleep, or the pool time to make sure you have a flight home. While this does usually cost something, if you find you’re a worrier, it may be a wonderful way to cut yourself some slack.
How to Unplug on Vacation
If you’re American, chances are you’re going to look at this list of ways to Unplug on Vacation and say “Uh, No. Not possible.” If you’re Italian you’re going to look at this and say “My phone stays on airplane mode when I’m on vacation anyway, I only check it once a day.” We’re not saying leave your phone in the hotel room. You need your phone with you for emergency reasons if nothing else. What we are saying is that you…and you alone… decide how often you let it overtake your life. You didn’t just spend loads of money on a Disney Vacation so you could be on your phone. So really this is just about moving yourself a little more to the middle of the spectrum here.
Take One Step
You don’t have to do all of these things, but even if you do just a few you should notice more happening on your vacation and less happening on your phone. Check out our 10 Ways to Make Your Disney Vacation Less Stressful. Because we’re trying really hard to make sure your vacation is actually a vacation! Enjoy it!