Unplugging on a Disney Vacation may sound impossible. In fact, chances are you have the mobile app permanently attached to your hand to check fast pass times, the time of your dining reservation and the weather, just in case you’ll need your poncho. You probably also have your laptop waiting for you back at your resort and your Fitbit 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, 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 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 on vacation is a good idea, it’s called paid time off for a reason- cause you’re paid to be off. After an 11:30pm 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 10am 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 won’t be checking work email” 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? Read our post about how you can have fun at Disney in the rain and stop checking the weather. You can’t plan 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 about ten bucks. It makes a nice and reusable souvenir and ours has held up three years straight for the rainy season.
- Download an AutoResponder App or Set the Away Message on your phone. Yes, you can 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. Do the same with your work email.
- 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 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 in it that 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- 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. All of this can wait. If you’re worried, 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 piece of mind that they won’t call unless its urgent (hopefully).
- Ask the Disney Resort Concierge to print off your itinerary. Yes, they do still use paper. If you are daring enough to go more off the grid, you can forego the Disney mobile app altogether and return to the primitive paper copy available upon arrival at your resort. Just ask when you check in.
- Replace your Fitbit with a Magic Band. Unless your doctor has required you 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.
- Bring an actual 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.
- 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.
If you’re American, chances are you’re going to look at this list 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.
So really this is just about moving yourself a little more to the middle of the spectrum here.
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.
Good Luck! XO
P.S For tips on how to make your Disney trip less stressful check out our post here. We’re trying really hard to make sure your vacation is actually a vacation!