Don’t pick up your phone on your next holiday

woman sitting on pier using phone at sunset

Electronic devices can be vital for travelling, but they also have the capacity to distract and prevent you from enjoying your holiday to the max.

Of course, phone and electronic devices have a place on holiday. Maps are vital, payment apps can take the stress out of carrying cash and is it really a holiday if you haven’t taken a photo of sunset scene and posted it to social media?

But just like in real life, on holiday, phones can become a distraction.

If you are out by the pool but scrolling through news sites, are you really living in the moment?

Read: Are you a terrible traveller?

In extreme cases, it’s called nomophobia – short for no mobile phobia – a word used to describe feelings of overwhelming anxiety, panic and fear of not having your phone or being able to use it.

As recent events have shown, travel is a privilege we have taken for granted, so don’t waste a moment more than you must looking at a screen.

Here are a few tips to learn to dial it down.

You’ve planned this holiday – you had to – why not also plan some phone-free time?

It’s probably hard in this day and age to go cold turkey, but perhaps set aside a day, an afternoon or even just a meal to have as phone-free time.

Read: Tips for snapping great sunrise and sunset photos

If you have travelling companions, rope them into keeping you on the straight and narrow. It could even be a competition, or a shared goal, about who can keep away from their phone longest or a set time.

To make it easier, plan an activity during any phone-free time. It could be as simple as everyone contributes a topic of conversation, a mini trivia event or even just a phone-free walk.

Also, make sure to set up an out-of-office message on your email. Few people are so vital to their work they are needed on their holidays and you’re probably not one of them.

It’s also a good idea to identify what triggers your motivation to pick up your phone.

Are you bored? You shouldn’t be, you’re on holiday. Are you stressed? Lonely? Feeling like you are missing out on something?

Examine why you keep constantly checking your phone or device and it may provide the answer as to how you can break the habit.

Where it’s possible, turn off any notifications. A phone that is constantly beeping or flashing is demanding attention and hard to ignore.

Read: How to streamline your suitcase

Go through the settings and check which apps you are using the most and where possible use the settings to limit the time you can spend on those apps or even ban them for a set period. Automatically turning on the Do Not Disturb mode every night is also a good idea.

After setting that up, move all your most distracting apps to the last page of you phone. If an app is harder to get to maybe it will make you think twice about opening it.

Treat yourself to a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that staring at screens before bedtime can affect the quality of sleep. Make it easier on yourself by not charging your phone near the bed, thus removing temptation.

If you are missing your late scrolling, just before you go to bed is the perfect time to read a book. Remember those?

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Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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