4 hours and 37 minutes–
…that’s not the time I spend with friends, working, playing sports, or doing household chores. This is the time I spend on my phone most of the day. Sometimes it works out with less time, thanks to time locks for some apps. One day I also went completely cell phone free. 24 hours without a cell phone -yay-, but still a real challenge, you feel kind of empty and bored. These withdrawal symptoms speak for themselves.
On my last trip, to the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes, the Wi-Fi did not work. My travel companion immediately got in a bad mood and was annoyed with the hotel. I said that we would have a nice vacation anyway – just now a Digital Detox one. It was a bit unusual not to be able to quickly check the weather tomorrow or to use Google Maps to select a restaurant. In the morning not to look directly at the cell phone and in the evening not the last look before falling asleep – at first it took some getting used to, but after a while it was really relaxing. I realized that I don’t really need most of the “news”.
What exactly is Digital Detox?
Literally translated Digital Detox means taking time out from digital media. In the meantime, you put your smartphone or laptop aside or give up your streaming services. You consciously withdraw from constant accessibility and constant networking and focus on your life in the here and now. You are much more aware of your ‘real life’, your environment and your fellow human beings.
Digital Detox on the road
I had a different travel experience without internet than with. I was more open to the environment because I wasn’t looking at my phone all the time. You see the surroundings, observe animals and people. You hear the sounds and voices. You are really there and not in a virtual illusory world.
I still took my cell phone with me for pictures, but I took fewer and more deliberate photos. Only a few photos of great motifs that I want to print out and stick in my photo album – very oldschool.
Especially when you’re on vacation, your main goal is to leave the stress of everyday life behind, to forget about work or to completely switch off. In return, you might also want to discover a new destination you’re not familiar with, enjoy the scenery and local food, or get to know new cultures. Isn’t all this much better if you don’t have your phone with you all the time?
Of course, you have to change some habits and, like Ina, get used to certain situations in which you normally pull out your cell phone. But there are countless good reasons to take the plunge – you can decide for yourself how long you want to go through your digital detox.
Maybe you’ll try that on your next trip, too. It doesn’t have to be the whole trip and the entire smartphone, one day without Internet is enough for the beginning.
Tipps for your own Digital-Detox-Trip
Travel Guide instead of Google Maps.
You can find these little books in any bookstore or at the ADAC. You’ll find lots of useful and exciting information about your destination that you might not have found on Maps. And the best thing about it: Offline travel guides don’t need an LTE network! If you don’t feel like buying a new guidebook, there’s also the option of asking locals – they usually know the most about their place of residence anyway. If you book an accommodation on socialbnb, for example, the contact to locals is automatically established and you can easily get individual tips for your destination.
Camera instead of Smartphone.
Of course you can, as Ina did, simply use your cell phone camera consciously and turn off the Internet to be offline. But if you want to go on a real, 100% digital detox vacation, take a small digital camera or a disposable camera with you. First of all, they don’t have unlimited memory, so you’ll be shooting your photos much more selectively, and somehow it’s a bit of nostalgia, right? And in the end, you can create a photo album and reminisce for years to come.
Postcards instead of Insta-Stories.
If you want to share with your family and friends from your vacation, you probably usually do some Instagram stories, post something on Facebook or send some photos via Whatsapp. But how about some postcards again? It doesn’t have to be the classic four pictures on a card – in many towns there are also small stores with cards in Polaroid format. Or you can print out a few of your self-shot photos while you’re still on vacation and send them as your own postcards – it doesn’t get much more personal than that!
If you’re interested in the topic, be sure to read this blog post – on this bike ride, internet was a rarity too!