10 Tips to Detach from Work on Vacation

Last updated on February 20th, 2024 at 03:34 pm

Mental Health and Productivity

10 Ways to Detach from Work during Vacation

By August 9, 2022 4 min read

How do I detach from work while on vacation? How do I disconnect my phone while on vacation? What should I unplug when on vacation? How do you unwind from work while on vacation?

Looking for answers to these questions? Keep reading. 

According to a global study by Skynova, 91 percent of Americans claim that their workload prevented them from taking the necessary vacation time. Similarly, 88 percent of German employees, 87 percent of Spanish employees, and 81 percent of employees in France and the UK were unable to take time off due to workloads.

The ease of use and accessibility of technology makes it harder to disengage from work. According to a study by Passportphoto Online, 68 percent of respondents use their smartphones while traveling for business, and 62 percent claimed that using their devices for work, while on vacation, makes unwinding difficult. 

The respondents also found it necessary to check in due to obligations at work. Sixty percent of respondents claimed that their boss expected them to check in while they were not in the office, and 55 percent felt pressured to reply to work messages when away, even though official procedures did not mandate it.

But people regretted checking in at work when on vacation. Sixty-six percent of respondents stated they would have preferred to remain disconnected during this time.

The need to detach

Although staying connected is a strategy many people use to show their involvement, commitment, and high performance, it’s crucial to remember that taking a break is equally important for maintaining good mental health.

Regular breaks enable you to de-stress, improve your ability to think, and thereby enhance your performance at work. Additionally, breaks can also foster creativity and improve your problem-solving abilities. 

So, if you feel stressed and under pressure to work continually when on vacation and find it difficult to plug out, here are 10 ways to detach yourself from work.

10 ways to detach from work during vacation

  1. Finish as much as you can before the time

    Before you even start packing, take care of any old emails, pending jobs, assignments, or any loose ends from ongoing tasks. If you don’t plan the ongoing projects and tasks at hand before the trip, they will probably slide through the cracks. 
  2. Decide which sites and apps are still fair game

    Maybe you enjoy reading the news online every morning or keeping up with your friends on social media. Keep at it if that’s your thing. You can avoid feeling guilty about turning off your computer without checking in at the office by selecting which websites and applications are acceptable to visit before you leave.
  3. Establish a clear code for emergencies

    Make sure the coworker handling your emails and calls while you are gone is aware of the situations that would warrant disrupting your vacation. Be specific about your unavailability beforehand to avoid needless calls for clarification on vacation.

    For the same, make a document, stating all probable emergencies and their solutions. Also, distribute dependencies ahead of time. 
  4. Keep your documents in order

    Forward all emails about your trip to a different account that does not contain your work emails. Keeping important travel papers like flight schedules, hotel bookings, and rental car information in your personal email can stop you from getting pulled back into your work emails.
  5. Turn off all notifications

    Make use of your phone’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature extensively. It can be wise to carry your phone with you in case of emergencies, but if you’re going to a spa or spending the day at the beach, feel free to turn off all of your notifications and just enjoy yourself.
  6. Leave your work essentials at home

    Leave your business devices at home including work phones, tablets, laptops, wi-fi routers, projectors, and more. In this manner, you will only be reachable (on your personal device) in an emergency.
  7. Explore the inside vs. outside rule

    Try the inside vs. outside rule if you want to feel a little more connected: You are free to check your business emails when you are inside your hotel. However, you must disengage from all forms of technology once you step outside. This way, you can check in just enough to maintain your sanity without sacrificing the purpose of your trip.
  8. Plan your return

    When you return, get ready for the commotion. Don’t plan a ton of meetings on the first day back at work; doing so will only make the end of your vacation intolerable as you’ll be tempted to start going through all the accumulated emails before you even return.

    To catch up, schedule only a few hours for meetings and rest to work on pending jobs. This tip can save you from unnecessary
    workplace stress and anxiety upon your return.
  9. Ask a colleague to fill you in

    Don’t hesitate to ask someone to fill you in on anything you missed while you were on your vacation. Ensure that miscommunication during your absence, if any, is dealt with upfront. For the same, arrange a meeting with the team, go through all messages from the company group, and review work emails.
  10. Get everyone on the same page

    Regardless of your detaching technique, make sure everyone is on board before you leave so you don’t waste any of your vacation time bickering over emails. For the same, email your team members and manager, and remind them a day or two before the vacation starts. 

Bottom line

With easy access to the internet, taking a true vacation is challenging. However, you should not feel bad about taking a few days off from your work obligations. Keep in mind that doing so will improve your productivity, performance, and efficiency at work. 

If you are looking for a job that gives you complete work-life balance, try Turing.com. Turing provides high-paying, long-term remote jobs to software developers and engineers with some of the top US companies. 


  1. How do I detach from work while on vacation?
    If you struggle to switch off work while on holiday, here are a few tips for you:
    1. Finish as much as you can before the time
    2. Decide which sites and apps are still fair game
    3. Establish a clear code for emergencies
    4. Keep your documents in order
    5. Turn off all notifications

  2. How do I disconnect my phone while on vacation?
    5 tips for letting go of your phone on vacation
    1. Switch to a feature phone
    2. Use the DND feature
    3. Use Zen mode 
    4. Turn off all notifications
    5. Disconnect from the internet

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10 Tips to Detach from Work on Vacation
Article Name
10 Tips to Detach from Work on Vacation
Tips to detach from work: 1. Finish as much as you can before time 2. Decide which sites and apps are still fair game 3. Establish a clear code for emergencies
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  • Ankit Sahu

    Ankit is a writer and editor who has contributed his expertise to Govt of India, Reebok, Abbott, TimesPro, Chitale Bandhu, InsideAIML, Kolte Patil Dev., etc.


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