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Checking Out After Checking In

Posted by Amy Leathe on Wed, Aug 31, 2011

Be honest. How many times, in the past few years, have you been completely “unplugged” on vacation? No email (work or personal), no cell phone, no internet, no TV. If you’re like me, it seems hard to even imagine!

A recent Wall Street Journal article, When Hotel Guests Check In, Their iPhones Amy in ParisCheck Out, describes the “digital detox” programs that some hotels and resorts are beginning to offer their guests. Upon check-in, guests hand over their digital devices to hotel staff for the duration of their trip. In some cases TVs will also be removed from rooms and the hotel will offer a discounted stay.  In return, guests are provided with “old school” entertainment options such as books and board games. Hotels in Washington D.C., New York City, and Wyoming are offering this low-tech option.

 Totally unplugging, however, can be very difficult on vacation. It’s especially tough for busy professionals tied to their email, and with family commitments back home. A recent American Express study found that 79% of travelers expect to remain connected on all or part of their next vacation; 72% will read personal email and one-in-five will check work email. With technology devices increasingly at your fingertips, it can be hard to escape but the benefits of being unplugged are numerous – time to rejuvenate, relax, escape and ‘digitally detox’ after months or years since your last vacation.

 Perhaps it is impractical or even impossible for you to surrender all computer and cell phone access while on vacation, but here are a few tips for how to do a “digital detox light” on your next trip:

  • Set a time limit for use of social media and the internet each day, and stick to it.

  • Leave your phone in your room, and then of course, get out of your room.

  • Get colleagues to provide coverage for you while out and promise to pay back the favor on their next trip.

  • Use cell phones only for emergencies or quick check-ins with friends and family back home.

Each traveler needs to tailor use of digital devices to their own needs. But if a digital detox sounds good to you, make sure to search for these types of offers before booking your next trip!

This post was written by Amy Leathe. Amy has been with CMB for three years and is a Project Manager on the Travel and Hospitality team. She is happy to report that she was successful digitally detoxing on a trip to Germany and France in August - she only logged in to work email once!

Topics: mobile, travel and hospitality research