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Selfcare: 33 Ideas for a Digital Detox!

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

At Thistles and Coos, one of the things that we highly emphasize is travel simpler, and what a better way than to have a digital detox and unplug on vacation, at home (during a staycation), or really, any time.

How many times have you spent in front of a screen, only to realize that you have been scrolling for hours?

We are amazed now to go to restaurants, to people watch, and see families sitting at tables, all with their heads down, in their devices, and no one talks the entire time.

It’s time to unplug and improve interpersonal communication and relationships on vacation and in our daily comings and goings. Want to boost your creativity and focus, then it’s time for a digital detox!

With our jobs, we are constantly in front of screens interpreting or writing blogs.

We understand eye strain, mood changes that come from sitting so long, or and mental fatigue from all the fast paced information that comes at you quickly.

We notice that when there is time away from technology, we are in a better frame of mind, calmer, more satisfied. We choose what we do with our time. Time to unplug and get out of the head space of everything that may weigh you down and unplug so you can grow as a person and recharge your batteries.

So when you travel, why spend so much time and energy with your head bent down and your finger scrolling, constantly on a phone, a tablet, a laptop or computer?

We understand that work and/or school might require you to stay connected. When we traveled to Edinburgh, Greg had to bring his computer because he had classes to do, and deadlines to meet.

When Natalie was on her honeymoon, she had to take her laptop because she had projects due in school that had to be done before midnight. So, waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning to work on a paper is sometimes a necessary evil that you have to do.

But let's just say that you're going on vacation for fun and relaxation, not about having to do any kind of work.

100% unplugging to improve mental and physical health!

Escape from the daily grind and pick your ideal getaway. Find a place that forces you to unplug!

For some it may be a quiet mountain cabin where you can sit outside and take in the views, maybe even a lake house, be outside along the water and listen to it lap the dock at night, the ocean waves crashing, camping with a crackling fire in the middle of nowhere.

Whatever it is that you're doing to unplug, really try and take yourself away from the technical addiction that we all seem to be running into and find ways of unplugging from technology.

Not only do our eyes need a bit of a digital detox so does our brain. Even if you're not looking at a screen, give your brain a chance to enjoy some of the quiet moments and find that inner peace and joy.

When you go for a walk, leave your earbuds and music back at the hotel.

When you're sitting out at night, just listen to the sounds that are around you. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the quiet.

Meditate. Stretch. Take the time to take some deep breaths and oxygenate your body. Little things that go a long way are so important.

Taking that time away to unplug can also decrease anxiety and fear. Long, deep breaths can soothe tight muscles.


Need some ideas? Look no further:

Digital Detox..

  • If you can’t fully detox, limit screen time.

  • Set an alarm. You’ll be amazed at how much time is spent on social media!

Start your day right:

  • Meditate

  • Enjoy a healthy breakfast and savor each bite

  • Wait at least one hour before you look at your phone if you want to check it.

  • If you have your cell phone, silence your notifications.

  • Morning coffee, tea (try a new flavor) Sip and enjoy


33 Additional unplugging ideas:

  1. Catch up on sleep.. Sleep on the plane… or take an afternoon nap

  2. Bring a book

  3. Play music (Dance, be silly)

  4. Write in a journal

  5. Renting a car? Go for a drive and get lost. Stop wherever you feel like stopping! No rules. Just go!

  6. Get out and walk, be in nature

  7. Go to your city’s tallest building or highest peak at sunrise or sunset

  8. Have drinks on a rooftop pub/cafe. Soak in the views.

  9. Take a midnight stroll

  10. Rent bicycles… activity forces you to unplug

  11. Sit outside and look at the stars

  12. Go for a hike

  13. Take a walk and to appease the curious brain, get lost for the afternoon

  14. Go on a photo scavenger hunt… but with your actual camera!

  15. Go to a restaurant that serves food you’ve never had before. Ethiopian! Mongolian barbeque! Cambodian! Haggis!

  16. Picnic in the park

  17. Have high tea and share the table with a stranger… leave as friends

  18. Progressive dinner: put all the pubs, cafes, coffee shops, restaurants in a hat. Draw the names out: one for appetizer, one for main course, one for drinks and dessert.

  19. Try out the farmer’s market, go back and cook a meal if you have booked a place with a kitchen. Stop on the way to your apartment and buy candles, have an ambient dinner

  20. Go to the supermarket, buy unusual snacks

  21. Find a thrift store… go shopping!

  22. Go buy postcards from a local tourist spot and send them to your friends in other cities

  23. Attend an event: concert, theater production, parade, festival.. Whatever is happening in town

  24. Find a bar/pub that has local live music

  25. Watch a local street performer (and tip them)

  26. Hop on Hop Off Bus tour

  27. Walking tour

  28. Museum hop

  29. Play cards or a board game

  30. Bring conversation starter card pack. Pour some drinks and sit around, and I don’t know, TALK!

  31. Traveling with friends: play music games, or sing karaoke

  32. If there is a pottery place, go make something one afternoon

  33. Put a puzzle together

Come up with your own ideas. This is a chance to savor the moments. Recharge your batteries. Get out of the vacation what you put into it. Your memories will thank you! Then, in no time, you’ll be ready to go on the next adventure!


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