When it comes to holidays, all of us want to escape the stresses and strains of the daily grind. Yet many of us take our trusty smartphones on holiday, checking emails on the beach, replying to WhatsApp messages and snapping pictures for Instagram. Then we wonder why we return from our break feeling just as stressed as we did when we left. When you’re booking your long-anticipated cruise holiday, why not think about giving yourself a proper break with a full digital detox? Here are a few tips on how to cope without your smartphone and make the most of your wonderful cruising adventure.
The first thing many of us feel when we think about giving up our phones is a panic-fuelled dread. What happens if someone desperately needs to contact us? How will we document our special holiday moments? Who will tell us what time it is? Instead of panicking, just plan what to pack for your trip like it’s 1995, with a wristwatch, a camera, and a phone call to your mum to tell her that you’ll be out of touch.
If you’re worried that you won’t know how to entertain yourself without scrolling through Facebook, head to the ships’ libraries, which are often well stocked with a variety of genres. For the quick readers among us, book a cruise on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, which has the best-stocked library of any cruise liner on the water. You’ll feel loads better for checking out of the digital world and into a good book, we promise.
Make a Pact
We are much more likely to stick to our resolutions when we have someone to hold us to account, so indulge in the ultimate humblebrag and tell everyone you know you’ll be checking out of the online world. Ask your friends not to tag you in any posts, add any pictures of you, or send you any messages whilst you’re away, so you won’t be tempted to check your notifications. When you get home, you’ll probably find that you haven’t missed much, and you feel amazingly refreshed from spending some time away from the screen. Plus, you can bask in the glow of the envy of your digital-addicted friends, when you return relaxed and stress free, with plenty of exciting real-life stories.
Be in the Moment
Doing a digital detox is the perfect way to check out of the online world and check into the moment, and a cruise is the ideal place to do this. Whether you pick a stunning cruise around the gems of the Mediterranean, the sandy white shores of Australia, or the paradise islands of South East Asia, there is always plenty to experience on a cruise holiday.
Instead of hiding behind your selfie stick, get up on deck and experience the special feeling of docking in a new port first hand. Visit colourful temples and absorb their tranquillity, close your eyes and let your mind drift as you stretch out on hot white sands, let awe overwhelm you as you encounter wild animals and ancient artworks without a camera lens between you and them. Be in the moment and make memories, not Instagram posts.
Most cruise ships have amazing wellness centres, designed to help you recharge yourself physically and mentally during your holiday. A digital detox is the perfect time to learn how to quiet a busy brain and really get in touch with yourself again. Book a regular class with your ship’s expert yoga instructor and learn how to stretch, breathe and meditate your worries away. Not only will this help take your mind off how many unread emails you might have, it’ll also boost your mood and your fitness, giving you an enviable glow that will have all your friends asking for your secret when you return home.
Cruises are the ultimate luxury holiday, and on-board spas are the perfect way to indulge yourself during your trip. Many cruise lines have dedicated on-board retreats, where passengers can enjoy all kinds of treatments from revitalising facials to relaxing full body massages. Use your digital detox as an opportunity to treat yourself and detox your body at the same time. Enjoy a relaxing hot stone massage, treat yourself to a mud wrap, or simply float in the spa pool, feeling the tensions of home slip away. You’ll be amazed how relaxed you feel after just a few days’ retreat from the busy digital world.
One of the best things about giving up your mobile phone whilst on holiday is the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. Whether you’re on a family trip, a romantic getaway, or travelling with friends; relish the chance to be together without anyone leaving the table to answer phone calls or scrolling through a Twitter feed.
Book into one of your cruise ship’s exciting restaurants and enjoy an evening of laughter and good food with the people you love. Stay up late and watch the sunset, just enjoying the moments together rather than capturing the perfect profile picture. Make the most of the exciting adventure of cruising with those you love most, without ever reaching for your phone. You’ll have the holiday of a lifetime.