How to find the balance between disconnecting and posting your entire trip

It can be tough to balance social media while travelling. Deciding how often to post, share and story during your vacation isn’t always easy. Being present and able to truly appreciate your vacation requires putting your phone down and looking up.

Below are some ways that I try to manage that balance, as I believe that being able to disconnect from social media while travelling is important. And no, I’m not going to suggest that you leave your phone at home, don’t worry, my tips are totally doable. I do what I call selective disconnecting.

I love taking pictures – I always have – it’s in my nature for me to document my entire trip with photographs. Long before social media came around, I was snapping up a storm on every vacation. I inherited this trait from my father who would travel with two cameras, one for prints and one for slides, as well as a video recorder.

Yes, we used to need a separate apparatus for all of these! Bless his soul, my entire life is on film, lol! Much like everyone else these days, I use my iPhone as my camera, which is both a blessing and a curse. It takes great photos, but it means that I’m constantly connected.

Balancing social media and travelling is taking a selfie then putting your phone away at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
One of the selfies I was caught taking at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona. Who can blame me though? Portrait mode is the best, and this scenery can’t be beaten!

Balancing Social Media – When to disconnect

There is a lot of value in disconnecting to recharge while you’re on vacation, but few of us manage to do this successfully. Our phones are our means of communication, our GPS, our translators, our wallets and so much more.

I can pay for a coffee with mine anywhere in the world and I even am able to reload my Starbucks Card while waiting in line for my Flat White, with no currency exchange fees or hassle. As convenient as this is, my phone is always with me, which means so is my email, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest etc. etc.

Silencing notifications helps balance Social Media time

When was the last time you looked at your phone and had zero notifications? Personally, I can’t recall this ever happening. I swear every time I get rid of them all, a new one pops up! It’s definitely a lot easier if you disable seeing your notifications on the home screen, which I recommend, especially when on vacation.

Even if you only turn off your notifications during your vacation, and back on again once you’re home, you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel.

Selective disconnecting helps balance Social Media time

Since I use my phone as my main camera, I have come up with my version of a compromise that works for me – selective disconnecting. I take my pictures and then put my phone away until later. I rarely post on Social Media immediately while travelling and I ignore notifications. At least I try my best.

In fact, I don’t even open my phone at all, I access my camera from the home screen. I prefer not to post in the moment because I want to BE in that moment, not showcase it to others. While I definitely post Instagram stories during vacations, I typically post them while I’m waiting for lunch in a restaurant, or once I’m back in my hotel room.

This means I record, save and then post the majority of my videos later. I select an appropriate time to connect to social media, and it’s only a few times a day at most.

Lake Powell, Arizona
I captured this image of Lake Powell in Arizona out the window of the truck while my friend was driving. Had I been on my phone, I would have missed this picturesque view. It’s pretty rare to see water in the middle of the desert.

Put your phone down

If you are glued to your phone, you’re going to miss a lot of what’s going on around you. Facebook and Instagram will be there later, but the scenery you’re driving past outside the window won’t be. Be present and enjoy your trip while it’s happening.

If you’re on a road trip, it can be very tempting to check your social media while someone else is driving. After all, you’ve got nothing else to do, right? Wrong! You’ve got a whole world right outside your window that is passing you by.

For me, the key to maintaining the balance between documenting a trip and being present in the moment is to take my pictures without unlocking my phone and looking at it. Turn those home screen notifications off while you’re away. Remember, when you’re on vacation it’s okay to take a break – in fact, it’s better!

Balancing Social Media and Travelling – Recap and Tips

It is possible to enjoy a relaxing vacation while also posting on your social media for your friends, family and followers to enjoy. Here are my pro tips to help you succeed.

  • Before your trip, tell your followers that you’re going away and won’t be sharing as much so you can truly be present and enjoy your trip
  • Silence your notifications during your trip
  • Take photos and videos in the moment, then save the to post them later
  • Limit yourself to a certain number of story shares each day
  • Put your phone in airplane mode during the day so you aren’t tempted to check social media
  • If you have another camera, use that instead of your phone and put your phone away
  • Allow yourself 15-30 minutes every morning and afternoon to check your social media
  • Set aside time every evening to check and post your saved photos and videos

It is possible to enjoy a disconnected vacation while also posting and sharing your trip. You just need to set some boundaries for yourself – and abide by them. Give this a try and I swear you’ll come home feeling more refreshed and less stressed.

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter and share your thoughts! I’d love to know if you are a story-every-minute-as-it-happens kinda person, or an out-of-office-TTYL kinda person.

Follow my adventures, and check out my Arizona road trip on Instagram. Of course, I created a story highlight as I do with every trip I take 😉

tips on how to balance social media and travelling
Balance social media and travelling tips

Feature photo credit: Lisa Zral captured Fabiola and me in full-on selfie mode at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona.