Family Vacations: Why You Should Unplug and Recharge

When was the last time you took a real vacation? Here's why you should leave the laptop at home to get the most out of family vacations.

I’m happy to say I just had a wonderful family vacation in Longboat Key, Florida. The trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I was so ready for some time off that I was even looking forward to the 15-hour car drive. Doesn’t matter if I had to deal with a 2- and 4-year old in the backseat—I was going to enjoy every single second away.

Although our condo complex had free wireless internet, I left my laptop behind. Taking a real vacation meant breaking away from the “e-leash,” a term I discovered in this CNN article: “How to quit working on vacation.” If I had packed my computer, I knew I’d be too tempted check email.

So what did I do with all my free time? We spent most days by the pool or on the beach. We went on bike rides, went kayaking, and played tennis. Also, I read two books—that’s a record for me!


Having more than a weekend to recharge really made a difference. In fact, here’s an interesting quote from the article:

“According to the Families and Work Institute, it takes up to three days to relax when you go on vacation and longer vacations (seven days or more) are associated with better psychological outcomes than shorter vacations.”

So do something good for “psychological outcome” and take full week family vacations. Even if you can’t get away, take the time off at home. Just make sure you lock up that computer!

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