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Summer Vacation Tips: How to Go Digital-Free

June 26, 2009 at 10:58AM by Tammy Tibbetts |

Slept Away

Are you traveling abroad this summer or taking a job away from home that will cut you off from your usual 24/7 cell and Internet access? Whether you're excited or daunted by the digital detox, don't sign off without reading these tips!

Author Julie Kraut knows the drill, because she just wrote an awesome beach read called Slept Away, about a girl, Laney Parker, who leaves her city life for a remote campground. She gave us five reminders:

First: Set an automatic response message for e-mails

If you're not checking your e-mail for a while, put up a vacation responder. This way, people won't think you're ignoring them when you don't write back right away. Go to your e-mail account settings and look for the automated reply option. Write a short message that explains you're unable to check e-mail and mentions when you'll return.

Second: Update your status

Friends might Facebook or MySpace you to make plans, so also update your status to remind them that you're away and when you'll return.

Third: Change your Facebook approval preferences

What happens if Aunt Sue discovers how to use Facebook while you're gone and decides to post and tag your embarrassing childhood photos? You can adjust your Facebook privacy settings so that no one can tag you in photos or post to your wall without your approval. This way, if it's something that would make you cringe, you don't have to worry about not being able to delete it fast enough.

Fourth: Change your voice mail message

If someone tries to call your cell and can't reach you, change the voice mail prompt and remind them that you have limited access to good reception. Thank them for their message and say you'll respond as soon as possible — but it might take longer than usual.

Fifth: Take time to smell the roses!

Don't flip out wondering how many text messages you've missed, whether your crush left you a cute Wall post, or how many Twitter followers you're up to. The digital world will keep all your messages safe until you return! Focus instead on enjoying the unplugged life and take as many pictures as you can — they'll make a killer Facebook album to post when you're back online.

Think you could handle a digital detox? At, we're not so sure we could...but we'll at least take a weekend getaway to read Slept Away! :-)

Bon voyage,

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Colleen Moody

Colleen is the Web Editor for and spends her days blogging for The Daily Kiss, toiling over quizzes and playing with the clothes and makeup products that come her way.
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Tammy is editor of CosmoGirl's sister web sites, and, so she gets to play around with pretty dresses and tiaras. Leave her blog comments and she will love you almost as much as her favorite things: Spain, hummus, pink, magazines, The New York Times, and spontaneity.
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