Why Your Vacation Will Be Ten Times Better If You Don't Instagram It

Want to know the secret to a great vacation? Well here it is — you’ll have a better vacation if you don’t post pictures from it on social media during your stay.

Queue the sound of screeching brakes as you try and wrap your mind around this concept. Can this really be true? The answer is yes.

I just went on vacation and posted a couple of pictures to Instagram, but even those few posts felt a little bit uncomfortable. Why did I feel so odd? After thinking about this for a while, I realized something. When I’m on vacation I should be living for that vacation, for those moments. I should not be living for the picture-perfect shot that would look great on my feed..

We post on social media during vacation so we can share the beauty of what we're doing (and let's face it, inspire some envy) with others. They need to see this and they need to see it now! Or do they? What about my kids? My husband? How much energy and time am I wasting trying to stage and capture photos instead of investing myself in the moment? Isn’t that the point of the vacation — to take a break?

If you need a gentle reminder (because I sure do) why you’ll enjoy your vacation more without staging and posting photos, think about this:

Are you missing the point?

Remember that hectic lifestyle, the normal one complete with a daily routine that you want to get away from when you go on vacation? I know it. I live it. Part of that hectic life includes my posting on social media. This daily activity stemmed into an inherent need to post something so I can feel normal or important, validating my actions so they seem to count for something. When you break it down, however, that’s an absurd reason to post. Who really gives a rip about the most intimate details of my life? People may like what I'm posting, but no one cares about my family more than I do.

Your family and friends should be the focal point of your vacation time and you should be adjusting your lens to enjoy time with them, not worried about getting that perfect shot for Instagram. If you must post daily, try doing so late at night when the kids are in bed or your significant other is asleep. Take a breath and wait until you have a little “me” time — that’s the perfect time to post.

Am I forcing it?

I realize some of us social media addicts can’t go a day without posting something. I totally get that and it's a viable argument, especially if your business and livelihood depend on those posts. It can be almost therapeutic, but for heaven’s sake, don’t whip your phone out while you're busy during the day. Don’t do it when you’re on the beach, don't do it when you're climbing a mountain, don't do it when you're hiking the hills in Vienna. Nothing you share can be so important your followers can't wait a few hours to see. Wait until much, much later and then draw those pieces from your travels back onto your feed. While you may not be a full-time travel blogger, tying your travel experiences into your social media profile is a great way to attract some new followers and showcase your vacation-ready style.

Is this really picture perfect?

Do you really want your friends or family to say, “Remember that vacation to Italy when all you did was take pictures and post them on Instagram?” I sure don’t. Besides, what in the world am I doing in Italy if I’m focused on the little squares of my phone rather than Rome? When in Rome, ENJOY ROME! What’s truly picture perfect are the pictures of you laughing and snorting a cappuccino out of your nose, your kids pretending to keep the leaning tower of pizza from toppling over, or walking the ruins of coliseums and unbelievable old world structures.

That’s what we should want to take pictures of — you and your family in the moment without a worry about all the technical things like lighting and cropping. The most perfect pictures will be captured in real time will remain real for you and for the people who matter long after they are taken.

So yes, take tons of pictures, heck, take a zillion of them. But wait to post them until you're not actually missing the moment pictured to share the photo, or home from your trip. You’ll never get those precious vacation moments back, but you can always go back to Instagram or Facebook or Twitter to post the photos at any time.

Live every moment keeping the most important things in life in mind: friends and family. We all have to readjust our thinking every now and then, and while we do so, Instagram can wait. Those vacations you worked so hard to plan will be full of the best moments, the most relaxing retreats, and all the love you could need if you just put the phone away and enjoy it.