If you had the choice between being able to maintain adequate hygiene or take a selfie while on vacation, which would you choose? If you said selfie, you have good, albeit stinky, company.

iphoneEvidently, 60 percent of travelers from 19 countries would rather risk offending others with their breath than leave their phone behind while on a getaway.

According to a recent study by Expedia of 9,642 travelers, 33 percent said they use their phones more during vacation than while at home. Aman Bhutani, president of Brand Expedia Group, said that participants claimed having their smartphones with them “improved the quality of their vacation.”

How? By providing them with the nagging sense that they’re falling behind on their work every time they gave into the urge to check email or voicemail? The device does offer quite a few helpful applications, but at what cost to truly relaxing?

The most worrisome part of the study is that more than half the people said they checked email at least once a day while they were supposed to be away from the office on earned vacation time.

While smartphones are helpful tools for storing boarding passes and hotel reservations, and they allow us to navigate and document our trip with photos that can be uploaded to social media, we never truly unplug, which makes the smartphone more like a virtual ball and chain. To refuse to leave it at home, or at the very least, in the hotel means you may never truly engage those you are on vacation to spend time with.

Next time you plan your vacation, think about what you truly want to experience. What would it take for you to be able to be fully present, even if it costs you the ability to document a moment with nothing more than your senses.

Have you ever purposefully unplugged during your vacation? How did you do it? How did it go? We’d like to hear any tips you have about it in the comments, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: jeshoots (Pixabay, Creative Commons)