Here to Help: How Not to Let Your Phone Ruin Your Vacation

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How can you take your phone with you on vacation without letting your phone ruin your vacation? Here are some useful tips on how to use your phone on vacation, without letting it hijack your trip.

DELETE YOUR "PROBLEM APPS" — that is, the ones that often leave you wondering what happened to the last 45 minutes of your life. The most likely culprits are social media, email, dating, games, shopping and the news, all of which offer novelty, unpre- dictability and the potential for a reward — just like slot machines. (If your phone won't let you delete them, hide them in a folder off your home screen.)

CREATE A TEMPTATION-FREE HOME SCREEN. Rearrange your apps so that your home screen contains only practical apps that won't suck you in (for example, the cam- era, maps or a translation app). Those are your "tools," and you can use them freely. Put your other apps into folders on an interior page to prevent yourself from being tempted by their icons.

TURN OFF ALL NOTIFICATIONS, except for the ones you actually want to receive while you're on vacation. Note: those little red circles that pop up on apps' icons are also notifications, called "badges." Turn those off, too — including for email.

REDUCE FOMO (the fear of missing out) by setting up vacation auto-responses for your email, voice mail and text messages. (To set up an automatic text message response on iPhones, use the customized option for "Do Not Disturb While Driv- ing"; for Android, download a third-party app such as Lilspace.)

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