Lonely Planet Writer

One US company is offering employees $7,500 to take a tech-free vacation

For many travellers, updating social media is an integral part of their holiday. For employees of one US company however, it’s an impossibility because their employer pays them an astonishing $7,500 to take a tech-free vacation.

A woman standing on a scenic lookout overlooking Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada....completely tech-free
A woman standing on a scenic lookout overlooking Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada….completely tech-free Image by Jordan Siemens

FullContact, a contact management solution company, pays its employees the money if they promise to use it for a vacation and not use technology or work while they’re away. In a Huffington Post video, the CEO and co-founder Bart Lorang explained the numerous benefits. “The vast majority of employees are relaxed and calm after they get back” he explained. “It’s really important to unplug to become human again. We’re just plugged in all the time, that has an impact on our brain in terms of how well we can actually experience creativity and joy and love.”

Don't forget to take holiday snaps even if you do unplug.
Don’t forget to take holiday snaps even if you do unplug. Image by Getty Images

While many of us would jump at the chance for a free vacation whatever the conditions, many travellers find it difficult to completely unplug while they’re away from home. It’s not just a need to be in contact with friends or family either; the rise in travel apps and the increasing emergence of drone photography also prove too tempting for many.

As for those travellers that do manage to ‘plug out’? It’s probably not who you think. A recent survey found American millennials are far more likely to leave their devices off or stop taking calls while on vacation than older generations. And while the benefits to leaving technology behind are numerous, perhaps you shouldn’t leave your camera at home; a recent study recommended travellers to “collect memories that can easily be recalled later to boost and prolong vacation effects.” Employees of FullContact, at least, are keen on the paid tech-free vacation and it’s certainly persuading them to use their precious vacation time. A whopping 41% of Americans took no holiday at all in 2015, with 17% saying they took fewer than five days vacation.