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Here’s How Much Millennials Are Willing to Disconnect on Vacation

Baltimore has become a cool city attracting millennialsBaltimore has become a cool city attracting millennials
Photograph by Melanie Stetson Freeman—Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

You may expect that “millennials” would be far more reluctant to leave their smartphones at home when they go on vacation than older generations. After all, they breathe bytes and their veins pump GIFs, right?

Not necessarily. According to a survey conducted by Intel (INTC) Security, 49% of American millennials said they were “willing to unplug on vacation,” but only 37% of people between the ages of 40 and 50 were willing to do so.

That said, being willing and actually doing are two different things. Intel’s survey found that 55% of the U.S. participants who intended to unplug while on vacation were “unable to do so.” Almost two-thirds said their vacations were “more enjoyable” after unplugging.

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The survey, which took in almost 14,000 respondents around the world, seemed to show slight cultural differences in people’s behavior while on vacation. Only 49% of Americans were able to avoid checking work emails on holiday, but 60% of Canadians and 59% of Mexicans were happy to disconnect.

As for why people don’t unplug, the top five reasons include wanting to be reachable by family, wanting to use the mobile device for navigation, wanting to listen to music through the device, wanting to be able to post on social media, and simply finding it impossible to disconnect.

Unplugging also means different things to different people—half of American respondents said it meant not making phone calls, while 65% said it meant not having any Internet connectivity at all.

For more on “millennials,” watch our video.

Of course, Intel Security commissioned this survey as an excuse to talk about security measures you can take to keep your devices safe while traveling. Fair enough.

But if I may offer a simple unplugging tip: Just turn off the notifications for your work email and, if you can, move the relevant icon to a little-used screen on your phone. That way you can just enjoy the good social stuff without getting stressed by reminders of work life.

Or just travel somewhere with no coverage.