Answering email on vacation wipes out your good memories

If you're dedicated to your job, you've probably answered a few work emails during your vacation. What's the harm, right? A few emails won't ruin anything. And FOMO — fear of missing out — is real. Our smartphones hold our whole lives: camera, email, texts, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (at least for some of us.) The siren's call of clicking on those apps can be hard to resist on your vacation. What if you get an important work email or great opportunity? What if you miss out on that social media post of all your friends having fun without you?

But lift your hand from that screen. According to a new HomeAway study in partnership with the University of Texas, the best thing you can do for your own peace of mind is to limit your phone usage and work-related activities on vacation. Even a little bit of social engagement or work can wipe out all the good memories you will have from being away from home.

Looking at our devices affects our brains and memories

Even working for just one hour a day during your vacation can have far-reaching consequences for the memorability of your trip.

Of the 713 adults HomeAway surveyed in six countries, those who checked their devices for an hour on vacation were 43% more likely to not be able to remember the details of their vacation. In other words, if we work while we're away, work quickly takes over our brains, pushing out everything else.

It's not just the time, it's also the device. Using laptops, in particular, had a negative effect on memory recall. How can you remember that delicious local food or a sunny beach when you're focusing on a big, cold, digital screen? You can't—literally.

So how much time should you spend working while on vacation?

Get this: Less than an hour.

HomeAway found that 60% of those who kept their phone usage to under an hour and had total recall of their vacation.

Our favorite vacation photos from around the world
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Our favorite vacation photos from around the world
When you haven't slept for the past 24 hours due to 4 crying babies👶🏼 on your flight who literally screamed the whole time, you hop off the plane✈️ in Italy🇮🇹 & head straight for the gelato!🍦See more of our first day in Rome on insta-stories #wheninrome #hotrtravels
Perfect end to our first day 🌊 channeling baywatch vibes wearing @indahclothing on my kinda seahorse 🐴 who took me on the most beautiful sunset ocean ride ! Thanks to @seasidestablesanguilla for the amazing experience. // Shop my fave red one pieces including this one to get your Baywatch vibe on here 👉🏻👉🏻 . #liketkit #jetsetjyo #anguilla #indahclothing #girlsborntotravel #mytinyatlas #sunsetlover
Can you spot *me* in this photo? I feel like I've taken the whole lone silhouette in the distance thing a little too far... pun always intended 😂 I've just published a blog post about my time in Pembrokeshire, this stunning region of Wales {link in bio}. I highly encourage you to read it, even if you have no plans to visit. I think the photos might change your mind! 😍🇬🇧 ••• TELL ME: What's your favourite "undiscovered" destination? 🌍
There's no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this ❄️ How amazing is it that you can ski one day and be on a beach the next? Tahoe truly is an incredible place! #perennialtravels #renotahoe #laketahoe @renotahoe @thelandingresortandspa • #liketkit [ ] #ltkunder100
Magical night views from the @islandshangrila rooftop pool deck. ✨🌃🇭🇰💕 #shangrila #hongkong
So cool seeing New York from One World Observatory today! Now I'm off to a broadway show 💁🏻 What's your favorite thing to do in the city?
Santa Monica, you sure do have the best tree clumps around. And yes, I stop to take a photo of almost every single one. 🌴☀️✌️
One of the best views of #Barcelona 💙 at @parkguell (FYI, Barcelona is an extremely busy city, you need to get tickets in advance for almost every attraction). You can also find this striped dress via #liketkit #LTKunder100
Navigated the streets of the Fes medina today with over 9000, narrow alleyways. We also learned, that the postman has to be born and raised in the medina as he's expected to know all the names of those streets. I wonder, do little boys wake up hoping to one day deliver important mail? Postman or labyrinth master? #Morocco
#tbt to one of the prettiest sunsets I have seen ever 💕 tropical sunsets are my fave ; desert sunsets are a close second ! What is your most memorable sunset memory ? #maldives #jetsetjyo #wanderlust #sunsetlover
Last week an article came across my Facebook feed that featured "11 Places You Should Add to Your Must-See List". This tiny house on the rock was on the list. I remember thinking how cool it looked and being curious about just how they get it to balance on the rock. I had no idea I'd have the chance to actually see it for myself! FUN FACT: The house has been carried away by the river (and rebuilt) 7 times! Talk about living on the edge! @serbiatourism #myserbia #serbiatravel #BVDtravels
Flight has been cancelled. Staying here forever.
The Uvac River has carved a remarkable canyon as it snakes through western Serbia 🐍 today, we took a boat upriver to explore ice caverns, hiked up to this crazy viewpoint then pulled over to play with a litter of stray puppies (see stories!) ~ and that was all before lunch! 🚤🦇🐶#travelserbia #myserbia @serbiatourism
#traveltuesday One of my favorite trips to date, Thailand! 24 hour ice cream shop, one of my favorite pools and one of the most romantic hotel rooms yet, the Six Senses Yao Noi
Postcard from Tulum. More coming soon. #TGIF #jaktravel 📷 @craigsmackay #coastalinspiredlife
A Little Wednesday Wanderlust 💫 #abudhabi #grandmosque
I'd seen this colorfully cute street on Pinterest so many times but Rue Crémieux was even better than I imagined! This charming street is easy to miss but well worth a stroll down 🌈 #paris #witwhimsytravels #parisjetaime
What every Sunday should look like 🌴🌴🌴 Take us back to #tulum 🍹⛱👙
#SimplyMunich 🕰 . . . . . #travelpics #igers #travelphoto #travelblog #travels #traveldiaries #wanderer #luxury #lux #foodandwine #traveler #travelblogger #travelgram #travelphotography #travelbinderfollow #travel #wanderlust#travelmore #lifestyleblogger #bostonblogger#bostonbloggers #luxhotels
Any other old Lizzie McGuire fans see this and immediately start singing "This Is What Dreams Are Made Of"? 😂 I loved that movie and I love this place (even more this time being that it was a mere 5-minute walk from our @onefinestay apartment). Happy I got to return to #Rome and excited to finally share my tips + recommendations with you all on S&T very soon! Now off to see more of #Italy! 📸: @victoriametaxas 💙 Outfit details here: but my dress is only available in one size so I linked a few similar (one is almost identical!) 🙌🏼 #prettylittleitaly #liketkit #whatiwore #trevifountain #travelstyle #wiw #dametraveler #beautifuldestinations #summervacation #travelgram #visititaly #ltkunder50 #TravelerInRome
A beautiful day on Isla Barú ☀️🌊 #islabaru #colombia #jetsetmelanee
Swinging into Wednesday with a brand new travel✈️ review post on the blog featuring my recent stay in the over-the-water🌊 bungalows at @sandalsresorts in St. Lucia! I also included all of the swimsuits & resort wear outfits that I wore throughout my entire vaca! So if you want to learn more about my overall bungalow experience & get the deets on all my island🌴🌺 outfits, be sure to "swing" on over to the blog (link in bio)! #liketkit #LTKSwim #sandalssuitelife
The word goals comes to mind 🤔🌸 #pinterestinreallife #panama #jaktravel #cascoviejo #flashesofdelight #thatsdarling #darlingweekend #darlingescapes #emojisinthewild #pantone #pinspiration #decor #design #millenialpink #blush #cntraveler #verytandc #fujifilmx100t #theeeverygirltravels
What's the one place you *really* want to visit this year? ☺ I loved Iceland when I visited a few years ago, but 2017 is all about seeking sunshine for me! I can't even remember the last time I wore a bikini... I'm thinking somewhere in Latin America. Mexico perhaps? 👙🌴
this jet lag got me like 🙄😑 but, how pretty is this view?! #hongkong reminds me of NY.. & hawaii.. & france. it's crazy, really. 😜 #ocblogger #hongkong #allietravels #thatviewtho #fromwhereistand #skyline
Last stop for the day (& my favourite): Caló des Moro 👌🏻⛵️ #MalenaInMallorca (ph: @tatianekozijn)
Helicopter views of Kauai 😍
... when "paradise" doesn't even begin to capture the beauty that is the amalfi coast ☁️ #brightaesthetic #amalficoast #italy (more on IG stories 🌸)
Buenas Noches Cabo 💫 (I also ate my weight in chips + guac in that little hut you see.....) #ibitravels #sanjosedelcabo
Who needs sleep when you've just arrived at heaven on earth @capeweligama? I've been awake for 30 hours straight but it was oh so worth it. Made it to Sri Lanka! @jetairways ✈️🇱🇰🌊 photo by @tatianekozijn #MalenaInSriLanka
Colors like you wouldn't believe. It's truly the most magical place I've ever been. 📍Capitolio, La Habana, Cuba
Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find you yourself. 🌵 Linked my outfit via for you babes #liketkit #dubaidesert #desertlife #mydubai
Fun fact I climbed that Piton behind me and if you zoom in on the photo, you can see my bruises from doing so 🙈 Now it's time to float away -- if you need me you know where I'll be 🌴 #liketkit #travelctb #saintlucia #grospiton
Je t'aime Paris 💕💋|| #liketkit || #iitravels #postcardsfromparis #penmoments
Head in the snow, body in hot water. The weirdest and best sensation at the same time! @bluelagoonis ☃️ #MalenaInIceland
I'm not typically the hugest fan of showers, but all signs point to me being the cleanest person alive this week...
Thinking back to this #powderday at @sugarbush_vt is the only #mondaymotivation that I need! . . . . . #travelpics #ski #skiing #skiday #skibum #skitrip #wanderer #luxury #lux #vermont #traveler #travelblogger #travelgram #travelphotography #travelbinderfollow #travel #wanderlust#travelmore #lifestyleblogger #bostonblogger#bostonbloggers #luxhotels
Another picture perfect day! Loving all the 🌷in full bloom. #amsterdam
A full trip report is coming soon...... sifting through bunches of vacation photos. Wishing I was back in Positano right now! #fifthhousetravels

For the best vacation memories, use Instagram

Okay, so working on your vacation is bad and detracts from the whole point of a vacation to make fun, memorable, restorative experiences.

But what about checking your Instagram?

Social media did not have an effect on a participant's ability to recall events, but it did play a role in their ability to recall how they felt on vacation. Participants who uploaded their trip photos to social media showed more emotional recall.

And the type of platform you choose to use can also determine how much of a helpful memory aid the the technology can be. People who posted to Instagram were 24% more likely than Facebook users to remember with total clarity how they felt on vacations. The difference between Facebook and Instagram makes sense when you recognize how Instagram is a much more visual platform than Facebook, which makes it ideal for photos.

Overall, the takeaway is to limit your smartphone use to vacation-related activities like looking up directions to your hotel; everything else can wait until you're back home and working.

Foods that may accelerate memory loss, according to an expert
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Foods that may accelerate memory loss, according to an expert

Red Meat


Butter and Stick Margarine




Pastries and Sweets


Fried and Fast Food



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