Are you one of those lucky ones who can totally disconnect when you go away on vacation? Do you leave your work cell phone at home and absolutely refuse to take a lap top with you? Well maybe you are lucky enough to have the sort of job where you don’t need to keep in touch with work.
For others however they always seem to be connected to the job –
I came across these great tips recently in the Chicago Tribune – how many would you follow –
“Disable email. Actually, disable everything. Turn off your work email, and really hide it.”
Mmmm – that really scares me. I like to be in touch with my office and what’s going on. And can you imagine the amount of emails that would be waiting for you when you got back to work?
“Remove calendars from your phone. If you’re the type who has work calendars, or any calendars, connected to your smartphone, remove them.. You don’t need an alert reminder of the weekly team meeting popping up as you order a mojito. Your only appointment is with the beach, the mountains or a good book.”
Well I agree with that to a certain extent. You don’t really need to be consulting your calendar (your work calendar in any event) while you are trying to enjoy a vacation. Unless you want to stress about that annual review coming up the week after you get back!
“Set up a solid out-of-office message. Do this early, so that you’re not stressing about typing it out before heading to the airport. You can say, “I’m out of the office until (enter date). Try me then.” Short, to the point, and this clarifies that you will not be available or responsive until after a certain time.”
Well – there a pros and cons to this. I don’t like the idea of out of office messages when they reply to every single spam email I get but I suppose if I was a bit more techy I would be able to solve this one. But I really love this one –
“Get a real camera. If you can, bring along a real camera. That’s right, one of the old-school versions that’s separate from your phone. Taking a photo is often why we reach for our smartphone, which too easily translates to just refreshing a website or checking in with a text.”
Maybe our cell phone cameras are just easier …. and lighter.
Except phones aren’t only about keeping in touch with the office.
The GPS solves the problem of carting around and refolding maps, not to mention no longer needing all those heavy guidebooks and reference materials. Many historic sites download self-guided tours directly onto phones as an App, like the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.(Their photos are better, too.)
For security, the video or voice recording function is more accurate than memory. Even a picture helps if a personal item is stolen. Embassy details or access to authorities are close at hand. So are photos of passports, visas, credit cards and other details if a person chooses to keep access to them encrypted in the cloud.
If there’s a medical emergency, conceivably, a person could call their family doctor from half a world away for over-the-phone coaching and assistance. I know someone on holiday in the Australian bush, who took a picture of the spider that bit him, sent it to someone at an emergency call center at the nearest city, and was promptly instructed on proper response and care. It was quicker than trying to hunt for that information through other means.
I know a lot of people sneer about how tourists are so busy texting and staring down at their phones or tablets, they don’t even notice the architecture and scenery and cultural wonders around them, but I wouldn’t go touring without it.
This is so true Simone – I actually used my cell phone in Belfast recently to find my way back to the hotel and it was very reassuring to hear that lady on the phone telling me to turn right, go straight ahead, etc. etc. Also there are so many useful apps these days for maps and eating out. So really – a cell phone over seas is essential. You just really have to do some homework in what sort of plan to use for data and roaming and all of that – I had a plan that was very reasonable. It was also handy to have the cell phone number of our local guide just in case we got lost. I just think it is a shame to be too focused on using your cell phone to keep up with social media instead of taking in the local atmosphere but I agree a cell phone is an excellent travel tool when used appropriately.
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