Checking Out While Staying Connected on Vacation

During the last part of 2011, in response to my post on eating like a local, Logan B. of contacted me about writing a guest column for McCool Travel. Well, it sure is nice to have someone else do the work for a day. I can get used to this. Anyone else want to do a guest column? Contact me at CharlesMcCool -at- gmail -dot- com.

Here is Logan B.’s submission.


If you’re going to be floating down the Amazon River it may be difficult to keep in touch with the outside world when you’re away, but thanks to modern global communication, you’re never too far away to reconnect a little bit.  It is important that when you’re on vacation, you leave your stressors behind.  Jet charter, commercial flights, bus, ferry, train rides, and all other modern forms of transportation use computerized systems in their terminals and many offer wireless network access.  If you’re traveling from one place to the next, you are not on the ‘relaxing’ portion of your vacation.  This is the time to capitalize on reconnecting, make a quick phone call, read a newsfeed, or (if you can find one in a language you know) a newspaper.

While it’s essential that you get your time away and enjoy it, a big part of stress that comes from a vacation is getting caught up when you return.  You have no idea what is going on in the world, at work with your friends and family and it can be difficult to adjust.  The dread of knowing this transition will be a challenge can often taint the vacation before, during and after.

Don’t let this happen to you.  Just create a few clear boundaries to keep one toe back in the real world while the rest of your body is carefree and enjoying your much needed vacation.  Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve this balance.

  1. Bring your smartphone or tablet.  This doesn’t mean that you have to keep the phone on or answer any calls or return any emails, but it does let you passively check on things once a day or so.  Turn it off the rest of the time if you like, but let yourself at least check your inbox so you know what work emails have come in and can think about them on the back burner as they come in a few at a time.  This way, you’re not overwhelmed by the flood of two weeks of emails the day you get back.
  2. Check out the news every few days.  It depends on how rural and removed your travels are taking you, but check a news stream or pick up a paper every few days just to check and see if your town is on fire.  It’s embarrassing when you get back from a trip and people inundate you with the latest major events that hit close to home.  You may know someone that lives in an area that has been effected by some sort of disaster and this way you can check on them sooner rather than later.
  3. Call or email home every few days.  You’re on vacation, nobody expects you to be super accessible, but calling or using Skype or emailing, even a post card is very reassuring to those at home that you’re ok and they don’t have to worry about you.

There is a balance to be had between checking out on vacation and completely disconnecting from reality.  You can recharge and stay involved at the same time, just observe a few of these tips and relax and enjoy yourself!


Thank you, Logan.

Charles McCool is an independent consumer travel advocate.

For frequent travel deals, follow me on Facebook (McCool Travel) and Twitter (@CharlesMcCool).

© 2011, Charles McCool

3 thoughts on “Checking Out While Staying Connected on Vacation

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