Technology is incredible, but while it allows you to stay in touch from anywhere, it gives others a leash to always keep you close. How can you “cut the cord” while on vacation?
Take Short Vacations
When living in New York, I found the long weekend in London was the ideal getaway. Fly out on Thursday, return on Monday. Spend three days and nights on the ground. It’s guilt-free traveling. Here’s the rationale:
- Thursday: It’s business as usual. You fly out at night.
- Friday: They can live without me for a day. I don’t need to call.
- Saturday: It’s been two days. I really should call. Oh, wait, it’s Saturday. The office is closed.
- Sunday: It’s been three days. I really should call. See above.
- Monday: I would call, but 10 a.m. in London is 5 a.m. back home. I can’t call in-flight because there’s no cellphone service.
Let People Know Where to Find You
Your cellphone may or may not work overseas. International cellular service is an upcharge you need to consciously select. Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere. Even if you are away from your hotel, McDonald’s and Starbucks offer free Wi-Fi.
Leave an itinerary with your office. Include country and city codes for dialing your hotel. Let them know email is a better channel because you will be away from the hotel for most of the day.
Trust them not to call except in an emergency. Work under the assumption “no news is good news.”
Somehow, you feel there’s something going on that you are not being told. You feel compelled to call. If you are away for a week (or two), arrange to call at a set time on Tuesday and Thursday. This can easily be done via Skype. They will probably tell you to stop worrying and enjoy your vacation.
Sound familiar? According to The Economist, the typical smartphone user checks his or her phone 150 times a day. You will be tempted as you pass those McDonald’s and Starbucks everywhere across Europe.