Digital or Unplugged holiday?!

Holiday season has arrived! Time to slip away from day 2 day work, and into a holiday outfit! Escape from reality to an exotic destination (unknown)!
Back-up systems, interns, interim labour, out-of-office assistant, … in place and we are set to go!

What do we take on holiday? Our iPad, iPhone, MP3 player, PSP, Nintendo, …. all bright and shiny digital stuff to stay connected. So what’s the use of ou back-up system when we stay connected anyway? The idea of being unplugged….but who wants to come home after a two-week holiday with a stack of Emails, Tweets, status updates, …. and work waiting at the office!? I don’t….

So thinking about how to cope with a ‘unplugged’ holiday….I’m considering staying plugged for current affairs (like the Belgian government). Keeping up with mails, tweets, status updates, news, …. just along my holiday. I’m not reserving half an hour a day work time or so…I’ll just check in when it suits me fine. We all have time to kill on holiday….so why not use it wise and smart with “keeping up to date”?
No hotel with a fancy WiFi connection needed…only a connection when I need to kill time…to make sure I’m not only working on my holiday. I truly think this is for the best…otherwise I’m coming home even more stressed then when I left….knowing all the work that waits for me at my PC/iPad/LapTop/….

Besides staying connected has it advantages besides work…you can check weather updates (quite interesting when you want to climb a mountain), check reservations (handy if you want to make sure you have a seat in a theatre), check your walking trail, …. So a digital holiday isn’t so bad after all. But as always it depends on how you deal with this digital environment!

How’s your holiday? Connected and digtal OR Unplugged!?
Take the poll and leave your comments!

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Posted in Flat Author, Flat Lifestyle
36 comments on “Digital or Unplugged holiday?!
  1. Melissa Van Moeseke says:

    I absolutely agree, an unplugged holiday would take me out of my comfort zone.

    When I look to book a summer holiday, I’ll check if my hotel has a wireless internet connection available. If not, I will look for potential internet cafés in the area of the hotel. In my luggage there will be always my IPod and Smartphone.

    During my holidays I’ll check my Facebook and Twitter account once a day. I have no strict time schedule to connect to my digital world. First I like to see what has happened with my digital friends, and then I may upload pictures and messages. I’ll give my connected friends the opportunity to follow my activities in detail. The internet is also a handy tool to book local reservations for restaurants. It also gives me the opportunity to look for airport information, weather forecasts and so much more.

    As a future social media manager, we always have to be connected with the world! It will be our life, hobby and profession at the same time. I’ll choose definitely for a digital holiday!

  2. Anna Payret says:

    Digital holiday or unplugged holiday? It depends on the length of my trip/holiday! If I’m going to stay out just for 3 days and 2 nights with my friends I prefer a totally unplugged holiday. But if I’m going to be out for one week I will need, for sure, to be connected. Not only for keeping up with emails and current affairs, but also for being in touch with my people. And you know… I’ll check Facebook and Twitter because I want to. For me “holiday” means stay away from the routine, not from my friends & my world.

    Anyway, I have to admit that even if I’m doing a short trip I’m too used to have internet anywhere and at anytime. My friends and I will want and need to check the weather forecast, places to visit, maps and even use any funny or interesting mobile application that will make our trip more pleasant.

  3. I always take my smartphone or laptop with me, even on vacation. I like to stay in touch with my friends & family, and the rest of the world 😀 It’s also easy to share content, so people at the home front can follow u and share the experience (a bit at least).

  4. An Nelen says:

    For me it wouldn’t be an option to be connected at all time. Holiday is the time you spend with family, friends… It’s the time to relax and to get away from the usual environment you live in.

    Before I go away I make sure that the ‘important people’ know that I’m gone for some time. Than you don’t get as many tweets, comments, updates… as usual.

    It’s even so much more fun to get home and share your experiences afterwards than when you’re on the holiday itself. It’s already a nice memory to look back on.

  5. I don’t have a problem with having an unplugged vacation, I never take my laptop with me when I’m on vacation only my smartphone. This I only use when I find a random wifi-hotspot.
    When I’m not on vacantion I will always spend a couple of hours on my laptop a day and check twitter & facebook on my smartphone a couple of times, but when I’m on vacantion I sometimes feel the urge to get away from everything, this also means the internet for me.

  6. When I’m on vacation, I use my cellphone just for calling & texting, and maybe 2 times in a week Facebook. But I could have a unplugged vacation, I can really enjoy it, as long as I have my cellphone. When I’m in Belgium, it’s the opposite. I think I’m one of the guys who could live without a cellphone, but I can’t live without internet, Facebook and onther stuff.

    In my opinion, we don’t need a cellphone anymore, we have an iPad, and one day there will be an iPod with 3g-internet, or maybe 4G, and than we could do everything with VoIP, we have facetime, skype, and for messaging we have whatsapp and iMessage. So I think it’s possible to live without a cellphone and do everything with the internet.

  7. For people like me (students) i think an unplugged holiday is the best way to share some time with family or friends. But I totally understand that people with certain types of jobs need to be contacted with the world at all time. Because when they get back, they need a whole day to become up-to-date again. And that is just a waste of time…

  8. Carlos Romero says:

    I am completely agree with this post. I can’t go in a holidays and spend all the time unplugged, once o twice per day I need to check my facebook and tuenti and my mail, y feel the need to be conected with my friends and my family, and also to envy them because I’m on holidays!!!! so sometimes I’ll upload some pictures or videos where I am (beach, mountain, new cities…). Moreover, if you are going to spend a long time in holidays you probably will need Internet for check importants things like weather, good places, hotels, etc!

  9. Going on holiday without a smartphone or laptop is like leaving your swimming trousers at home. You’ll need them on holiday, I mean I need them. I think it’s important to stay in touch with your friends and family even when you are on holiday. Although I won’t be checking my mails, facebook, etc the whole day but at least twice a day.

    I even can’t imagine a day without going online.

  10. Ben De Swert says:

    I’m a very social person. Extremely social I mean by this. And when I’m on a holiday I love to meet new people, having a drink with them or relaxing with my friends or girlfriend. Although I will always search for a WIFI-connection nearby. I also have a social life at home. And that social life is now also active on the internet. So why don’t have both at a holiday? You can enjoy a cocktail on the beach and at the same time “Facetiming” your friend. I think the social networks, social media and all the social aspects on the internet are very handy. So why don’t use them all the time, everywhere in the world?

  11. The human being is a most curios creature in the world. We like, no I’m sorry we have to get an amount of news or information a day! It’s a must for us. I think that the most of us couldn’t go on holiday without checking their Facebook page , twitter account or something else for each to days. Even if you don’t take your laptop, iPad , … you will still go and search an internet cafe so you could just check your accounts.

    I personally always take my laptop with me when I’m on holiday. I have to stay in touch with my friends or family. I also like to share a couple pictures when I’m on holiday so my friend can see what I’ve been up to and they can see how it’s there. Mostly I go on holiday for 3 weeks so I also have to know what their been up to. I can’t imagine myself coming back to Belgium from holidays and seeing my friends after 3 weeks without talking to them.

  12. I think it’s possible to go on vacation unplugged. As a matter of fact, I always did!

    Simply because of these 2 reasons:

    1) We had no internet connection in the appartments/ hotels.
    2) My mother dont want me to be online on a holiday. She thinks that I’ll be distracted. I completly disagree with her. But yeah, can’t change a thing.

    Anyways my next holdiday will be plugged in, probably without my mother. Looking forward to it.

  13. Daan Stevens says:

    last year I had a fully unplugged vacation and I have to say it was one of the best ever. I did have my laptop with me but being social online in Belarus was not an option 😀 One of the best things about being unplugged was that I did not even care what was going on in the online world. Being unplugged on vacation is defenatly something I recomend.

  14. Personally I prefer going on a vacation with either my Iphone or my laptop. I do however not take these items everywhere I go, and as such usually leave them at the location I’m staying at (this can a hotel, an appartment,..). I have actually never been on a vacation being unplugged to the rest of the ‘world’ and therefor I cannot comment much on that matter, except that I would be far from my comfort zone without internet or mobile phone.

  15. Vyacheslav Serdtsev says:

    Actually the question is about how much we depend on IPhones, IPads, MP3-players whatever and Internet at the same time. As for me, I’ll say – Yes I am, but not so much. In my holyday I need only three things: MP3-player, laptop and mobile phone. (But I didn’t have IProducts any time, despite I know their advantages). The first one is very important for me, I can not live without music especially I’m on the road (on plane or long time in train). The music is a part of my mood, I always listen to music at background, for instance, especially when I do some routine things.

    Well, laptop. By the way, at present I’m very careful regarding sophisticated equipment because it “doesn’t like” me. When I was studying In Warsaw last year I broke 3 notebooks! I had to buy a laptop. Moreover, I had always problems with my phone, it became broken consistently every three months and I can not replace it because the company took the phone and repaired every time according to guarantee and didn’t want to return me money back or give me a new one. So I had also to buy a new phone (the smart one!) after two circle year of hell.

    I use my laptop for exchanging files from camera or downloading a new music in most cases when I’m in holiday. Of course, I will be not against Wi-Fi connection in the hotel and talk via Skype with my friends or family, but I can live without such communication at least 10 days and feel myself good. Although, I realize that I have to be on call in case of force majeure. To download my photos, share some points about my vacation I can do it later, it’s not a problem. As for weather forecast, I don’t believe in this at all.

    Besides, last times I’ve changed my mind about social networks. One of most important thing at present time for me is privacy. I try to public information about myself in my profile as less as possible. Who knows what kind of information someone collects in “global” database… One teacher in KdG said us “Facebook never forgets”. That means we have to be conscious of hiden risks in social media when we “lay open to public” our personal information (in most cases just for the hell of it), how we communicate and which topics we share with other people and so on. Someone can be “a hunter” and gather such kind of information and use this data “against” you in the future. Now we are young people and we don’t care about this issue but who knows what will happen in a few years. So, our security in our “hands”. In this context, I’m getting far away from SM but at the same time I understand it’s fatal loop and many many people are so happy with such lie of the land.
    Finally, the phone. It’s quite useful thing because of set of applications. I can download a map with the nearest cash-mashines, bars and hotels etc.

    Is it to be “modern” means to have this kind of stuff and be on-line everywhere?… I don’t think so.

  16. Maarten Weyn says:

    i do take my laptop with me on vacation but i only try to use it as less as possible.
    Because im not gowing to tweet that im surfing on the waves, because when i go on a vacation i wan’t to leave the normal life behind, i want to relax and don’t have to look at normal life things.
    Other wise i could bee laying in my garden en tweeting somting from there.
    But i do use it on holidays, i just want to say that you can live without you Tweet’s and status updates.
    Greetings Maarten Weyn

  17. I go on vacation with the thought ‘doing things that I couldn’t do at home’. It means I want to spend my holiday with the people where I’m with, doing things that you couldn’t do at home. I can’t understand people who are continuous on facebook during their vacation, with all those useless posts : “It’s hot.” Yeah, that’s why you’re going on vacation!

    Mostly if you’re on a holiday, it’s for a week of 2? Then it’s over. You can spend the rest of your time at home on facebook… Once you’re back home, you can share that you’re home, what a wonderful trip you’ve been made and upload your photo’s.

    I speak from my opinion, I’m a student. But I understand if you need to go on the internet for your job.

    So I could easily go unplugged on vacation.

  18. Svenja says:

    Unplugged holidays?! Well, it’s true…..it’s hardly possible….

    Even on my last short trip to Dortmund, for just 3 days, I needed a connection somehow….. for checking the right way to the hotel, searching a nice restaurant or looking for the time-schedule of public transports….
    but to be honest, all these things are already normal for me….. I even don’t think about doing it, it’s just routine…. like switching on my iPod while sitting in the train….

    other things like checking mails, staying up-to-date on facebook and other platforms….those things I really like to ban from my holdiays….. because while I am pulling all those duties I lose precious time in the sun or wherever…..and in the end I am not really contributing anything to my holiday-stay with these procedures…..

    So the perfect holdiay is of course connected, but only to a certain extent…. if I am on holiday I want to spend time with my friends…. in real life! ….and see new things…..in the real nature! …..and just have fun….but not only virtually!

  19. Been connected doesn’t mean you only stay connected to the people at home but also to the new people you meet on your vacation. Having internet and a smartphone is an absolute must when going on a trip, because – in my opinion – it can only enrich your vacation. To me, going on vacation is not about the sun, the beach or the sea … It’s about what you do in that new environment and the people you do things with. Making new contacts or meeting up with people you already know at your new location can only lead to amazing trips that add value to your holiday.
    Conclusion: I’m not going anywhere without staying connected.

  20. The only thing i would bring along is my ipod and cellphone. Vacation is escaping everything you normally do and just relax and get away from all the technology and all the things that involve around this. If there is an internet connection in the hotel where you are staying, i would maybe go online to see what’s going on in the world or to check facebook/emails. This would only happen on dead moments (after you wake up when still recovering from last night..)

  21. I really hate going on holiday and not have any connection to one, except with the people I’m there. But as you wrote, I’m not going to book my hotels because they have wifi!
    And just like you, I won’t force myself in doing a certain amount of hours sitting on the computer, but only if I have the chance.
    Getting home then, and knowing not having to deal with all these mails, tweets, facebook-updates, … makes me less stressed out, and getting home is completely about unpacking and getting used to the climate.
    A real holiday is one where you can relax, but don’t have to stress out about afterwards because you have tons of work waiting.
    Conclussion: Take a holiday, but keep working (just a little bit) when it is possible and you feel like it!

  22. Mara Van der Auwera says:

    When I go on vacation, I’m always unplugged.
    I have to admit… I’m always wondering what’s going on at my Facebook, Twitter, etc…
    So when I come back from my holiday, I almost run to my computer to check all of my updates.

    But it isn’t that bad to have an unplugged vacation, so you can totally relax and don’t have to worry about emails you still might have to read.
    The meaning of going on holiday is to have a nice time with your friends and family, not with all of your followers or facebook friends.

    My dad would hate me checking my updates and emails, because that ‘s not really sociable towards him.
    And I totally agree.

  23. At the poll I voted ‘digital and connected’. When I am on holiday, I always have my iPod and MacBook near with me. Don’t get me wrong, I really love chilling out on holiday without thinking about the busy society in Belgium. However; I really want to stay in contact with my friend during vacations. I like to update my Facebook and Twitter account with some new statuses or a couple of new holiday pictures. Just to let my friends show them I am okay and I am having the time of my life.

    A holiday totally unplugged? Impossible in my opinion!

  24. Bart Ufkes says:

    I totally agree with the post. A completely unplugged holiday is just not for me. When going on holiday I do leave my laptop at home but I always take my smartphone and my iPod with me. I don’t check it as often as I do back home, but it is nice to be able to be connected with friends and family and show them about my trip.
    I usually check my Facebook and mail a few times during the week to be sure I don’t miss any important stuff. My iPod, however, is always with me for music and such but not necessarily to stay connected.

    The usage is definitely diminished while on holiday but never completely disconnected because I’m just not able to do that.

  25. Stéphanie says:

    Two years ago, I was on vacation with some friends. One of the them forgot to turn off the internet connection on her phone the first couple of days, meaning she had been roaming using her Dutch provider… Whoops. Ka-chiiiiing!

    Can I vote semi-connected?

    Yes, I bring my iPhone on vacation. However, I only use it for listening to music and I keep it with me in case I get an emergency phone call. I’m not constantly searching for free WiFi connections. It seems like some people can’t even enjoy themselves without the internet.

  26. Lara Jansen says:

    Digital or unplugged holiday? – Well, I absolutely agree to the post. I have to be connected during vacation either via cell phone or laptop in order to being up to date and not having to fear coming back home more stressed than I left, knowing all the work that awaits me. And that would be a waste of time.

    When I’m going on holiday, I try to use my cell phone and my laptop as less as possible, because I don’t have any problem to be unplugged for a few days. But I have to check at least my emails regularly; otherwise they will pile up in my inbox. For that reason I can’t imagine not being digital and connected during holiday longer than a couple of days. Furthermore, in case of emergency I feel much safer when staying connected and taking my mobile phone with me, especially when you are going on vacation to a foreign country, whose culture you don’t know and whose language you don’t speak. I don’t have to be connected all the time, much less when I’m at the beach. I rather want just to be able to check my emails when it suits me, only for a few minutes to get informed of the state of affairs. In my school days I went on vacation unplugged, but since I have been attending university, being connected has become more important than ever before.

    When I’m going on vacation it means to me forgetting my daily routine and stay away from stressful work, but precisely not from my little world consisting of friends and family. The pictures I’ll take and the experiences I’ll make during holiday will be posted on Facebook or the like after coming back home, if at all. I don’t have to show the whole world what I’m doing at this very moment, I just want to enjoy my holiday and relax a little bit.

    To sum up, I can say that I prefer being connected during the holiday, but it isn’t an absolute necessity. Everyone has to decide on their own behalf. But if we were all the same, wouldn’t it be a bore?

  27. Juliane Siebelts says:

    I’m really into internet and the social media, but at holidays I prefer to stay unplugged. I don’t take my laptop with me when I go on a trip for a few days or a week. So for example, when I go to the beach in summers I prefer to read a “real” book (yes, very old school, nowadays) instead of updating my twitter-account every five minutes. I mean I go on holidays for relaxing and breaking out of daily routine and not because I want to check my Facebook at another place than home. Honestly, who of us needs to be connected 24/7?? I always have my phone (I don’t have a smartphone) with me and if something really urgent is happening the people can call me whenever they want. When I’m away from the “normal life” I don’t miss Facebook and co. at all. However, I have to admit, the first thing I do when I come home is switching on the computer, but I think that’s more a sign of the being back home and coming back to the normal life and daily routine.

  28. Sonja Hurmeranta says:

    I agree with previous posts, that holidays are for breaking away from daily routine.
    For me de decision whether I stay connected or not depends also on the holiday: If I’m going to a new place, city for example, I will take my smartphone to be able to check interesting sites to see, public transportation and weather. I will check my emails occasionally, maybe once every other day, but only to see if there is something that needs my attention there and then; otherwise it can wait until I’m back in business. I don’t go on facebook, I’m already in a new interesting environment and I want to enjoy it to fullest there and then! Virtual world can wait for a while.
    I also enjoy hiking, and one of the appealing things in the middle of Lapland is that I’m totally free from media, internet or social media (phones have signal, most of the time, so if something happens there is a possibility for help)
    I find that when the world gets smaller and more connected I need some time with only me and my own head: this helps me to charge after a hectic year (or other period of time) and be ready for new challenges.
    Of course, when I do come back there is a lot to catch up: to avoid stress i always make sure I have a day at home, when I can catch up with people, email and other things that need to be taken care of before everyday-life kicks in again.

    trying to sum it up, every holiday is different, and hence need different ways of using social media. With those two extreme examples i’d say i’m a semi-connector during my holiday: adjusting to the situation holiday-time brings!

  29. Fabien BRENIER says:

    Having a completely unplugged holidays? Impossible for me …
    Even for a short trip I need to check a restaurant, an address, share contents with my friends or just read the news. But I do this with my smartphone I never took my laptop during a journey, like that I can stay connected but only when I need it and not to kill the time.

  30. Maria says:

    Uplugged holidays? Yes off course! I leave my smartphone at home (because I am afraid that my mobile provider will take a lot of internet costs!) so I am going on holidays with a very old school telephone and I love it! haha! Really.. And most of the time, my mobile phone is off. so nobody can interrupt me. I use it only to send a message that I am safe, at my destination. And for information about hotels etc. I will ask local people. It always works! 😉 I know, sometimes it is really hard. And maybe, when I am not going with my boyfriend on holiday, I will take my smartphone as well. But when I am with him, I really don’t need it! 🙂

  31. Mariusz Kaczmarek says:

    I am somewhere between being unplugged and being connected. As Sonja stated it all depends on what type of holidays are we going to and what is our aim. If I am going for the holidays with sightseeing and photography as my main goal then I have to be connected at all times – to check out the maps, places of interest, opinions and to plan my trip I need online database.

    But on the other hand when my main aim is just to relax and spend my time on just chilling out then I am trying to avoid any connection with the digital world. This is letting me to cut off completely from the daily problems and recharge my batteries.

  32. Connected. I buy a SIM card from a service provider there, and save a lot of money.
    I used twitter a lot. I follow a lot of news-sites so I could keep up with what’s going on in the world. I deactivated my facebook account though :p I used whatsapp and skype to stay connected with friends and family.

    As said in the comments above, having mobile internet comes in handy if you search for specific locations, it saves a lot of time.

  33. Emma Armstrong says:

    For me, I like to have it both ways.

    When I go on holiday I don’t enjoy going to all the typical places that LonelyPlanet or Rough Guides had advised me as usually you will only meet other tourists. I like to go off the beaten track a bit and find the hidden gems of the city. A great way of doing this is online. You can find exactly what you want, where it is, if it’s in your price range and create a little map for yourself on how to get there. It saves a massive amount of time, roaming the streets of a new city lost and ending up in somewhere that’s just not to your liking but for staying there for the sake of your feet.

    At the same time, I absolutely hate checking emails or my facebook when I am on holiday. I don’t like seeing names and updates of people from home, complaining about their college assignments and other things. I don’t want to know about anything going on back home, even if its from my foods. In this way I need to be completely, 100% disconnected.

  34. Rodrigo Gelle says:

    I prefer ‘pulling my plug’ when going on vacation. Who needs their laptop or smartphone when they’re visiting a beautiful country? I could care less about Belgian politics or the weather when I’m not home. An exception to my statement is my cellphone. I need this for communication; for when I’ve lost my family or friends. But I would never use it for checking my facebook or twitter, which is ridiculously expensive! But that’s a different discussion..

  35. Jutta says:

    I definitively prefer unplugged holidays. In my opinion this is the only way to relax completely. A couple of weeks ago I saw an interesting documentation on tv about people who always make digital holidays and that they are at risk to get a burnout-syndrome. I can full agree to the following interesting comment: http://www.pediatricsnow.com/2011/12/happy-unplugged-holidays-2/

  36. Alina says:

    We are so used to the digital era. We can’t live without it anymore. Even when we are on holiday. But face the fact. It is so easy nowadays with our smartphones and tablets. We get updated very easily and stay in contact with family and friends. And isn’t it easy and helpful to find (tourist)information about the area you are staying in. Probably many people have a digital holiday but this doesn’t mean that they are 24 hours/day online.

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