Guilt-free unplugged travel
Want to unplug while traveling, but feel guilty that you’re shirking work or family obligations? There are ways to manage it, says The Traveling Philosopher, in Part 3 of 4 of this month’s compelling series of posts about Unplugged Travel.
Many people want to unplug while they travel, but they don’t because of work or family obligations, or sometimes just plain guilt. It’s not that people don’t want to disconnect, but that they feel like they simply can’t. While this may seem like the case, there are steps you can take to decrease the time plugged in on the road, and therefore make the best of your travel experiences.
To really unplug while traveling takes advance planning, especially if you have work obligations. Before your trip, finalize your itinerary and include as many details as you can, such as the names and numbers of your hotels and tour operators. Make sure to account for things like time differences and transportation between destinations.
Give the completed itinerary to family, friends, and employees that you think will need it. If something urgent arises, they can call your hotel when you’re there or leave a message that you can retrieve upon your arrival. TIP: Use Tripit, an online travel planner that allows you to share your itinerary. Or consider consulting a travel agent, who can best plan out this type of detailed itinerary.
If you don’t want to travel with your laptop, don’t worry about leaving it at home. I often travel without my laptop because I know that no matter where I’m traveling, if I need Internet access, an Internet cafe isn’t far away. Many hotels have business centres with computers and free Internet access. In popular destinations, you may even find restaurants and bars that have free computer access for patrons.
Use layovers and waiting times before your flights to make and receive phone calls or check emails, especially if you’re concerned about keeping up with work. If you’re loyal to one particular airline, then consider becoming a premium member to access their airport lounges. Lounges often provide free phone, fax, computer and Internet use. If you don’t have a membership, make friends with someone who does, as many loyalty programs offer complimentary access for guests. Some airports, like Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport, even rent laptops.
With some planning and efficient use of time, you can unplug while traveling and feel good about it. Enjoy!
Want more Unplugged Travel? Be sure to join host and world adventurer Alan Bishop on T+E next month as he takes eight of the most self-proclaimed technology-obsessed Canadians, unplugs them and immerses them in a month-long challenge-based adventure through breathtaking National Parks and National Historic Sites across Canada. Watch OPERATION UNPLUGGED — only on Travel+Escape! Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. HERE’S A PREVIEW!