Leave the Cell Phone at Home: How disconnecting on your Vacation is the Right and Healthy Thing to do

When I recently traveled to Alaska, I made the mistake of bringing my cell phone with me. And thus, my escape from Los Angeles was routinely interrupted with calls that never let me totally disconnect and fully lose myself in my vacation.

It was the first exotic trip I’ve taken with cell phone in tow, but in the last five years I’ve also failed to sever that connection by visiting Internet bars and checking my email. One trip, in fact, was partially ruined when I found out through email that my company had canceled raises for the year –- not something you want to hear while on an expensive vacation!

Leaving your communication gadgets at home and disconnecting from the stress and worries which led you to vacation in the first place is the theme of a recent article by Susan Brink. Not surprisingly, I found it in the Health section of the LA Times instead of the Travel section.

Brink confirms what I’ve known now for the last five years; staying in constant contact with work and home while at the same time trying to escape from this very thing by going on vacation can undermine the very rest and relaxation which motivated you to go on vacation in the first place. In fact, it might even increase your amount of stress.

Brink sums it up nicely; “a large body of research shows that chronic stress is bad, that multi-tasking on interconnected gizmos can increase stress and that vacations are stress relievers.” She then refers to a study that reveals 39% of people on vacation check their work emails.

If you’re one of these unlucky souls, check out the article and discover the disservice you are doing yourself. If, on the other hand, the thought of being disconnected from work and out of the loop strikes job-security fear in your heart, you just might be screwed either way you slice it.

Two for the Space of One

As a computer nerd, I’m doomed to walk the earth with as many electronic gadgets as possible. In fact, I was once questioned by Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport security why I had two MP3 players and two cell phones. In spite of that (almost) international incident, I think there has never been a better time than now for gadgety-type traveling.

Companies today are marketing products that can charge multiple devices in multiple environments with just one plug. This means one less Blackberry plug in your carry-on and more space for souvenirs!

Gomadic markets a number of two-device chargers for use in either home or auto. These chargers support cell phones, PDAs, and MP3 players. About $40 to $50.

iGo sells dual-device power adapters that can be used on airplanes, on AC current, and in cars. They have models that can charge laptops in addition to a small device like a phone, MP3 player, or PDA. Ranges from $30 to $120.

Finally, the VersaCharger PRO consolidates all of your USB device chargers into one small adapter usable on a plane, in a car, or in a hotel. Around $25 to $30.

By the way, you get extra points if you attach any one of the previously mentioned chargers to the Tumi adaptor Erik mentioned. (Oh, and check the comments of that post to see cheaper Tumi alternatives.)

No Kissing On American Airlines?

It’s been almost a year since the shocking Lorrie Heasley story. Remember the woman removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in Reno when she refused to take off or cover her offensive “Meet the F*ckers” shirt? It caused quite a stir then, and as of late, another airline has been raising a ruckus in the gay community it seems. The New Yorker runs a rather detailed piece on an incident where George Tsikhiseli, a television journalist, and his writer boyfriend, Stephan Varnier, were told the plane would be diverted if they did not drop the issue of touching and kissing on the plane.

Let me backtrack. The two passengers were on their way back into NYC from Paris when Varnier started dozing off and leaned his head on his partner Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over and told them the purser said to stop the touching and kissing. The two passengers noted there was no kiss kissing, just mwah (smacking sound). When questioned, the purser also became rigid on the subject. Later, the purser informed Tsikhiseli that the captain would like to talk to him. The captain informed Tsikhiseli that if he didn’t stop arguing with the crew, the plane would be diverted. Now, what I’ve just provided is a very through-the-grapevine look at the story, so I suggest you read the entire deal over at the New Yorker.

If power truly rests in numbers and this story were to get into the hands of the entire gay community, I would think American Airlines screwed up, but overall the situation just sounds overly bizarre.

via WorldHum