Pulling The Plug On Holiday

Posted on Oct 21 2013 - 10:38am by Caroline

Bouquet of Plugs

You might be planning to jet off for your fortnight in the sun,or perhaps you’ve just come back from a relaxing beach holiday? If you’ve just been away, did you notice how much technology you used while you were away? A survey by Gocompare.com found that 92% of holidaymakers will take their mobile on holiday with them and 45% will take their iPad or other tablet device. A further 47% said that a holiday cut off from communication with the outside world would be holiday hell. OFCOM statistics show that “Smartphone users are more likely to take part in work calls while on holiday or annual leave” In fact, 70% have done so and a quarter are doing it regularly (compared with just 16% of ordinary mobile phone users).

A study by Nokia found that people check their smartphones an average of 150 times a day (assuming 16 hours of being awake) that’s every six and a half minutes. According to a survey by British Airways, British workers only actually spend four days of their two-week holiday switched off from the office. Interestingly, 25% of respondents said they found it easier to relax on a short break as they were less concerned about the work that was mounting up in their inbox in their absence. A further 25% admitted they’d gone to an internet cafe whilst on holiday to do work, and 15% had even taken their laptops to the beach.

Work is important, and few people can afford to lose their jobs these days, so it’s understandable that people are more likely to want to keep a hand in what goes on in the office even while they’re on annual leave. But can you do anything about it? Is there anywhere you can truly get away from it all?

Amazingly, there are still some places in the world where you can really get away from it all. It may be time to plan your winter getaway and whether you want sun or snow, there are some amazing isolated havens:

Little Palm, Florida Keys

The residents of this barely accessible sliver of paradise frown upon mobiles and under-16s (sorry, this is not a family getaway!). All you can do is relax in one of the 28 thatched cottages, sunbathe, or perhaps visit the Marine Sanctuary.

Purton Green, Suffolk

Sadly the village where Purton Green medieval house was built has fallen away around it, leaving it completely remote, there is no TV, no Wi-Fi, you can’t even drive all the way to the front door. The nearest station is 11 miles away.

Apartment Gamperhof, Austria

There’s no internet in this 300 year old simple and comfortable chalet “Apartment Gamperhof” which is1,200 metres above sea level. Set in a hunting ground next to one of Austria’s largest mountains, you can get fresh produce from the farmer’s wife next door.

If you can’t get to a destination that’s completely cut-off from the mobile world, we’ve compiled a few top tips to help you keep a check on your technology versus holiday ratio:

  • Complete your to-do list before you go away (perhaps checking with management that they are happy with it);
  • Try and hand over pending work to a colleague you trust to do a good job.
  • Make everyone in the office, and key clients know that you’ll be unavailable. Make it clear that unavailable means emergency contact only.
  • Then get yourself into the mindset that you are not indispensable, the work world will keep turning in your absence.
  • When you are actually on holiday, switch off your laptop and phone.

Or better still, leave them at home!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Jukka Zitting

About the Author

Caroline is a freelance travel writer with a passion for food, history and culture around the world.