/ Technology, Travel & Leisure

Are you ready to take a break from technology?

When we’re on holiday, gadgets and wi-fi help us stay in constant contact with friends, family, and even work from the comfort of our hotel rooms. But shouldn’t holidays help us detox from technology?

We’re all getting more and more plugged in to the web, making it increasingly difficult to leave it behind when we do take a break. In fact, the World Travel Market found that as many as 60% of the UK holiday makers it surveyed admitted to accessing the internet on holiday via a number of devices.

In response to our growing dependency on technology, the World Travel Market’s annual global report found that the number of hotels offering ‘digital-free breaks’ is actually going up. But would you book a holiday where you’re forced to leave your gadgets at the door?

It’s time for a digital detox

Some previous examples of resorts include the Lifehouse Country Spa Resort in Essex, which offered a ‘BlackBerry creche’ for its guests. The Quincy in Washington DC offered a ‘be unplugged’ package, while the Hotel Monaco in Chicago advertised a ‘technology break’. Fiona Jeffery, chairman of World Travel Market, said:

‘This is another great example of how hotels are bucking the gloomy trends in travel by tapping into the zeitgeist and providing an escape for busy travellers’.

But will it catch on? Personally, I think it’s a great idea. While many of you might say you can simply leave your devices at home, I think that many of us are so addicted to our gadgets that pure resolve may not be enough. The extra, conscious decision to take a tech-free break may be what we need to make us fully commit.

Confessions of a tech addict

I must admit I’m addicted to tech myself. On my last holiday in the UK with my family, even our remote holiday cottage came fully equipped with high-speed wi-fi. As a result, we spent hours poring over our devices instead of making pleasant conversation.

And on my last holiday abroad, I relied too heavily on my smartphone connection to help make decisions about what to do, where to go, and even where to eat. It cost me a fortune in data charges and I entirely missed the fun of exploring and spontaneity.

After my latest holidays, I’m longing for my own digital detox. However, I have a sneaking suspicion my smartphone and tablet will make their way into my holiday bag for next year’s trip to the Lake District. Would you be tempted to book a digital detox holiday break? Or would you find a lack of connectivity to the internet the opposite of relaxing?

Would you be tempted to take a ‘digital detox’ holiday?

Yes, I’d enjoy a break from tech (55%, 47 Votes)

No, I’d feel cut off without the internet (38%, 33 Votes)

I'm not sure (7%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 86

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I look at websites and email when it is convenient, even when I am on holiday. Friends comment on the fact that I am forever finding reasons to look at my laptop or iPad when I am on holiday. Maybe I do need therapy. 🙂

On the other hand, it is nice to get away from the phone, which demands instant attention.

When I’m on holiday, I carry on using my iPhone and laptop as usual. I always get local SIM cards so I pay the same as a local to use my iPhone. If I was without technology on holiday, it would spoil my holiday.

If you feel that your holiday also requires you to take a holiday from technology, then why not ditch technology all the time? If it’s so bad for one’s life, then it has no place whether you’re on holiday or not.

Phil says:
5 November 2012

My laptop never comes on holiday with me and I usually have the mobile switched off. If you’re going to spend your holiday with your head stuck into your laptop why bother going away at all? I’d much rather give my full attention to the surroundings and to my partner.

Some people seem to take a delight in taking work calls whilst they’re on holiday; usually in as loud a voice as possible. I suppose they think it makes them look important; indispensable. In reality they just come over as being insecure and a bit sad.

“Some people seem to take a delight in taking work calls whilst they’re on holiday; usually in as loud a voice as possible” – I don’t think we’re talking about people working while on holiday, but about people using technology for personal reasons as they would when not on holiday.

Phil says:
7 November 2012

” …keep in touch with friends, family and even work. ” I don’t think it’s specifically excluded.

I have given this more thought and realise just how useful technology is when I am on holiday. When in an unfamiliar place we need information to help us enjoy our holiday. Give me a computer rather than a tourist information office any day.

Phone on holiday? Just to keep in touch with family, book restaurants, call the AA – sometimes it is also necessary to stay in touch with work, depends on your job. But glued to it – of course not.
Laptop / tablet – to get information on what to do on holiday – why not? Read a book – OK.
They are both useful bits of kit.
But am I dependent on them – no, they are simply more efficient than using a phone box (any left?) or trailing round an unfamiliar area deciding what best to see and do.
Others seem to get pleasure from continual phone calls and browsing – is they do, why not?