The Way of the World, Even on Holiday
Look, we've all heard the stories about how terrible smart phones are. We all know how scattered they can make us feel and how distressing it is to look around and see everyone pecking away at their screens. Essentially, according to some people, smart phones spell doom for everything decent in Western Civilization.
And of course, these people would be simply appalled at the idea of taking a smart phone with them on holiday. "You go on holiday to relax," they'd say, "to get away from all the buzzing and dinging that drives you mad in everyday life." Then they'd advise you to leave it at home, or at least in your hotel room. As if it were so simple.
Unfortunately, the truth is more complex than that. Modern technology's not going away and smart phones are simply the way of the world now, even when you're on holiday. There are lots of good reasons to bring your smart phone with you when you're getting away from it all. The key, as in everything, is striking a balance.
Here are some good reasons to bring your phone with you on holiday. After that, you'll read how to make the most of technology without letting it dominate your trip.
The Psychology of Smart Phones on Holiday
We'll discuss the practical value of smart phones shortly. But before that, let's get honest a moment. The truth is, most people feel very uncomfortable without their phones today. It causes stress and anxiety because they're so used to the connectedness and convenience they offer. Most people can't bear the thought of a single day without their phone, much less a week or two.
With their smart phone in tow, people on holiday feel as though they're protected in the case of emergency. This is true whether the emergency involves the traveler themselves or a family member at home. With a smart phone, it's much easier to contact local authorities or send money overseas if necessary.
And although they might not wish to admit it, many people on holiday feel homesick when they're away. Sometimes, this sadness can make the trip less enjoyable. By using their smart phone to stay in contact with home, homesick people can continue to enjoy the pleasurable parts of their trip.
The Practical Value of Smart Phones on Holiday
Beyond that, some smart phone features can improve your holiday experience. The first is GPS Navigation of course. Who wants to pull over every ten miles and pore over maps of a region you're unfamiliar with? GPS Navigation isn't perfect of course, but it can take you from point A to point B a lot more conveniently than paper maps.
The GPS feature also helps travelers locate restaurants, activities, and places of interest. In addition to giving the family on holiday many attractive options, this feature also reduces planning time and allows you more time to relax before, during, and after the trip.
Then there's the camera. Smart phones are a convenient way to take holiday photos and make movies. They help make memories you can look back on later, and there are apps you can use to make postcards
to send to family and friends.
Smart phone apps can help you track your finances as well. You can check your bank balance anytime you're in transit, for example. Your smartphone is one the best ways to send money cheap, so you can pay any surprise bills that might come up as well. And with your smartphone in tow, you can ensure that you're getting the best currency exchange rates if you need to change money.
Moderating Your Smart Phone Use on Holiday
We'll finish up with some tips on how to reduce your smart phone use to an acceptable level while you're on holiday. After all, you don't want to be TOO preoccupied with football scores or fashion trends while you're seeing the sights! Here are some ways to help you live a little while you're away.
Reading social media posts is a big time suck for many people on holiday. You don't have to cut off from Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram entirely if you take a little time to change your settings. You can restrict the people whose posts you see by only having "close friends" appear in your feed. And if you restrict the people who see your posts, you can share your experience without being bombarded by comments.
You can also restrict you and your family's use. Leave your smart phones in the hotel room at strategic times. Only bring one or two phones on outings, and turn them off if they're not needed at a given time. Establish smart phone free zones, like on the beach or at meal times.
If you follow some of these suggestions, you can experience the entertainment, convenience, and safety of your smart phone without letting it dominate your trip. This is the best of both worlds and a great way to stay connected.