Call Me, Beep Me, If You Want to Reach Me

by Nancy Bestor

970642_phone_2There’s no doubt that our society is addicted to electronic devices. No matter where I am in the world, I always see oodles and oodles of people talking on their phone, texting on their phone, playing games on their phone, etc., etc. While at times this drives me a little crazy (my teenage daughters know what I’m talking about here), I realize that phones are very helpful, particularly when traveling. In addition to buying world calling plans and text messaging plans to communicate with the folks back home, or even to call your hotel and let them know you’ll be arriving later than intended, smartphones have even more benefits that make them a necessity when I’m on the road. First off, I always purchase a world calling plan (about $4 for a month with AT&T) just in case. You never know when you might have an emergency, and it’s worth the $4 to get significant discounts on potential per minute phone charges. Since I have an iPhone, I also have the worldwide web at my fingertips, but I’ve learned (the hard way) to turn off roaming, and only use the internet when I can get wireless service.

But even older phones have more benefits for travel than you might realize. Most cell phones have an alarm, thus allowing you to leave your travel alarm clock at home, and use your cell phone to wake up in the morning. If like me, you don’t like wearing a watch, you can also use it as a time keeping device, important for catching trains or meeting up with traveling companions.

Perhaps it’s time we let go of the notion that being completely “checked out” from our electronic devices is the most stress free way to travel. Instead, maybe our electronic devices are just the ticket to de-stressing our lives.