June 18, 2024

Wired but Unplugged: Using Tech on a Vacation

Ipads and Kindles help connect, if you must, with work.

According to the Business Research and Economic Advisors, the global output of cruises topped $117.15 billion. The volume of people cruising conjures up images of lounging deckside while being served cocktails, then heading to live entertainment in the main dining hall. But in reality, vacationers aren’t taking advantage of the much-needed downtime and relaxation.

The American Psychological Association reports 44 percent of people check work messages at least once a day while on vacation. Leave your smartphone and laptop at home and enjoy yourself while hitting the high seas! Here is technology that’s wired, but unplugged (that means techy, but disconnected).

Kindle Fire

Stock your Kindle (or any e-reader) with plenty of page-turning classics, pop-culture fiction and new reads you can’t wait to get your hands on. Remember you can also stock up with online magazines and Kindle Singles full of essays, memoirs and short stories. Turn on “Airplane Mode” to avoid the temptation to connect to your ship’s Wi-Fi. (No work emails, remember?) Instead, launch one of your downloaded games to take your mind off the reality back home.

Iridium Satellite Phone

Cruise ships aren’t always known for their stellar phone coverage, so leaving your smartphone behind isn’t necessarily a big sacrifice. An Iridium Satellite Phone offers coverage from just about anywhere in world (including the South Pole!) without an annual contract.

What’s the point of a sat phone if you’re trying to disconnect, you ask? If you need to be available to your family or your business, but don’t want to constantly check cellphone activity and email messages, a sat phone is a great alternative. You know you’ll have reliable service if you need it. It’s simply a robust and innovative tool to stay connected and have lifeline access to a phone if you need it.


Royal Caribbean unveiled the first tracking system for kids on cruise ships in 2009. Today, just about every major vessel has tracking systems, video monitors and safety measures in place for passengers of all ages. But what would you do if your child disappeared or got lost en route to a kids’ club or activity? Instead of simply waiting (and panicking) for the cruise staff to raise the alert and scour the ship, take matters into your own hands. KizON is a wristband for children. It ensures parents can find them regardless of where they’ve wandered off. Best of all, there’s a direct call feature on the band so kids can get in touch with parents without needing to remember a telephone number.


It’s difficult to truly leave work behind if you’re worrying about what’s piling up while you’re cruising. Online project management software like Asana can help you plan out tasks and even has a vacation indicator for your team. They’ll know exactly when you’re leaving and coming back and can continue working on the tasks through the software. Set up responsibilities, remind coworkers who to go to for answers and set goals before you set sail.

Asana also eliminates the need for hundreds of emails to complete a task. When you come back from your cruise, log into Asana to see what the team has been up to, get up to speed and make notes as needed. This will help you spend your free time enjoying being untethered at sea, rather than tethered to your desk.

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