Vacation question: To bring the laptop or not?

Categories: Balancing Act


This week my family and I are going on vacation. Woohoo! (And also OMG, all of us really needed this one. A lot.) I’ve packed the bags, cleaned up the house so it’s not a total disaster when we get back, and gotten our documents and tickets ready. And now for the big important question:

Should I bring my laptop?

My initial answer was absolutely not. It’s been a crazy few months and I really need a break. My brain needs to disconnect and I need to spend time worrying about whether we all have enough sunscreen on instead of checking emails. Out of sight, out of mind.

At the same time, there is something to be said for being able to check email once a day (and I truly would only limit myself to once a day) and not having a panic attack when I’m back and there is a mountain of emails here to greet me. I’ve done this once before on vacation and thought it worked well. It also prevented me from stressing about the crises I didn’t know about because well, if they happened, I would know about them. Out of sight doesn’t always mean out of mind.

My husband suggested that I don’t bring a laptop but instead go to the business center at the hotel to check email if I absolutely can’t resist the urge to do it. (We’re traveling abroad so checking it on my phone is not an option. Otherwise I think that’s what I would do.) I’m considering this idea.

But tell me, when you go on vacation, do you disconnect entirely or do you check your work or personal emails from time to time?

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5 comments so far...

  • I say no to the laptop. If you really and truly need the break, then you should really and truly take the break. Chances are, if your laptop is there, you’ll use it. I suppose I might follow your husband’s suggestion, but I’m more in favour of disconnecting entirely and making the quality time with family truly quality time. Work can always wait.

    AverageWorkingMom  |  April 17th, 2012 at 8:47 am

  • Go back and read your OWN blogs…you will clearly see that you need to leave that laptop at home!

    ACL  |  April 17th, 2012 at 9:49 am

  • I think really you need to have a good work-life balance (that term we all hear that personally drives me crazy ;-) ) and the laptop should be left at home if you plan to use it for work. Personally I choose to check work during some trips and not during others. If the focus of the trip is a “family break”, then use it for that. vs. a trip for example that may be out of town to a friend’s wedding or something not exactly family related. It may be too late for this trip, but for vacations I find for me that adding a day after we’re home, before returning to work, to use for e-mail catch up works really well. It ends up being a work and laundry day. ha ha. Good luck on the decision. If you’ve dedicated the time to family…stick with that dedication.

    HNMsMom  |  April 19th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

  • Reporting back: laptop was left at home. And it was the right call:)

    Nataly  |  April 21st, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  • I have been waiting to hear about your vacation. Pleas share how it was!

    Tina  |  June 12th, 2012 at 1:10 pm