Do you pack your BlackBerry on vacation?

By IsaacKendall on 16 Jul 2010 11:11 am EDT
CrackBerry BlackBerry Vacation

Ok, so the kids are out of school and the t-ball/soccer/swimming lessons are done, it's vacation time! The question is - Are you taking your BlackBerry with you? If you're a personal BlackBerry user the answer is simple, yes. But if your berry is a work device given to you by "The Man" are you taking that with you? Once upon a time the decision would be easy, leave it at home. But we are now a smartphone society and the BlackBerry just isn't just the work email device anymore. It has our Twitter feed, FaceBook account and out Google Mail. Not to mention our address book - I don't know anybody's phone number anymore and my life is in my calendar, so I need my BlackBerry. Apps like WorldMate in my opinion have made the BlackBerry a must take with you item when travelling.

I am a full fledged CrackBerry addict. When I travel I always take a spare BlackBerry and an unregistered SIM Card ‘just in case'. Why would anyone do this you might ask? It's a valid question and one my wife has questioned with no end to the sarcasm over the years, that is until we took the kids to Disneyland while the 2010 Winter Olympics invaded my hometown. Her beloved 8900 suddenly died while we were on day 2 of our 14 day vacation in Anaheim, and she had to come to me hat in hand with a cute smile on her face asking if I brought my backup 9700 to Disneyland. Of course I've been married long enough to know that this is not an opportunity to pontificate on how she's be so wrong to mock me over these years and simply and silently moved her SIM over to the new device and did a switch device wizard on my laptop - but trust me, I laughed with my inside voice.

Now if you are a business BlackBerry user and want to take the device with you and not be annoyed by work email that you couldn't care less about I have a few tips for you.

First up, turn all work email off all together. I'm on a BES for my work email and I also have a BIS account, to disable all email from my BES account till I turn this back on:

  • Messages --> Options --> Email Settings --> Change "Send Email to Handheld" to NO
Email Options Email Settings 


Next tip, if turning off all work email is not something you're comfortable with you can filter much of the noise that lives in office email. Specifically you can stop all the nonsense you're cc'd on. There is some need in the corporate culture to tell everyone what you're working on and let them know you do something.

  • Messages --> Options --> Email Filters --> Create a filter to only send messages that are sent directly to you
Email Filters 1 Email Filters 2

In this example unless my name is in the "To" field the message I will not receive any email messages.  Now these tips are also useful for another aspect of vacation - roaming charges.  I live in Canada, and unless you've lived in an internet vacuum these last few years you've heard that our cellular rates are not quite on par with the rest of planet earth and I can assure you our roaming rates really take things to a new level.  If one leaves North America for a trip to Europe a Canadian is billed $30.00/MB, no I'm not kidding $30 per Megabyte.  I know I am not willing to pay 30 bucks for some crap cc'd office mail, or some ridiculous office joke sent to the "all.employees" email address.

I'd like to offer one last piece of advice.  If you're reading there is a good chance you are close to being an addict like the rest of us here and a big hurdle to fully enjoying your vacation with your BlackBerry isn't annoying work emails.  The biggest challenge can be those looks from your significant other "PUT THAT THING DOWN!"  Sadly there is not setting or filter on the BlackBerry for that.  What I've learned works the best is to simply buy a BlackBerry for your sweetheart and bring him or her into the cult with you.  This will eliminate the looks and sighs only to be replaced by BBM's telling you to "PUT THAT THING DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME"

Reader comments

Do you pack your BlackBerry on vacation?


Last week I was in Santorini, Greece. Vacationing is great, but I always need to be connected via my BlackBerry. Verizon's $65 unlimited data package has been a great purchase. Totally worth it.

I pay $70 for unlimited data, messaging and calls to cell phones. Plus I have a Tour, so I can unlock it and set it up on another network since its a world phone

I thought it was obvious, but I'll clarify: the $65 is for the international unlimited data plan. Without it I would have already racked up close to $2,000 in data roaming charges.

My BB goes about everywhere with me. But as I'm leaving the office for vacation I always turn it to the Phone Only sound profile. So all the email and such still comes in, but it doesn't bother me when it does. That gives me access to everything if I want or need it.

Incidentally, I also use that profile with Bedside Mode at night so that emails won't bother me but someone can still call in an emergency. The alarm still works in that profile.

"What I've learned works the best is to simply buy a BlackBerry for your sweetheart and bring him or her into the cult with you. This will eliminate the looks and sighs only to be replaced by BBM's telling you to "PUT THAT THING DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME"

This is the EXACT same thing that I did... Awesome!

I always take one BB with me on vacation but try my best to only use it when necessary. I only bring it out at the hotel/condo when we aren't doing anything else. It helps that I've turned the fiancé into a BB addict as well.

These bb articles are getting dumb and dumber. Who cares uf u take ur bb with u. Some of these subjects sound like a little kid with nothing to talk. Just think of anything

I would agree that this is a slow time in the BlackBerry world, BUT you need to get a grip man!!

This article if fun and has some tip.

If you have such a handle on what is and is not worth being on - step up and submit some articles. Otherwise sit back and relax.

-->Shall we play a game?

Although this article does not apply to me, and probably not yourself, there are a large number of business folks out there that this would apply to. I happen to know quite a few. Hopefully you will understand the point of this site is to please the masses. Not just yourself.

Well duh! I don't even go to the bathroom without Tjat said, if I'm on vacation it will get used minimally.

I have to say, you had me laughing because how true it is. The faces, those faces (that you just don't care about and still continue on your BB.) I got my entire family a BB and I never got that face again, now the only problem is when one of us gets a message we all grab our phones or yell out, "Is that mine?" I for one do have all work emails forwarded to my BB but I use a separate email address so I know not to check that email address while I am out on vacation or on my days off.

I am going to Atlantis in August and I will probably go on the global plan for the week that I am there. Still not 100% sure yet. But, really, for ~$7.50 premium for 1 week, why not.

You can leave it at home without you? I didn't know that was possible! Mine is always with me. And now that my husband has one, he has become addicted as well!

Which is why I bought a GSM capable Blackberry. If you're a Blackberry traveler that goes outside of your country, don't travel with CDMA or you will be surprisingly screwed. Also make sure your Blackberry is unlocked so when you get to your destination, you can buy a local SIM card that comes with minutes and a phone number.

Because, you know, the rest of the world knows how to do prepaid. Unlike North America.

Can't imagine not taking it! Thanks for the tip about turning off the work e-mail -- that was helpful. (I wouldn't want to be a total drone...) Non-work uses include: mapping with Google Maps, making dinner reservations, finding local activities and stores, finding and booking movies, texting and calling friends with ETA's, and taking pictures and video. All my iTunes are saved on an 8 gig memory card, so... music, and my Kindle App lets me read my current book on the go.

One time, I was on the freeway heading to some friends' home for a dinner party when I realized I'd left it at home. It was quite unnerving. What if I was in an accident? What if there was a family emergency and someone needed to reach me? I felt totally wierd all night. Addicted? Call it what you like. To me, it is a modern-day necessity.

I took it on a cruise to Ensenada and added AT&T's Mexico features for just those few days. I was the only one in a group of 8 that was connected. It was crazy - everyone was borrowing my phone! Also, my group got separated while we were shopping -- I had the phone with me, but no one else did. IMHO, *they* were lost -- I was not!!

My husband and I both took our Blackberries with us tent camping. We had them set up through the weather service to text us in case of any severe weather, and our data allowed us to keep track temperatures.

At night while the rain kept me from sleeping, I read books on the Kindle app. It was nice to be pretty much disconnected, but connected enough to not go crazy. :-p

Before I got my first BB, My son had one so I asked him about it. He said "it changes everything". He was right I used to leave my dumb phones behind every chance I could, now I dont go anywhere without my Gold Bond or my BB.

I take NO technology with me on vacation. No BB, laptop,
netbook. Nothing.

If I wanted to be that connected I'd just stay home. When I am
on vacation, I am on vacation, from all of it.

I'm totally burnt out on work, and going on a 2 week vacation with my family in a couple of weeks. I was really wanting a way to take my BB with me for the personal stuff (phone, Twitter, FB, personal email, etc) but did not want to be tempted to look at some of the 300+ work emails I get every business day. THIS IS MY SOLUTION! Thanks for the article!!!

Of course it comes with me!!! That would be like asking someone if they would like to leave their foot at home!

I will be sitting next to the pool. Daiquiri in one hand and my blackberry in the other while I am on vacation

For two summers now we have spent ten days in the mountains in a really nice RV, but without television, cable, or even radio stations to listen to.

However, Blackberry to the rescue! Thanks to a cell tower on a distant mountain, we had perfect signal reception. It was funny to see my wife and I, both with our Blackberrys, leisurely having our morning coffee and reading CNN news on our handhelds.

This year I used Tether to hook up to my netbook and Pandora to provide great music. Life is sweet, especially as a Blackberry user.

Some might this this is a waste of time article but I just got back from Cabo San Lucas and has the same issue. Do I respond to work email while on vacation. My work pays the bill even when going international so I feel I am in a slight way obligated to check the mail. I would check it in the morning and before going out at night.

The best part about the article was showing everyone how to turn off email forwarding. I did not know how to do that as I am sure otheres did not as well.

Just because an article is not relevant to one person that does not mean others won't enjoy. Two thumbs up to the OP!

My status of what I'm going and where I'm going. So yes. Haha joking.
But yes I take it with it does well with directions and giving local info.

Oh yeah, it goes with me on vacation - can't live without it! I don't use it for work though, have my personal email set up with it. I used to give my husband "those looks" when he wouldn't put his BB down - now I have my own and understand completely about being a crackberry addict! :)

Packed mine on a camping trip to Kauai's north shore. I was able to get pretty good reception, sent pics to my family and was able to needle my friends on bbm.