Cellphone-Free Vacationing

Can’t get away from the phone calls, the e-mail and the Blackberry on vaction? Maybe you need to travel off the grid.

Forbes.com has a cool piece, with a great interactive map, about 20 places in the United States where your cellphone is guaranteed not to work. I can personally vouch for a broad swath of the Adirondacks, which I traversed often in recent years while the kid was at school in Montreal.

Of course most of us don’t want to get away from our own cellphones. We want to get away from other people’s cellphones, especially when we’re on vacation.

My own feelings on this have evolved thusly:

Sometime around 1990: I saw a man walking down the street with his young son on a Sunday afternoon in Manhattan, talking to his wife on a big, clunky cellphone about buying something at a bakery. I burst out laughing. What a pompous ass!

2001:  I was hiking on a trail in Zion National Park in Utah and I heard some people talking on the trail up ahead. But it was only one person, talking, pausing, talking.  I assumed he was a crazed psychopath talking to himself – until he came around a bend in the trail with a cellphone to his ear. What a freak!

2004: I was at a restroom sink in the Lihue airport on Kauai, washing my hands, when a woman in one of the stalls starting talking to me. "Hello, are you there?" she said. "Hello?" I said, puzzled. "I’m in the bathroom," she said. "Me too," I said, before I realized she was on the phone in the bathroom stall. What a sicko!

2006: I got a Motorola Razr V3 quadband phone with one of those blinking Bluetooth headsets, and ended up using it in Russia and Scandinavia. I am SO cool.

2007: I wrote a stultifying six-part series about how to use a cellphone overseas. OK. Maybe I’ve become part of the problem.


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