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Davide de Paolis
Davide de Paolis

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Do you bring your laptop on vacation?

To me vacation days are sacred. I try to travel as much as I can and use every single day I get.

Vacation is time for myself, for my family, time to do nothing and time to do lots of things. Everything but coding.

Actually I try to stay away from any kind of screen, I try to avoid reaching for the smartphone to check my or hackernoon feed.

That is my way to regenerate. A little bit of distance from coding and tech info that allows me to come back fresh and full of new energy.

I like to see it as in physical training. When you do sports - even if you would never stop because you like it and want to grow muscle or become better quickly, you simply have to take a Rest Day. If you skip it you might instead stress your muscle and incur in a higher risk of injuries.

I believe that is important for our brain as well. Or at least it works for me.

laptop on vacation

What do you think?
Can you stay away from coding?
What do you do special on vacation? Total relax or activity holidays?

Top comments (13)

tstark2 profile image
Todd Stark II • Edited

This depends on the purpose of the vacation. If you're taking vacation to spend more time with family, I absolutely wouldn't code. It's unlikely that you'll be able to spend much meaningful time with them while coding, unless they are coders too.

If your vacation is more about rest and relaxation, however, I think coding is ok, provided it is not mandatory. Sometimes the most relaxing thing you can do is work on something that you want to do instead of something that you have to do. To put it in simpler terms, codingForWork != codingForSelf.

I'm about to go on vacation myself, and I'm actually looking forward to working on one of my side projects. I think it'll be a good reminder that writing code can be fun, not just work. Obviously ymmv, but I think it'll be good for me--which is the entire point of vacationing, isn't it?

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

true, working on something for yourself is definetly different and probably more satisfying. In that case, sure. I try not to do that because I find it very difficult to disconnect / switch off. If I have an idea and want to do something, I kind of obsess about it and think about it even when I am doing something else - like while playing with kids, having dinner with some friends or while sleeping.. :facepalm

rsalunga29 profile image
Roland "Akio" Salunga

I don't really bring my laptop on any holidays/vacation unless I know I'll be called from work. I generally stay away from screen as much as possible on holidays/ vacation, but I always notice that whenever I get back from holidays/vacation, I feel rusty whenever I try to code again.

Nevertheless, it's always good to have a break every now and then

ohryan profile image

I used to bring laptops on vacation in case I had to do something "complicated" online while out of town, especially when traveling to the US (from Canada).

In my mind "complicated" included things like:

  • Figuring out where to eat and how to get there (reading restaurant reviews, pre-planning parking etc)
  • Emergency online banking, in case of some kind of account fuckup
  • Reading and responding to long/important emails.
  • Probably other things I'm forgetting.

I stopped bringing a laptop for this purpose a few years ago. Around the time when my cellphone provider started offering (somewhat) reasonable US roaming rates and more sites became more mobile friendly.

bradtaniguchi profile image

I semi agree but not for the reason you think.

I do not believe you need to go on vacation to disconnect, you should be able to "disconnect yourself" without needing to do or go anywhere special. You should be able to not check your phone during dinner, or during a day out with the family, or 15 minutes before bed.

I usually bring my laptop so I can spend some free time winding down and coding side projects a bit. Unless something is 100% on fire and no one else can fix it, then I wont be available, and even if I am, I will be only available when I choose.

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

fair point! during dinner I manage, but all the rest... i need to be doing some sports to not check the daily tech feed.. :-)

dianacoman profile image
Diana Coman

Well, I wouldn't have gotten back to coding if it weren't for the project and people involved so I guess I see coding more of a "dirty work" than anything else, hardly the sort of thing I'd do on holidays. That being said, balance means balance every day, not a week-vs-weekend or year-vs-holiday sort of thing so I'd say take your laptop with you on holidays if you want to - just make sure you find time to "watch the grass grow" every working day too.

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

find the time to watch the grass grow.
nice saying. :-)

qoyyuum profile image
Abdul Qoyyuum

Much like what everyone says, depends on the circumstance and purpose of the vacation. I went to an international competition with my teammates. I consider that as a short vacation but still brought my laptop because I enjoy coding. If I'm with my family and we're away, I'd rather be spending time with my family and less in front of a digital screen. Only because I enjoy family more than coding.

Matter of preference really.

6temes profile image

Of course! How am I supposed to code without a laptop?

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis


triptych profile image
Andrew Wooldridge

I have so many side projects that I take my own laptop as a way to vent some coding steam. I also play games as a way to decompress on off times.

jmdembe profile image
Jessica Dembe

I usually will not code during a vacation that is meant for me to decompress, but I will definitely take it with me in case there is a delay for my flight.