I'm the kind of person that feels lost when I don't have an internet or phone connection to my people at home. I travel with a computer always even if I'm gone for a weekend. I could probably not bring it but I like being able to do my photography stuff when I travel and having the computer just makes it easy. The first time I tried to email home when I was on the road I got error messages about my outgoing mail. It seems that my outgoing mail couldn't find the server so I got error messages. Lucky for me I had an already established gmail account so I was able to cut and paste my letters into that account and continue with my 'regular' email contact. There was some frustration with the getting contact addresses between accounts but those that I contacted on a regular basis were simple enough to email.
So before you leave on your vacation check to see that you have established an email account that can send and receive mail from anywhere in the world. When I was in Europe for several months I used Skype to phone home. You'll have to be aware of the time differences. For me that was nine hours difference. I could call before my wife left for work and I was getting ready to go to bed.
I also used my phone to send text messages from time to time when I didn't have internet access. You should check with your phone provider to see if you have coverage where you are traveling if you are traveling internationally. It is also a good idea to turn off your phone when you travel even if you are only going a few miles away. Your phone will constantly search for the nearest server so it will wear your battery down rather quickly. Turn your phone on when you need to use it then turn it back off.
Since I've returned I've gotten an iPod slide and now all of my contact info is on there so I don't really have to switch back and forth between contact info. I've also gotten a smart phone and that also has all my contact info in it as well.
I think as the new wireless pads become more popular then there will be more of their use for staying in touch with family and friends while on vacation or whenever you are away. Then again those 4G pads still require a phone connection so if your phone provider doesn't have service where you are traveling then you'll still be out of touch.
Hope this helps.
Take care and take time to enjoy your traveling.