I’m a firm believer that one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of travel. Instilling a sense of wanderlust from a young age is one of the best things we can do for our kids. That’s the number one reason we travel as much as we do. I grew up in a family that didn’t travel anywhere. I didn’t leave my home state until I was 20 years old.
I knew when I became a mom, that I wanted my kids to travel and explore the world even at a young age. In a time that everyone is addicted to technology and their phones or video games, being able to unplug– even for a few days – is priceless.
Enjoying an unplugged vacation isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Especially if you have a teenager at home who is afraid he’s going to miss something important with his friends.
Even as an adult, it’s something I struggle with every time we travel. My job is online and requires me to check my email multiple times a day and respond to business contacts working on deadlines.
There are even those trips where I’m partnering with a destination to be online and share my experience with the world.
The same devices that help keep us connected when we are apart are the same things that help keep us distracted from the special moments we can experience while traveling.
Alamo Rent A Car gets it. Their Scenic Route website has an entire toolkit to help you unplug and connect with your family.
The Unplugged Family Vacation Toolkit has all kinds of resources to help you make your next unplugged vacation one you’ll never forget!
Use those tools and tips to help you unplug and reconnect with those special to you!
TIPS TO ENJOY AN UNPLUGGED VACATION
TURN OFF YOUR PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Turn off all those push notifications before you leave. If you’re not alerted to incoming notifications or alerts, you won’t be tempted to look.
CLEAR DEADLINES BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Make sure to clear any deadlines you have before you go. If the kids have schoolwork, make sure it’s all done and completed before you leave for your trip.
When it comes to work related things, get them done so you don’t have to worry about them on vacation.
SET A CLEAR CHECK TIME
If you do have to be on the phone, set a clear amount of time to check in, post or do what you have to do. Make a list of what you need to do (i.e check for an important email, post a photo or two) and then get off.
KEEP TRAVEL DOCUMENTS IN ONE SECURE PLACE
I travel with a travel wallet and keep all our documents, passports, airline tickets, itinerary, etc. all in one place.
Keeping your important documents handy make it easier to get them when you need them but it also keeps you off your phone since you have them with you and not stored in an app or phone.
LOCK THE PHONES UP OR LEAVE THEM HOME
Leave the tablets at home. When it comes to phones, if they can’t be left at home, lock them up in the safe in your room or another safe place. Take an out of sight, out of mind approach.
REPLACE NOTES ON YOUR PHONE WITH A TRAVEL JOURNAL
Before cell phones took over our lives, good old fashioned pen and paper was the way to takes notes and write stuff down. Ignore the notes app on your phone, find yourself a nice travel journal and write down special moments from your trip.
The kids both received travel journals for Christmas last year to use on all our trips. Instead of spending car rides watching TV or on their phone, they can doodle, write down their bucket list for that particular trip and even jot down their favorite memories.
MAKE A LIST OF WHAT APPS YOU WILL USE
If you do have to be on your devices like I do when I’m on a work trip, make a list of the apps you designate as ok to use and use those apps only.
Don’t get tempted to scroll through your Instagram feed or watch the latest Youtube video. It’ll all be there when you get back. Enjoy the down time.
GET EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE
No matter how you decide to unplug, talk it over with the family and make sure everyone is on board before you go. This way the kids will have time to get used to being away from their tablets, video games and cell phones and hopefully it will be less traumatic when you take them away.
TAKE A PLEDGE TO STAY OFFLINE
Once you get everyone on board with your unplugged vacation, download a custom phone lock-screen from the Unplugged Family Vacation Toolkit. Then have everyone sign an Unplugged Family Vacation Pledge. Download it and have everyone sign it or make your own!
Whatever you decide to do, just enjoy your unplugged vacation and create memories with your family that will last a lifetime!