We’ve become obsessed with our electronic devices. Kids stream videos on tablets, teens Snapchat on smartphones, parents answer work emails on laptops. The internet has connected us to information, entertainment and each other in incredible ways, yet this instant connection is growing into an addiction. Studies suggest that over 50 percent of U.S. adults check their smartphone at least once an hour. Teens spend upwards of nine hours each day on the computer and other digital devices. Even tweens (ages 8-12) are spending an average of six hours every day in front of a screen.
Perhaps it’s time for you and your family to unplug on a device-free vacation. When you disconnect from the nearest Wi-Fi (and even cell) signal, you’ll reconnect with each other. Without the distraction of technology, your family can have real conversations and enjoy adventures together. Start your device-free getaway planning with these unique ideas.
From simplistic to luxurious, you can find resorts in remote locations with limited to zero internet access. For many of these vacation spots, the lack of technology is a top-selling point. Imagine a tropical beach villa where connecting wasn’t an option. Instead of being glued to a digital screen, you’ll be able to spend your vacation swimming and snorkeling in the ocean or lounging on the beach while the kids build sand castles. You’ll be free to enjoy the moment without the stress and need to check your phone for the latest notifications.
Digital Detox Retreats
Take your family on a retreat designed to help you kick the habit of constantly looking at your smartphone, tablet or television. Because screen addiction is increasing, many companies have started offering weekend retreats free of digital devices. Some offer device-free and fun-filled tours of major cities, while others take place at picturesque and quiet escapes. Either way, you’ll have amazing adventures with your family and learn how to decrease your screen time when you return home.
Hike-In Lodges and Cabins
The journey really is half the fun for these backcountry lodges. Located all over the country, including many along the gorgeous Appalachian Mountains, these rustic, electricity-free accommodations can only be accessed by hiking to them. Most provide bedding and even a delicious dinner that you’ll devour after a day of rigorous hiking. You and your family will feel accomplished as you sit on a porch and take in the beautiful scenery that few have seen.
Travel down a river on a raft or canoe for an adventure your family is sure to remember. Take a leisurely, family-friendly trip on quiet, calm water. If you have older children, consider a more strenuous whitewater voyage filled with exhilarating rapids. Your kids will be so busy enjoying themselves as they navigate the water that they won’t have time to think about their smartphones.
Device-free destinations may be more difficult to find and, some more difficult to get to, but they allow you to focus on your family. Whatever route you choose for your next no-screens-allowed vacation, you’re guaranteed to create lasting memories and stories that will be shared for years to come.