I was excited when I read Chloe’s article Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for a Daycare. Not because I’m in the market for a daycare, but because I know how hard it is for parents to know what to do when trying to find the right place to entrust your child/children. I wanted to also add my experience to the article in the hopes that I’m able to help make the lives of parents a little bit easier.
Let’s face it: We kind of have a problem.
We live in a technology-dominated world, where computers, tablets and smartphones capture our attention on a daily basis. We are, in short, technology zombies. Instead of brains, however, we have an insatiable appetite for glowing screens that keep us entertained, attached to work and able to share our every thought and action with all of our friends and acquaintances.
Sometimes, though, we need to unplug.
It’s gotten so bad that we’ve even created a whole day designed to encourage families to turn off their electronics with the National Day of Unplugging. So how about making a more deliberate attempt to close those laptops, tablets and cellphones on a regular basis? A good place to start may be your next vacation.
In the spirit of disconnecting from the Internet and reconnecting with the ones you love, here are some ideas for you and your family to enjoy a vacation with minimal technological interferences.
Leave the Electronics at Home
The simplest way to ensure that you and/or your kids are not distracted by the allure of flashy games and social media is to leave the unnecessary gadgets at home. You may hear a gasp or two when you propose this to your family, but it may truly be a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” By removing the temptation to hit that power button, you’re creating a new environment with new possibilities. You’ll have to decide on another activity together as a family, which may create shared memories that will last forever. By the end of the trip, everyone might just find that unplugging is not only pretty easy, but it can be beneficial, too.
Limit the Use of Technology to Indoors
Does the idea of banning all electronics seem a bit too unrealistic for you and your brood? Here’s another option: Limit gadgets to the indoors alone. This will help ensure that everyone’s making the most of the scenery and sights at your vacation destination. During the day you can hit the beach, visit local tourist spots, explore the local museums and stores, and then everyone can take some time in the evening to relax and plug back in for a bit if they so choose.
Share Your Entertainment
Another way to create shared memories with family bonding time is to bring along a shared source of entertainment. Visit the local theater or video store and pick out a movie you can watch together in the evening. How about a game of putt-putt? Bring some board games from home and gather everyone around the table for a game night. Have a good book that you think others in your family will like? Share it with them and maybe it’ll inspire a mini vacation book club.
Choose Your Own Adventure
When you head out on vacation, there are often many new sites to see and explore. Encourage everyone’s inner adventurer and challenge your family to share a new discovery each day. You could even create a scavenger hunt to help them get started, with the promise of a prize at the end of the trip.
There are many technology-free ways for you and your family to spend time together. With a little extra planning, and also some flexibility, you can ensure that your next vacation is one for the memory books. You’ll know that everyone’s having a great time when you see the smiles on everyone’s faces.
Do you have tips to share on how to create a fun, technology-free vacation? Let us know in the comments below!