There’s nothing more frustrating than being on a family vacation, arriving at a gorgeous spot you’ve been longing to visit… and finding your kids’ faces glued to their phones. So other than traveling somewhere devoid of WiFi, is it possible to take a family vacation without tech?
Don’t get us wrong — we love tech. Phones are amazing for taking photos, finding your way via map apps, and using location services functions to keep track of everyone. But, as a parent, sometimes it’s important to have your family shut off the phones and just experience what’s happening around them. (That advice applies to you and your spouse, too.)
We’ve already covered fun ways to take a tech-free family vacation, but sometimes you need and want some modern devices to enhance your experience. Here are a few items that will help you take a family vacation that’s (mostly) without technology.
Family Vacation-Friendly Tech
Noise Canceling Headphones: For that family member who needs to tune out for a little “me” time, noise-canceling headphones like the COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are highly rated. They enable keeping the volume low so it doesn’t compete with ambient sounds. They’re also great for canceling out noises in general and sleeping on planes.
Geocaching : Inner adventurer love tracking things. Geocaching, a sort of global treasure hunt, is your family’s ticket to adventure. Millions of people have hidden caches of items all over the world, many in unexpected places. You use the GPS to locate the hidden containers, and either check out what’s inside, put something small (and not very valuable) into the cache or take something out to bring to another cache on your trip.
Before starting, you’ll need to set up an online profile (you can do so as a family). Be sure to bring some small trinkets to leave behind and a pen to sign the log. A cell phone will be required to find the caches, but it’s one of the best ways to spend a day exploring. You’ll often discover unique places versus over-populated tourist destinations.
NY Times Crossword: This may seem basic, but there’s a reason why the New York Times crossword puzzle has lasted for many years in both print and digital form. You can download crossword puzzles from the NY Times, or play online. Hold tournaments, compete for time or work as a team. You can also play online or pick up a paper at a local newsstand.
Yes, you can declare a phone-free zone while on vacation. But if protests ring out, consider the above activities as some options to bring the family together.