Technology is becoming a full-time job, or at the very least, a full-blown obsession for most people. Keeping up with it can seem like a never-ending cycle of tweeting, posting, updating, texting, emailing and then repeating.
In fact, one study found that collectively Americans check their devices more than 8 million times a day with the average person checking 46 times per day. Another survey found that 75 percent of participants admit to checking their mobile phones even while in the bathroom!
Trending: Digital Detoxes
In an age in which it seems that everyone is hyper-focused on their personal devices, disconnecting from technology can help a family reconnect with each other. It’s called a digital detox … a break from the addictive relationship most people have with smartphones, computers and tablets. When a family commits to taking on this task together, it can be more than just a bonding experience. It’s a way for them to rewire their interactions with one another.
Did you know there are actually tech-free vacation destinations? They get a lot of media attention because of the hype, but they can cost a family thousands of dollars due to price and travel distance.
Find a digital detox vacation spot for the family that won’t break the bank by using one of these ideas instead …
Camp Out in a National Park
America’s National Parks are relatively inexpensive to explore and just happen to be some of the most stunning places on earth. Almost all National Parks have lodges as well as tent campsites. It’s a perfect outdoor opportunity to ditch devices.
Take Advantage of State Parks
Families interested in digital detoxes who can’t get away to a National Park can take advantage of their state’s park system. State parks offer chances to explore local communities and stay a little closer to home.
Many state parks also offer low-cost campsites where families can fill their evenings cooking together and chatting around a campfire, instead of going to their separate rooms to zone out on mobile devices.
Book A Cabin in the Mountains
Sleeping in a tent under the stars isn’t the only way to unplug with the family. Escaping to a cabin tucked away in the woods offers more of the comforts of home without all the distractions. Be it the Blue Ridge, the Sierras or the Rockies, people can find plenty of tech-free distractions in the mountains. While some cabins, especially the fancier ones, now include the latest technology, it’s still easy to find peaceful getaways with limited or even zero access to distracting tech like TVs and high-speed internet.
Hit the Seashore
Sand and surf are the perfect combination for a digital detox family vacation. It’s easy to leave devices behind with the sun and waves to occupy the time. The less crowded the spot, the easier it is to escape the distractions of technology.
Taking the family out to the beach for a week, a weekend, or even a day can offer a wonderful relief from the daily grind. Rent chairs and an umbrella and bring books for a more laidback time. Go big and take a surfing lesson. Either way, the beach can provide enough activity to forget about status updates and missed calls.
Visit Silicon Valley
It’s the last place most would expect to see on a list, which makes it the perfect addition. Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world like Facebook, Google and Apple. But most people who haven’t visited the area don’t realize how ripe it is with natural beauty.
A short drive over the mountains from Cupertino lies Santa Cruz, a paradise for surfers, hikers and bikers. Just north is Napa Valley with its miles of breathtaking countryside and vineyards. It’s enough to keep everyone’s minds off their mobile devices for days.
Escape to an Island
When it comes to disconnecting what better than an island destination? From northern coastal retreats to the Caribbean isles, an island vacation can relax even the most frantic mind and makes that obsession with the next email, tweet or text fade away.
Even the more well-known island vacation spots offer wi-fi free hotels. In fact, some island resorts and hotels have begun to tout themselves as digital detox retreats, offering guests all the surf, sand and sun of other island getaways without the distractions of technology.
Discover the Desert
Stark and beautiful, extreme and vast, for those seeking to disconnect the desert has always offered a one-of-a-kind adventure. It’s no wonder North America’s deserts have become a top destination for travelers in need of a digital detox.
Families taking this route have their choice of spots to check out. Utah alone boasts five National Parks, all of which offer exceptional hiking and sightseeing. New Mexico offers caverns and Native American cliff dwellings and the Southern California deserts boast dramatic, open landscapes and numerous recreational activities.
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