Tired of going on vacation with your kids and having them spend more time with their phones than with you? Sure, you could take your kids somewhere with spotty WiFi but there are better ways to keep your kids off their devices while traveling – keep them active and give them something worth putting down the phones for.
Take them on a guided active adventure
Put your kids on a bike (or in a raft or a kayak) so they don’t have a freehand to use their phones! We can help you find with the right adventure travel company with planned activities from hiking to climbing to kayaking and everything in between. Travel adventure companies like Backroads, Austin Adventures, and MT Sobek offer trips all over the world for every fitness level and age. Biking in Croatia, glamping in the Grand Canyon, hiking in the Dolomites are just a few options.
Take a volunteer trip
See the world and help your kids see the value in giving back. You can rebuild houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, volunteer with an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, tend to Hawaiian Monk Seals at the Ke Kai Ola Hospital on the Big Island. There are options all over the world for every interest from reforestation to studying glacier melting to teaching English. Even if you only want to volunteer for a couple days on a longer vacation - a little goes a long way to helping others and helping your kids focus on something other than social media.
Pick a destination that will leave your family awestruck as well as engaged.
The following destinations offer sights and experiences your kids are bound to find far more interesting than sitting in their rooms - explore with a tour on at your own pace. Either way you and your family will find something to talk about...and not via text.
Even the most jaded teenager will be wowed by the sight of a giraffe popping his head through a window at breakfast or watching thousands of dust-kicking wildebeests swarm across the plains. Of course, Africa is more than just animal drives. A trip to Africa is also a cultural and historical experience. Learn to fish and track animals with local guides, take classes in African beading, explore the roots of Apartheid in Cape Town, and even learn how to make a bow and arrow with a Maasai warrior. Opportunities abound for children and adults alike to explore an exotic and culturally rich destination that is sure to be life-changing.
Between riding Icelandic horses along black sand beaches, snorkeling between two continents, ice climbing, driving snowmobiles across the tops of glaciers, and exploring the rugged terrain in a Super Jeep, who has time to Snapchat? Iceland is a small country but it is big on experiences and getting outside is part of the allure. Sure, your kids will need to take a picture or two to show their followers but taking in the breathtaking scenery and engaging with the locals offers plenty of distractions.
Explore Bush Country in Australia’s Top End
The kids won’t miss the WiFi (there isn't any) when they are trailing saltwater crocodiles in an airboat, tracking wallabies in a 4x4, or riding quad-bikes through the savanna. Bamurru Plains Lodge in Australia’s Northern Territory, is wild and remote - a glamping experience for those who are willing to rough it a bit, which makes it more appealing. Set among the floodplains and savanna woodland on the Mary River, on the edge of Kakadu National Park, this safari lodge brings luxury and unique experience to this remote and beautiful wilderness.
Go Skiing Even if it’s Summer
The beauty of a ski vacation is it’s really hard to be on your phone when you are speeding down a mountain. And the good thing is it’s always winter somewhere! Head to New Zealand during our summer months for spectacular scenery and the bragging rights of skiing (or snowboarding or snowshoeing) in July. Once you tire of the snow take a soak in one of the many hot springs, watch the All Blacks play a match, sail through spectacular fjords in Midford Sound, or enjoy one of the many winter festivals the Kiwis celebrate in the winter months. Of course, if you don’t want to travel across the world you can even find slopes in Switzerland.
You might worry that there won’t be enough to keep your kids busy on a trip to the Galapagos but Ecuador offers a great mix of culture, wildlife and outdoor adventure for your family. Sure, you get the chance to closely interact with a variety of animal species, like sea lions, blue-footed boobies, lizards, and giant tortoises but more active kids can bike, hike, snorkel, kayak and surf on a land based itinerary. Once on board a boat (and you really should spend some time on a boat in the Galapagos), your kids can exploring islands that vary in topography from island to island on foot or by kayak. And Ecuador is more than just the Galapagos. Spend a few days before or after your island adventure exploring the lush Amazonian rainforest, stunning coastlines, and charming colonial towns of this special country.
Interested in exploring some of these ideas? Houlahan Travel can help you put together the perfect family trip. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.