According to an Alamo’s 2019 Family Vacation Survey, 91% of American families desire an “unplugged” family vacation. 56% of those surveyed stated that during vacation, they take a break from social media. If I had taken the survey, I would have been one of those that seek to break away from social media while on vacation.
With four kids, that can be troublesome. Because of their varying ages, it’s challenging to entertain all at the same time. I have two of those things called teenagers, and if you have one, you know how hard it is for them to put the phone down. Also, my work revolves around using social media and I get a lot of work using it, so the hustle to find the next writing gig is constantly on. And while you’re sitting at the airport, in the passenger seat of a car or relaxing in a hotel, it is tough to put the device away. 54% of workers report they would like to unplug while on vacation.
Besides work, there are other reasons to unplug. Stresses from Facebook fights, the struggles of the economy, social media trolls, and the state of politics can lead to anxiety. Unplugging can help one escape. Long trips and travel times can tempt people to go on their devices to waste time.
Alamo’s Scenic Route is a great resource when planning your next vacation or looking to keep yourself entertained while traveling. The Unplugged Family Vacation Toolkit offers ways in which you can hang up and hang out.
Here are 15 things we do while traveling to keep our minds and hands off our devices.
1. Car bingo: You can create your own car bingo game or the Travel Channel has sheets you can download. Everyone in the car has a pencil and a sheet and attempts to check everything off. It is helpful for everybody to have a different sheet or you’re all hunting for the same thing.
2. Would You Rather?: Since I have 4 kids, the questions and answers can be quite gross or shocking, but it’s an excellent way to pass time or occupy a little one’s mind that just mentioned they need to pee.
3. Sketchbooks: Each kid has a sketchbook and drawing pencils. We take them sightseeing. The kids can either complete their sketches they started or add a new one.
4. Coloring books: Coloring books are not just for little ones, there are some elaborate coloring books on the market for adults. Adding a nice set of colored pencils is a means to entertain and relax.
5. Audiobooks: The Harry Potter Audiobooks are a favorite of ours while traveling by car. We’ve read the books and seen the movies, so we are all Potter experts. While we listen, we participate in a discussion about what is going on and talk about what transpires later.
6. The ABC Game: Either play as a family or individual. Those in the front have the advantage during this game. This game is played by making your way through the alphabet by finding the letters on signs. We have a rule that letters on automobiles can’t be used. It helps the game to last longer.
7. Question games: There are loads of books and card games to get conversations going. You can purchase one or come up with your own questions before the trip. Questions can range from favorite vacation to grossest smell.
8. Describe a movie in 4 words: Here’s an example: Elephant, circus, mouse, fly – Answer is Dumbo.
9. I Spy: I Spy comes in handy in the car, on the subway, plane, you name it… this game gets us through a lot of situations.
10. Story: Each person gets one word or a sentence to tell the story. Go around the car and see how long you can keep the story going.
11. Rhyming Game: Pick a word then everybody gets a turn trying to find a word that rhymes with the chosen word.
12. New Books: Buy a book or get books from the library before the trip. Set a time for reading. Sometimes, we have to warn the kids that reading time is coming up.
13. Make up a story: If you pass an interesting car or person, come up with a story about that character or where the vehicle is headed.
14. 20 Questions: Think of something and everybody has 20 chances to ask a yes or no question to figure out what you’re thinking of.
15. Categories: Pick a category such as actors. Then go through the ABC’s and say a name with someone with the first or last name that begins with that letter. Double points if the first and last name start with the same letter.
What are ways you unplug while traveling?