The American road trip is having a renaissance with 39% of U.S. leisure travel in the last year including a road trip. In an era where technology dominates modern American society, going on a family road trip and leaving technology behind gives everyone time to reconnect and enjoy quality time together away from the distractions of smartphones, tablets or laptops. Here are a few tips for your unplugged family road trip.
Planning your trip
Planning a road trip before you set off can be as much fun as the road trip itself. Start by working out where you want to go and plan your route to get there, taking into account places of interest en route. To route find without GPS, get hold of maps or an atlas in advance and mark up your route for easier navigation. For maximum technology-free time, getting away from the temptation of Wi-Fi will help so head out into the countryside. Investigate lodging options before you leave or for a bit more flexibility, being prepared to camp in your car gives you the option of staying in campgrounds. Watch out though, campgrounds in national parks often have a first come first served policy so do not plan on arriving too late in the day!
Good old-fashioned entertainment
Without smartphones, tablets or e-readers, what will you do to entertain yourselves? Going back to basics is a good place to start. Your kids probably have fond memories of board games or books from when they were younger so be sure to bring along some family favorites. Whilst in the car, make use of audio books, CDs or listen to the radio instead of music downloaded to your phone. Or, if your grown-up kids are up for it, try harking back to some traditional car games such as the license plate game to make time pass more quickly.
For a successful unplugged trip, set some boundaries and make some agreements about using technology before you set off. We all know how easy it is to check on social media and then discover an email that needs attention only to find that 30 minutes later you are still distracted by your phone. So, as a family, try to come to some agreements about using technology and stick to them so that you can get the most out of your road trip.
Actively planning a technology-free road trip will give you and your family time to reconnect and enjoy the great American outdoors. Try it, it is refreshing!