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Weaning Off Screen Time While Traveling

by Angelique Platas

Jul 31, 2018

© Tom Wang | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Vacations are a chance to unwind, explore and disconnect from our high-stress lives. One way to effectively achieve this is to put away mobile devices, but the need to feel constantly connected can sometimes take over. This may be a more difficult task for your your teens, but lead by example with a few easy ways to gradually wean off screen time while traveling.


Bring an actual book or two on your next trip. Reading on the plane, train or automobile can help pass the time or transition into a fun leisure activity while keeping your eyes away from the addictive blue light of your phone screen. Encourage the kids to bring one, too, and you can discuss what you’re reading over dinner or downtime.


Download audiobooks, music and podcasts on your phone while traveling. Take advantage of the audio experience and relax on the beach, while in transit or in your hotel before bed rather than scrolling through social media feeds. Your kids may already have some podcasts and music downloaded on their phones, so ask them for recommendations.

Stay Active

Stay active on vacation by booking tours, excursions, dining out, meeting friends and going out for runs and walks. Explore your surroundings and appreciate every detail of your trip in the moment without checking your phone for updates. Book a bike tour through the countryside where you’ll all be less inclined to have a phone in hand while riding.

Family riding bikes at the beach

Family riding bikes at the beach © Odua | Dreamstime.com


Taking photos on a family vacation is a must, but turn your service off while sightseeing. You can take great photos and not feel the urge to post or share right away and encourage the kids to do the same. This will save your phone’s battery life and data. Explore your surroundings and focus on being in the moment, rather than generating FOMO posts for friends back home.

You may begin to notice an onslaught of benefits from reducing your family’s screen time, from deeper sleep, reduced stress to more focus on work and feeling less pressure to impress and share via social media.

Enjoying the moment and fully immersing yourself in the vacation will eventually become a habit and you’ll feel less inclined to check your phone, share and connect constantly.


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