As your kids get older, you want to spend as much quality time with them as possible. However, it’s hard to compete with their devices and their constant need for social media and video game interaction. Teenagers, in particular, spend nearly nine hours a day accessing the Internet to interact with friends, listen to music, and play video games. Even younger kids are spending hours a day online, and getting them to unplug can be a difficult feat to accomplish.
When you are on vacation and away from home with your kids, whether you choose a waterfront cottage to enjoy nature or take an engaging road trip, you can help your kids enjoy the experience by getting them to unhinge from their devices. It may sound impossible, but here are four ways you can help them stay offline and enjoy spending quality time with you.
Be an Example
You can’t tell your kids to stay off their devices if you are constantly checking into yours. The average American spends over three hours a day online, which means you are likely guilty of spending more time on your phone or tablet than you do with family. Put your phone away or temporarily lock your family’s cell phone plan from Internet usage (you can do this with the help of your provider) so that everyone, including parents, can be spending less time online.
Buy Basic Equipment
When traveling, buy a prepaid phone for you and your kids that doesn’t have access to the Internet so Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t as tempting. Use these phones instead of your fancy smartphones so, even if you do happen to come across a campsite or vacation cottage with Internet access, it won’t pose an issue to your family.
Kids often use their devices to take pictures of their activities and may complain that, without their phones, they can’t record fun memories to show their friends. Remedy this by being old-fashioned in your approach; bring along that old digital camera that’s laying around in the junk drawer or most photo departments in stores carry disposable cameras, which you and your kids can use to record events.
Choose a Fun Vacation Spot
You can get your kids to feel less bummed out about their device-free vacation if you choose a destination that has plenty to do. By choosing a vacation rental that is near water you have a plethora of activities to enjoy, such as:
- Stand-up paddleboarding
You may also want to have access to a fireplace or fire pit so your family can enjoy the outdoors deep into the night. As you make your vacation rental reservations, ask about included amenities so you know you are choosing a location that your family will enjoy.
Set Specific Times to Check Social Media Outlets
Children today grow up with devices practically in their hands, and even some babies have access to tablets and other electronics. Taking away a kid’s access to social media entirely can sound more like punishment than simply encouraging family time, so let them check in every now and then. Set aside a certain time of day where your kids can log in and update their social media accounts so they don’t feel entirely deprived and unplugged.
Renting a waterfront cottage is a great way to relax and unplug from the Internet. Your entire family can enjoy waking up to a beautiful sunrise and lounging away in a private cottage with all the conveniences of home (save constant Internet access). Contact Vacation Cottages and explore the different vacation options to satisfy every member of your family and make for a vacation you won’t soon forget.