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As we were driving through Utah on the way to Arches National Park, my heart started racing. I looked down at my phone and there were no bars. I had no cell phone service!
I was not worried about the actual phone, but that meant no social marketing. That also meant the kids no longer had videos to watch and games to play.
It was a minute of stress and then I looked up. We could see the beautiful landscape of Utah. The reds and oranges were just mesmerizing.
We could see mountains in the distance vs the flat land we were used to in Florida. The kids started asking questions and we started talking, as a family.
In our life as travel vloggers and travel bloggers, we forget about that one important part of traveling! We forget about connecting as a family. In that moment during our Utah vacation, we forgot about that. I have found out that the Jones Family is not alone.
Alamo Rent A Car released its 2019 Family Travel Survey recently asking families about their vacations. This survey shared a detailed picture about family travel trends in 2019. One of the biggest questions was, “why take a family vacation?” For the fifth year in a row, the answer was the same, “spending quality time as a family.”
The everyday schedule is hectic. You wake up and send the kids to school and then you are off to work. When you get home from work and school, your evening is consumed by kid activities, homework, dinner, and then bed. Then you wake up and repeat the whole process. You take time off to relax on vacation.
In Alamo’s survey, they discovered 48% of the families wish they could take a vacation from social media. What was even more shocking was the younger ones felt the pressure to post on social media more than the older ones. Generation Z and Millennials wished they could take a break from social media more than the older ones at 59% and 55%.
One of the most surprising discoveries was that 91% of families who were surveyed found the idea of an “unplugged” family vacation appealing. As a family whose entire business focuses on social media, we decided to try our own “unplugged” family vacation using the Unplugged Family Vacation Toolkit from Alamo Rent A Car.
On our next trip, we started by collecting all of the devices. That included the Nintendo Switch, phones, and computers.
We then printed out the Unplugged Vacation Pledge . Kelly (our oldest son) loved this pledge. He filled it out for the whole family and was even in charge of having us recite it, together. As a mom, I loved it because this pledge kicked off our vacation.
We were laughing about it, even while we were enjoying our trip. A couple times the kids even called us out, when we were checking our phones. For Tim and myself, this pledge was hard since our entire business is online. We did still try to keep the pledge time of 20 minutes or less. We were still allowed to play music and use the phone as a camera. We even shared that responsibility throughout the trip.
To help keep us focused on what was important, we added new wallpapers to our phone. These super fun wallpapers from Alamo inspired us to “unplug” and focus on what is important. Here is a link to these wallpapers and even instructions on how to set them up on your
For those Facebook fans out there, staying off FB during your vacation is exceptionally hard. This is certainly tough for Tim. He spends a lot of time catching up with friends and posting travel on Facebook during his vacation.
He is not alone. Alamo found that 58% of the social media users surveyed will post vacation pictures during their vacation. To help “unplug” you from Facebook during your vacation, Alamo created custom profile picture frames. You can post these on your FB page , while you are vacation. That way your friends and family know you are not available during your family trip. Plus, it is a good reminder for you to stay off Facebook and spend more quality time with your family.
I really enjoyed reading the Alamo Family Vacation Survey . It helped me better understand my kids on vacation. Plus, I learned that I am not alone in the search for the ultimate family vacation. It is not always where we go, but who we go with. AKA, our family and friends! Some of the memories you will cherish forever are those moments by a campfire or laughing over a good meal at a diner. A family vacation is all about capturing those moments together…unplugged.