It can be hard to imagine life without phones these days but our addiction to our phones may be interfering with our relationships. If you’re planning a family vacation this year, consider making it a screen-free vacation. If you’re not heading out of town, you can even try this for a weekend at home or a staycation. Here are some ideas to help you get through it and why it’s so important to be more present.

Agree On Limits Before You Start

First things first, agree on how much screen time you will allow before you start. That way everyone knows the rules and it’s easier to enforce them. One rule that could be helpful is telling kids they can only use them when they are in their personal room and not with everyone else. Or you can set timers and limits on your phone using built-in apps like downtime to make sure they’re not using it during certain hours of the day.

Lead By Example

Unfortunately a screen-free vacation includes you too, parents. If you’re on the phone all the time, your kids don’t feel like they’re bonding with you either. In fact, if they’re under strict limitations it will likely make them feel even worse because you’ll look like a hypocrite. While you may all be using your phone to take pictures and videos of each other make sure you’re not posting them at that time, wait until the designated screen time so you’re all experiencing these moments together.

Keep Your Vacation Exciting

Try to plan activities that are fun and stimulating for everyone in the family, not just the littles or the older kids. Variety will help keep the kids engaged and entertained. Try to go on walks, amusement parks, nature trails, lakes, the ocean, music performances or unique food parks. While there’s no way everyone will enjoy everything you do, don’t force it or make them feel bad if they look bored. Boredom isn’t always a bad thing.

If you’re having trouble entertaining them during the evenings or after a day of adventure, break out the good old fashioned board games, coloring books and other activity kits to keep their interest.

If you’re staying home or traveling a long distance and need ways to keep them entertained during travel, we have a bunch of items in our toys section that can help curb boredom.