5 tech-free vacation ideas to help families unplug | Gmx Pharm

After watching your most gazillion TikTok of the day, or mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed for far too long before bed, it’s easy to feel like screens have completely taken over our lives — and in some ways, they have (especially with kids during of the pandemic). . But even in an era of addictive reels, endless zoom calls and virtual ones allit’s still possible to travel somewhere as a family without screens interfering with the time.

How it goes? Prepare for success by visiting intentionally low-tech destinations where nature and togetherness reign supreme. With activities to keep everyone busy from sunrise to sunset, limited TV and WiFi access, beautiful scenery and educational opportunities, here’s where to travel when your crew could use a technology reset.

Giddyup on a dude ranch

With fly fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, ATV’s, yoga, archery, cooking classes and so many other activities to choose from at the Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, kids and adults vacationing here will not be left wanting their phones or tablets a bit. And since there are no TVs or Wi-Fi in the ranch’s rustic but dreamy, family-friendly cabins, there’s no temptation to dwell on other screens either.

Located on a rugged, beautiful expanse of southern Wyoming’s sagebrush prairie, the 30,000-acre working cattle ranch is the perfect antidote to too much technology, thanks to its plentiful outdoor activities, kid-friendly wide open spaces, just waiting to be explored and friendly guides. Multigenerational families can adventure together during the day or do their own thing and then meet again for dinner at the Cheyenne Club Restaurant.

Courtesy of The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek

And they can soak up every free minute playing bocce ball, cornhole, and other hands-on games on the ranch’s expansive lawn. There is also plenty of wildlife to spot through binoculars, from graceful birds to mischievous marmots to handsome horses grazing outside in the field.

Families with children will also appreciate the ranch’s Lil Wranglers program, led by professional advisors and guides. While Mom and Dad have a tasting at the distillery or tour the ranch’s 20,000 square foot greenhouse space, kids can spend the day panning for gold, hay carting, making crafts, horseback riding, fishing, or any number of other fun activities participate in activities.

Photo courtesy of Brush Creek Ranch

Marvel at the wildlife and science

Your kids won’t realize they’re learning something new – on vacation no less – as they marvel at Norway’s wildlife, history and culture on Hurtigruten’s new Svalbard Express ocean voyage. The coastal scenery of destinations like Lofoten, Vesterålen and the North Cape is so rugged and unique that everyone in your family will be spellbound and won’t have a moment to look at their phone.

The trip includes a visit to Svalbard, part of a stunning archipelago less than 820 miles from the North Pole and one of the northernmost permanently inhabited places on earth. Keep your eyes open and enjoy the high-altitude arctic tundra landscape, home to walruses, puffins, pink-footed geese, guillemots, arctic fox and reindeer. If you’re lucky, you might even see a polar bear hunting seals or catch a glimpse of a beluga white whale emerging from the cool waters.

Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten/Genna Roland

Science is all over Svalbard, where every summer hundreds of researchers gather to study glaciers, climate, wildlife and other important subjects. You too can learn about the research and discovery taking place here during a wilderness evening at Camp Barentz, where knowledgeable guides share stories and information about polar bears over a steaming bowl of homemade reindeer bidos (Stew).

On a walrus safari to Borebukta Bay, learn how this once threatened species has made a major comeback. Go fossil hunting and look for remains from the Jurassic period around 150 million years ago. Hike through an ice cave to learn about climate change.

Back on board your ship, MS Trollfjord, you can take part in various workshops and lectures on everything from photography to glaciology to botany. And as you cruise from place to place along the Norwegian coast, you’ll tend to spend low-tech time as a family, working on jigsaw puzzles, reading, watching the Northern Lights, and making delicious farm-and-fjord to -table” meals made from Norwegian ingredients, to name just a few pastimes.

Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten/Oscar Farrera

Paddle together

Of course, one of the easiest ways to ensure tech doesn’t creep into your vacation time is to go somewhere with limited cellular signals and no Wi-Fi. Your kids may complain at first, but after a few hours of paddling down the Green River in far northwest Colorado and northeast Utah, they won’t miss their equipment one bit.

Organized by tour company Oars, the Green River trip can last three, four, or five days, depending on the comfort level of your crew and your time constraints. You’ll meet your guides in Vernal, Utah, and then take a scenic drive to Dinosaur National Monument to begin the rafting adventure. Pass through the gates of Lodore, then prepare to get wet as you cruise over famous rapids like Upper and Lower Disaster Falls. You’ll camp on some of the river’s sandy beaches before embarking on rapid adventures like Harp Falls, Triplet Falls and Hell’s Half Mile.

Photo courtesy of Josh Miller/Oars

Guides take care of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making sure everyone has a good (and safe) time. Oars also offers waterproof bags for all your gear, tents, life jackets, chairs, essentials and all the other conveniences you need to comfortably spend a few nights in the wilderness.

In addition to the priceless memories that can only be made from sleeping under the stars or embarking on an exciting challenge together, this trip will also introduce you to Native American heritage sites, fossils, and local flora and fauna. Oars has countless other similar non-tech routes around the world, so if whitewater rafting isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Photo courtesy of Josh Miller/Oars

retreat into nature

You don’t have to sign up for an official retreat to unplug. On the contrary, you can create your own cabin by booking a secluded cabin in the woods like the one at Taylor River Lodge. This secluded retreat is nestled in a secluded canyon in Almont, Colorado near the confluence of the Taylor and East Rivers, surrounded by pine and aspen trees, all against a beautiful blue sky backdrop. Without the hustle and bustle of city life, your family can bask in the soothing sounds of the lapping Taylor River, the many high alpine birds that call this region home, and the wind blowing through the trees.

The lodge once served as the locals general store for fishing supplies but has now been converted into an outdoor adventure base camp (with all the comforts of home and more). This journey replaces Netflix and TikTok with fishing, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, archery, hatchet throwing, and other low-tech outdoor activities.

Photo courtesy of Taylor River Lodge

After a day of adventures, settle down around the campfire, gaze at the stars and eat s’mores or read a book together in front of the fireplace. Children will love the games cabin with pool table, foosball table and dart board, while adults can enjoy some alone time in the on-site bathhouse with saltwater pool, steam room, sauna and whirlpool.

Meals and drinks are included with your stay, and you have access to personal guides who can show you the ropes for any outdoor activity you want to try. They can even teach you how to fly fish, which is the ultimate mindful outdoor activity in the Gunnison Valley. It takes Zen-like focus as you watch your fly dive below the water’s surface, and then patience as you carefully reel in one of Colorado’s colorful rainbow trout.

Photo courtesy of Taylor River Lodge

Go backpacking (with help)

Backpacking — where you carry all your camping gear on your back, hike to a remote destination, and then sleep in a tent — can be intimidating, especially for families. But it’s the perfect way to unplug, and if you’ve always wanted to try it, consider enlisting a little help from four-legged friends and a guide.

With a Bechler Llama Traverse from Wildland Lllamas through Yellowstone National Park, you’ll get all the benefits of backpacking—digital detox, hiking off the beaten path, avoiding crowds, and enjoying uninterrupted bonding time in nature—while the llamas do all the hard work.

The five-day itinerary takes in many off-grid Yellowstone highlights, from the Lonestar Geyser (the largest backcountry geyser in the park) to Mr. Bubbles Hot Springs and Colonnade Falls. Guides lead you through llama orientation and help load your gear before setting off on the trail, which covers between 3 and 11 miles each day. At night, sleep in a provided tent (or bring your own). Your guides prepare all of your meals using fresh ingredients that are easy to transport, such as couscous, pasta, herbs, spices, and more.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

A recent traveler who took this trip called it “the ‘real’ way to experience Yellowstone.”

“I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about handling llamas, but I found them to be quite pleasant creatures to work with and after a brief introduction along with some training on how to handle them and taking care of them, they became trusted servants for the 6 days,” wrote this reviewer. “One great thing about the llamas is… not only did they lighten our burdens, but they made for a better overall experience as we typically had better meals than you would expect on a backpacking trip.”

The llamas make for some great photo ops too! In fact, all of these trips will surround you with beauty. You can even post them using your devices if you want, once you’re done with your refreshingly tech-free vacation experience!

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