Tech-free road trip? It IS possible!


Sarah Welch

posted in Tips & Tricks

This post is part of a sponsorship with Foresters.

For more in this series, check out Roo’s post about taking a tech time out on Mother’s Day, Molly’s post about connecting with your kids offline, and Andrea’s post about getting your kids unplugged this summer.

TTO MothersDay R2 small Tech free road trip? It IS possible!

Summer is fast approaching, which means more car time, be it going to the beach, going to the park, or taking a big road trip to a fun destination.

In general, road trips are a wonderful way to spend time together as a family. Don’t you have at least a few sepia-toned memories of summer road trip adventures from your own childhood? I know I sure do.

Like that one time my brother got his lips stuck inside a glass Fanta bottle driving home from a beach vacation. Or the time I got so car sick driving through the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia that we had to stop and take some fresh air. We just happened to stop at a magical spot with such beautiful waterfalls that we ended up staying there for hours.

Unfortunately, road trips can also turn into repeated choruses of ‘Are we there yet?’ and ‘Stop bothering your brother!’ and ‘I’m turning the car around!’ And if your trip seems to be heading south, it’s oh-so-tempting break out a tech pacifier or two to put an instant stop to the whining and complaining.

I speak from experience.

But it’s actually easier than you might think to ditch the tech pacifiers altogether on your next road trip. We tried a little version of “tech-free” last year to great effect.

What’s the trick? Preparation.

Rule #1 of The Road Trip: keep the backseat happy.

A little advanced organization will go a long way in keeping kids (and adults) not just occupied, but genuinely entertained.

The first thing you need to be prepared for is the whine. If your kids are used to getting a tech diversion in the car, they are going to be uncomfortable for a moment or two while they get used to the idea of having to entertain themselves.

Here’s the thing, though – it’s never as torturous as you think it’s going to be. Yes, it’s annoying, but when your kids realize they won’t be getting what they’re asking for no matter how many times they ask…they will stop whining. In our experience, our anticipation of the whine factor was way worse than the reality.

Once they’ve stopped begging for a tech device, try some of the classic games, such as the license plate game, or I Spy. Not only are these more interactive, but they tend to be the ones your kids will remember when they grow up and go on their own road trips.

And if you get bored of those, here are six more low-tech ideas for your next road trip. Just remember to organize these a week or so before you hit the road.

Foresters plum1 300x121 Tech free road trip? It IS possible!The Tech Timeout challenge started by Foresters encourages families to take a daily break from technology. Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.


Pledge to turn off all the technology in your home (yes, even your cell phone), for at least one hour a day, and get to know your family better.

tto 50 list 502x650 Tech free road trip? It IS possible!

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