What’s your first reaction when someone suggests that you don’t bring those electronic gadgets while on vacation?
Does it send a wave of panic through your body? Do you feel a sense of relief? Maybe you experience a wave of dread and guilt.
But would it really be that difficult for you to leave your cell phone home while you’re on holiday? The answer: It depends on the person and how they use their devices in their everyday lives.
Maybe you own a business, and the sound of silence could be deafening, even though you need a reprieve from the constant interruptions. Do you work from home and your cell phone is your connection to the outside world?
A busy student or working parent may also struggle without their phone. That device can be the key to maintaining friendships or keeping in touch with those who they’re closest to.
Whatever the case may be, there is something to be said for leaving your electronic devices at home.
Some people can give up their mobile without a second thought. According to a study by Pew Research Center, about half of smartphone owners couldn’t live without their phone. For that 46 percent of people, there could be some benefits to vacationing away from their phone. Even a compromise like leaving the phone in the hotel room while out exploring local attractions could improve your trip.
There’s much to be said about leaving technology “at the door,” so to speak. Here are a few ways that you and your family can benefit from restricting cell phone use while traveling:
Free to Appreciate the Nearby Attractions
When not bombarded with reminders to take pictures at every destination, we can relish the grandeur of different attractions.
This desire to post vacation updates to Instagram or Facebook is common today. But, while social media may connect is with people across the world, we tend to ignore the things around us. A study from 2013 showed that young adults have trouble interacting to the world around them when connected to social media.
By ditching the phone and social media obligations, you’re forced to focus on what’s nearby. You can slow down and inhale the aroma of the local street vendors or take in the magnificent architecture of the ancient Coliseum in Rome.
Learn Your Way Around the Town
Without the use of your cell phone’s GPS and directions, you’re likely to get lost while wandering a foreign place. This might seem scary for people without a sense of direction, but getting lost can be an improvement on your trip.
If you don’t have a good sense of direction, pick up a map, or better yet, ask the locals. This is actually becoming a trend for travelers looking to get an experience that you can’t find on a tourism site. Instead, visitors are forced to interact with the locals or stumble upon a random attraction.
Spending More Time With Your Fellow Travelers
We know that your mobile phone will make communication difficult with strangers, the greatest downside may come with those we’re closest to.
Often traveling with loved ones, we can ruin the experience by burying our face in a phone. A recent study had college students explain the effect phones had on their relationship. Many stated that dependency on the phone put a strain on the couple.
A trip can already be an escape for many. Instead of spending that trek looking at a phone, enjoy the surroundings with those that are with you. Leave the screen off and spend time visiting with your spouse or traveling companions. Use the time to talk or take in the sites together.
Written for Passport Health by Sabrina Cortes. Sabrina is a freelance writer with a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgian Court University. She currently lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.