How to Minimize Screen Time with Kids While on Vacation

August 26, 2023

Although some screen time can be educational, it’s easy to go overboard without realizing it. We’re all guilty of it – a few minutes turns into a half hour, and before you know it, you’ve missed the opportunity to do other things that might have brought greater enjoyment. Too much media use isn’t good, particularly for kids, and may not be the best use of time when exploring a new destination. How do you help kids minimize screen time while on vacation? 

It’s easy to take a digital detox when vacationing in Northwest Florida! With the gorgeous coastline and emerald waters, you’ll want to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather all day. You’ll even find plenty to do away from the beach, and trust us; the kids won’t even miss their digital devices. 

Here are a few tips to minimize screen time with kids and maximize the fun while on vacation!

Set Clear Expectations

Help children have a well-rounded vacation experience by setting clear expectations for screen time beforehand. Striking a comfortable balance between technology use and embracing the destination’s offerings is a happy medium everyone can agree on. Remember that although you may quickly adapt to new surroundings, it might be more challenging for the kids. A familiar friend like an iPad or iPhone might help them relax at the end of a busy day. And be realistic; your kids will want to text friends, keep up with what everyone else is doing, and share photos of their time in Destin, and that might be the case for you too!

You’ll have no problem finding things for everyone to do at Emerald Towers. Aside from being in the perfect location, this Gulf-front condominium boasts amenities designed for the whole family. A seasonally heated pool, a hot tub, tennis courts, and a fitness center mean you’ll have every reason to unplug and say ‘goodbye’ to that cell phone in your pocket.

Switch it Up

Be mindful of times when kids are typically most active on the phone and prepare for alternate activities while on vacation. If they like to engage with friends in the morning, take them to the beach to look for shells or have a breakfast picnic overlooking the Gulf of Mexico! If afternoons prove more challenging, a trip to Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park might help with a digital detox. With some forethought, you’ll have no problem diverting their attention to other activities that are more mentally and physically engaging.

Spend your vacation at The Crescent and enjoy two pools, a hot tub, and a game room just steps from the beach. With endless entertainment opportunities at their fingertips, kids will be less inclined to miss their smartphones, tablets, and portable gaming devices. There’s even a library onsite where they can select books to read, an excellent alternative. The fitness center is perfect for active teens, and a private boardwalk will put you all where you all want to be – the beach!

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Children often imitate their parent’s behavior, even on vacation. They’ll be more inclined to follow suit if you prioritize outdoor activities over screen time. It might be the perfect time to open your mind to something new you’ve always wanted to experience. Try your hand at paddle boarding, parasailing, or kite surfing. All are fun ways to get on the water and offer a different perspective of the beautiful landscape. Whether trying a new cuisine or hitting a local farmer’s market, anything new you try might pique their interest and help them develop a sense of adventure and curiosity.

Booking accommodations at SunDestin Beach Resort will make your digital detox a walk in the park. With indoor and outdoor pools, a splash pad, and a hot tub, no one will miss time staring at their screens. They have a great recreation program for kids if you’re traveling during the summer months, and meals are delicious at the on-site restaurant, Pelican’s Roost. Toddlers, tweens, and teens will have fun browsing the lobby gift shop for beach essentials, including sunglasses, clothing, gifts, and more. Plus, with the beach just outside your door, you’ll never run out of things to do!

Plan Fun Activities

Replacing virtual activities with physical ones is a breeze along the Emerald Coast, and you’ll find plenty to keep kids occupied for hours at a time. Let them help you prepare snacks for the beach and encourage them to read with books you’ve brought as a surprise for the trip. Get outdoors, explore Destin and beyond, and spend time with like-minded people ready for a digital detox.

Embark on a half-day scuba dive, ideal for kids ten and up and a great way to introduce the whole family to our marine life in calm waters. Book an inshore fishing charter for beginners and fish in the Gulf. Offering less travel time, more fishing time, and no time for boredom to creep in, it’s a great way to get them outdoors. 

And don’t forget that turtle season runs from May 1st through October 31st, and you might catch a glimpse of loggerhead, green, or leatherback turtles laying their eggs. Find out how to help sea turtles when visiting the beach, then take a behind-the-scenes tour at the Gulfarium in nearby Fort Walton Beach to learn more about our friendly marine animals and local nesting beaches. Book an animal encounter while there and let the kids interact with stingrays, dolphins, sea lions, and more!

Aside from kid-friendly resorts like  The Crescent, Emerald Towers, and SunDestin, Scenic Stays offers a wide selection of Destin vacation rentals, each with unique amenities that will make everyone forget about their portable gadgets. From beachfront condos with bunk beds for the kids to luxury homes with private pools, you’ll find the perfect vacation home or condo, making a digital detox easy for the whole family!

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