Disconnect to Reconnect: How to Make Your Tech-Free Family Vacation More Meaningful

In the digital age, spending quality time with loved ones has become a challenge for many. This is primarily due to gadgets and modern technology constantly dominating people’s lives.

But while this has become a fact of life, it shouldn’t hinder you from maintaining healthy relationships with the people you love, especially your family. Remember that the real world offers so much more than the virtual world.

In this case, spending some tech-free vacation time might help. Traveling can serve as an excellent way to reset and disconnect in order to reconnect with the people whom you value most.

Take a moment to rethink your priorities and consider the reasons why you need to disconnect. In this article, you’ll learn about outdoor activities and ideas designed to help you reconnect with nature and, more importantly, with your loved ones.

Why You Must Disconnect

Based on research, the brain’s response to technology is similar to how it reacts to addictive substances, such as sugar and heroine. So, if you’ve tried wrestling a tablet or smartphone away from your child, then you have a clear understanding of how screen time can affect how people’s time is spent.

The fact is that people are spending a bigger chunk of their time glued to phone screens than spending time in nature or with their loved ones. Aside from being addicting, too much gadget use can also lead to poor socialization and even broken relationships.

Whatever it may be, notifications from your phone can wait. Avoid being rude by putting down your device during family gatherings, vacations, and even meals. If you don’t, you might create an atmosphere where the people you love would feel ignored or hungry for your attention since you’re mostly focused on your device.

Take dinner time, for example. When the table is set and food your family worked hard to prepare is in front of you, putting down your phone and paying attention to your meals is the best way to show you respect them. Doing this will also allow you to open up conversations and build stronger bonds with your family, especially your children.

Keep in mind that humans are social creatures, and technology won’t be able to replicate human interaction. If you’re conversing with your family during dinner, you won’t need hundreds of pictures to help them remember it. The mere fact that you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally present is more than enough.

Top 4 Vacation Ideas for Families Who Want to Reconnect

As mentioned earlier, traveling is a great way to disconnect from technology in order to reconnect with loved ones. It can also be a chance to become closer to nature and get that real-life experience no amount of social media likes can match.

To help you find the best place to do this, here are four vacation ideas you should try:

1. Go bird watching at the Al Zorah Nature Reserve

Learning new things together is a great way to bond with your kids. And what better way to do that than to discover new species of animals in the UAE?

One excellent location for this type of vacation is the Al Zorah Nature Reserve. Situated in Ajman, the reserve is home to pink flamingos that offer a lovely color contrast from the natural mangroves in the area. It also houses almost 60 other species of birds, which makes it an excellent place to go bird watching.

2. Visit the Miracle Garden

Whether you love gardening or find peace when surrounded by refreshing greenery, then a visit to the Dubai Miracle Garden would be an excellent vacation idea for you. While it’s man-made, the Miracle Garden is still considered one of the loveliest places in Dubai for people who want to reconnect with nature.

It is composed of massive floral arrangements, including one shaped like an Airbus A380. The massive arrangement is a Guinness World Record awardee for having the biggest floral arrangement, making it a great focal point of your trip.

3. Get up close and personal with wildlife in a dome

If you’re looking for a way to learn about different ecosystems without going outdoors, then getting up close and personal with wildlife in a dome is your best option in the UAE.

Home to the most intricate ecosystems, the Green Planet is an indoor rainforest located at the heart of urban Dubai. There, you’ll find scores of different species of flora and fauna, some of which came from South America and Australia. When you enter this biodome-like structure, you will have a unique experience that is akin to walking in the Amazon rainforest amidst urban structures in Dubai.

4. Explore sea life in an underwater zoo

If you want to mix up your family vacation, you might want to consider diving into the mysterious-yet-majestic life under the sea.

Inside the four corners of The Dubai Mall, you’ll find the aquarium and Underwater Zoo. There, you can have thrilling encounters with many different sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. You can even meet sharks and stingrays face-to-face when you take a dive into the aquarium.

Reconnect With What’s Important

Family is the most important thing in a person’s life. Nurture your bond with your loved ones by planning a tech-free family vacation. Make it more meaningful by visiting destinations designed for both nature lovers and those who want to rekindle their love for life.


Rasha El Saleh is the Conservation Education and Outreach Coordinator in the education team of Emirates Nature-WWF working on its programme, Connect with Nature. She leads the outreach and youth empowerment aspect in growing the Connect with Nature community within the UAE and providing opportunities for youth to lead in this community, in addition to supporting partnerships with vendors supporting and promoting active aspects of the programme.