In our increasingly mobile-first world, it can seem harder than ever to break away from the smartphones that we’ve all come to rely on for so many aspects of daily life. That’s especially true for parents raising a generation of tech-savvy youngsters, where any opportunity to break kids away from their screens is welcomed with open arms. Vacations and travel offer a great way to do that, which is why we’ve assembled this list of six experiences from around the world that offer at least a temporary cure from smartphone addiction. That’s the goal, at any rate!
Whether you’re in the middle of planning a trip or just daydreaming about your next vacation, use this list of the world’s best adventure experiences as a guide for creating an unforgettable getaway. All of these family experiences below—plus the rest of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice award winners in 2019—are bookable right on TripAdvisor. And after you decide on your experience and destination, you can book your accommodation with us, too! We check up to 200 sites to bring you the lowest price on hotels. Plus, we offer alternative lodging options likevacation rentals, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts.
Island Ultimate Jeep Safari
When you bring a smartphone-addicted kid to a place like Aruba, it’s going to be hard to distract them from seeing Instagram-worthy potential just about everywhere they look. We get it. That’s why the key is keeping them busy, completely immersed in an experience that doesn’t leave much time for mindless scrolling—like this safari experience that will take you off-roading in Aruba’s rugged terrain. You’ll have the chance to see attractions like the California Lighthouse, Gold Mill Ruins and Natural Bridge, in addition to a swim and snorkel at the gorgeous Natural Pool in Arikok National Park. Cap off your experience by heading to Baby Beach for more swimming and a barbecue, with surrounding beauty so captivating that you’ll be too in awe to look down.
Queenstown Segway Tour
Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re trying to find an activity to keep your kids off their phones, logic would dictate you need something that doesn’t just distract them but that actually keeps their hands full. A Segway tour may be just what the doctor ordered, and for those visiting Queenstown, here’s an experience just for you: a one- or two-hour Segway tour that includes a ride along the shores of Lake Wakatipu led by a guide pointing out Queenstown’s history and the myriad attractions around you. You’ll also have a chance to snap photos of natural landmarks like Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and The Remarkables, a famed skiing and snowboarding mountain range.
Red Rock Canyon Electric Bike Tour
Las Vegas, Nevada
This electric bike tour of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area outside Las Vegas is widely praised by travelers, with one reviewer raving, “The scenery was breathtaking, and the electric bikes were easy to use and SO much fun!” What’s in store for this experience? A ride along a 13-mile loop that lets you explore the beauty of the desert landscape, cruise past gorgeous red-rock scenery and learn more about the area’s history and geography from a knowledgeable guide. You’ll be picked up from your Las Vegas hotel, get a quick instructional briefing and then strap on a helmet to set out for the bike ride. There will also be time to snap photos at five rest stops, which include views of distinctive rock formations and a grove of Joshua trees.
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
If you want a relaxing experience that’s great for the whole family, be sure to grab some tickets for a Chicago Architecture River Cruise the next time you’re in the Windy City. It’s particularly magical at night, as you wind slowly along the river with a cool breeze, the lights from the city’s tall towers and the beautiful skyline around you. You can embark from points at either the Michigan Avenue riverfront or Navy Pier, and you’ll pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings including the Wrigley Building, Aon Center and the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. “We took this cruise with our 16- and 21-year-old children and had a great time,” said one traveler. “Our tour guide was excellent—so knowledgeable about styles of architecture, the history of the city and its buildings, and easily understood.”
Roatan by Land and Sea
If you were trying to dream up the perfect outdoors excursion for someone who spends way too much time on their smartphone, you might end up with this tour of the Caribbean island of Roatan. This experience will introduce you to a 31-mile long stretch of sandy beach and forest on the northern coast of Honduras, during which you’ll explore villages, beaches and more. There will also be time for a snorkeling excursion, in addition to a boat tour and traversing hilltops for spectacular views and learning about the local culture. “I had the best snorkeling experience in my life!” said one happy traveler.
Small-Group Tokyo Biking Tour
Biking is such an interesting way to discover a city, partly because of the nature of the ride itself. In a big, sprawling metropolis like Tokyo, slowing down and taking in the city on two wheels allows you to see and experience so much more. Your guide on this small-group tour will be a former professional cyclist. They’ll lead you at a relaxed pace through the city’s traffic and crowds to sights like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where you can take in 360-degree views of the city. You’ll also cycle through Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Shinjuku district. And you’ll have time to stop for a bento-box lunch.