If you were to ask me at the beginning of this year about taking an unplugged vacation, I would have had two different reactions. Outwardly, I would have supported the idea. What a great idea for family time! Nothing like unplugging to promote family bonding. Inside, however, I admit that there would have been some level of anxiety. Could I really get through a week without being connected?

The reality check was on the highway ride up to Vermont. A shade over three hours in a car.  No devices. Guess what happened? Our family talked. We talked about things we were looking forward to doing on vacation. We talked about things we were passing on the highway. We talked about things that were going on in our lives.

We talked. Amazing, right?

Admittedly, I took family photos and video while we were in Vermont. I did post a few on Facebook, but it was more for posterity (I love seeing memories pop up each day). I never scrolled through Facebook, I only posted. The truth is, I didn’t miss Facebook in the least. I’m being completely honest.

Michael Rock/Townsquare Media

We found ourselves doing activities that we don’t normally do. We went fishing. We went swimming in a natural swimming hole (pictured above). We entertained ourselves in the evenings by sitting around a campfire and talking. One night, the kids took turns rolling down an enormous hill. It was the simple life, and it was so refreshing.

We still wanted vacation to be fun and relaxing, so we decided to allow the use of devices under two circumstances: one, if Googling something or looking up information would add to an existing in-person conversation, and two, we did allow some unwind time to watch shows or read online before bed (translation: this was my way to watch Stranger Things 3).

If your family has never tried it, I’d recommend an unplugged vacation. It truly turned out to be less of a hassle, and much more of an enriching experience that we all enjoyed. Even our kids admitted that there were some very real benefits. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!