Any 21st-century grandparent understands the perpetual struggle of trying to pry your grandkids away from their smart phones to have a conversation or do an activity with Grandma and Grandpa. We’ve got the perfect solution for you: take them on an educational adventure somewhere in the world that doesn’t have Wi-Fi! These top ten remote destinations around the world will force your grandkids to put away their phones and focus on some amazing activities, locations and learning—all with their grandparents by their side!
There are an endless number of fun activities in Hawaii that will keep your grandkids busy and phone free, both on the water and on land. But the kids will certainly have trouble getting reception if they’re 100 feet under water. Ride a passenger submarine with your grandchild as you dive together to an exciting marine environment where tropical fish, sea turtles, sharks, reefs, sunken ships and other underwater artifacts are waiting to be discovered.
Satellite signals are spotty at Machu Picchu, so you and your grandkids will just have to settle for the incredible views on your field trip to this sacred site. Hide your phones away as you board the bus to transfer up the mountain. Enjoy the switchbacks, the view from the top of the both the ruins and the surrounding countryside and all there is to learn about Hiram Bingham who founded Machu Picchu in 1911 and the history of the ancient citadel.
Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s premiere game-viewing areas. Take your grandchild on an unforgettable safari in the park to explore its pristine ecosystem. The only reason you may want your cell phone here is to grab some selfies with one of “The Big Five” — lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos – as well as rare antelope that inhabit the region. A little hint: buy a digital camera for your grandkid before the trip so they can leave their phones in their pocket and capture their memories with a camera instead.
The activities that abound for you and your grandkid in the Grand Canyon are so plentiful, they won’t even be thinking about texting their friends except to tell them how cool Grandma and Grandpa are. But even if they wanted to, they’ll have a hard time getting a text to send. Entertain them instead with hiking adventures with geology lessons along the way and a rafting trip along the Colorado River to spot bighorn sheep, wild burros, hawks and lizards.
Make the ten-mile roundtrip trek to the edge of the largest caldera in the Galápagos Islands. The Sierra Negra is the second largest volcanic caldera in the world, measuring over six miles across. Hike across an other-worldly landscape of lava fields and fumaroles along routes where lava flowed as recently as 2005 for incredible vistas, and learn about volcanology along the way.
No need for a mobile phone under water! Leave your electronics safe in your hotel room in Dubrovnik and depart for the Elafiti Islands. Explore the three inhabited islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan and go swimming and snorkeling together in the crystal blue waters off one of the islands.
7. From a Tundra Buggy on Hudson’s Bay, Manitoba
Travel out into the tundra with your grandchild to view Polar Bears in their natural habitat. Your Tundra Buggy will take you through the Churchill Wildlife Management Area on special trails that minimize the impact on the tundra. Churchill Wildlife Management Area is the largest management area in Manitoba and is not only the summer home for hundreds of polar bears but is also the subarctic habitat for a variety of plant-life and wildlife all year round.
Escape the internet and electronics in Arenal National Park with your grandchild and explore this exotic ecosystem on a walk through the rainforest canopy. Discover a two-mile system of natural trails and hanging bridges designed and maintained for both beauty and safety, leaving the natural environment (and your grandchild) intact. Or head to Arenal Volcano National Park to walk around the base of the volcano, keeping your eyes peeled for many of the 850 species of birds that live in Costa Rica.
Join your grandchild on horseback as you discover the beautiful Feather River Country. At Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch, experienced wranglers will provide expert instruction to you and your grandchild, keeping safety top of mind for both of you. Then hit the trails to ride through the beautiful terrain of the High Sierra. With their hands on the reins, they won’t be able to check Facebook, but you can be sure they’ll be telling their friends about their amazing adventures with Grandpa when they get home!
The Aborigines don’t need cell phones, and neither do you in the vast, isolated and remote expanse of the Australian Outback. Sleep under the stars in the true Aussie bush tradition, far from the lights of the city and the cell phone towers. Visit an Aboriginal community to learn about the challenges and rewards of cellphone-free Aboriginal life , and walk to Walpa Gorge for incredible views of the Outback.
Check out our Grandparent & Grandchild Travel Tips for more intergenerational travel inspiration!