DO you despair at the amount of time your grandchildren spend on their mobile phones?
It’s a sentiment shared by travel companies tired of seeing students hunkered down over their phones instead of taking in the sights.
Now World Expeditions Travel Group is urging younger travellers to put down their smartphones and devices when they’re on trips away.
The group’s school and youth division, World Youth Adventures, has developed a mobile phone policy to help students, parents, teachers and schools curb excessive mobile phone use by students on school trips.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) leads to Actually Missing Out (AMO) is the essence of the policy’s message, which strongly advises against the use of mobile phones while travelling.
Students need to be free to be fully in the moment...Quite simply, they need to be off their phones.
World Expeditions chief executive Sue Badyari said the policy is designed to help students understand the benefits of disconnecting from the online world so they can make the most of what they are seeing and doing.
“To maximise the benefits, students need to be free to be fully in the moment, engaging in the activities on offer and focusing on the people they are travelling with,” she said.
“Quite simply, they need to be off their phones.”
She said grandparents and family members can still keep up-to-date on the childrens’ travels via blogs and Facebook groups updated by schools on rest days in major towns or cities, where internet access is commonplace.
The World Youth Adventures policy document explains that when phones are down, eyes are up, and students are free to look around and notice things.
“Taking a break from online communication is a rare privilege in this day and age,” Ms Badyari said.
“Many of these young people have not known a time without the pressure of constant online communication.”
The company acknowledges that clear communication between the group, school and parents is essential and that staff are equipped with appropriate communication devices. There are always after-hours contacts, so the group can be reached in emergency.
World Youth Adventures specialises in crafting custom school group adventures and youth adventure travel experiences to more than 100 countries.
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