I have to say that there have been holidays where I have spent so much time trying to photograph my destination that I return feeling as if I missed out on immersing myself in the culture and the place I was visiting.
Sure, the photos are good to have, but they’re superficial compared to the feeling of a place – the feeling I may have missed while being distracted by my viewfinder.
Admittedly, I’m not too concerned about my phone when I travel, but I freely admit that I see much of my destination through my viewfinder. Occupational hazard, I guess.
A leading tour company is concerned about the number of tourists using smartphones on holidays, and so has created a policy strongly discouraging the use of smartphones and devices among their tourist clients.
The company, which specialises in youth travel, says that FOMO (fear of missing out) is beating AMO (actually missing out) in the traveller attention stakes.
The policy aims to remove digital distractions to help tourist better immerse themselves in the travel experience and be in the moment.
“To maximise the benefits [of travel], tourists 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,” said Sue Badyari, CEO of World Expeditions.
“Quite simply, they need to be off their phones.”
Ms Badyari also believes that not only will travellers benefit from removing digital distractions, they will also enjoy improved overall wellbeing.
“We’ve plenty of anecdotal evidence that a whole lot of stress relief is felt by students who have adopted this no phone policy,” she said.
“They are really cherishing the time away, being completely absorbed and in the moment, which makes us very happy as that is precisely what these travel experiences are designed to do.”
Do you spend too much time on your phone when you travel? What ‘distracts’ you from immersing yourself in your destination?