How One Family Learned to Give Up Electronics and Love Aruba with Video
Kim Orlando loves to travel. She should, she's the CEO of travelingmom.com and she especially loves to travel with her family.
When the idea of a family trip to Aruba came up, Orlando knew she wanted to go and, better still, take her family. But, she also knew that she wanted them to experience the island's beauty, and detach from their electronics: phones, computers and tablets.
Challenging? You bet. Orlando's brood consists of three kids ages 11-15, and of course her husband, Rome.
Naturally, no one wanted to part with their electronic lifelines. To sweeten the deal, she offered each kid twenty bucks. "I thought that was the best way to ease the pain," Orlando said. "I'd give them each twenty dollars and they could spend it on texting, or pick up some great stuff in Aruba to bring back, and build a memory with."
How did they react?
Not surprisingly, not happily. Said Sophia, 13, “ It was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. Shopping or texting my friends? Too hard!”
Dario, 11, has a girlfriend, so for him, giving up his phone and texting was decidedly not something he was happy with. But mom was able to make it work.
“So, the kids were finally able to detach during our hike, windsurfing and at dinner but otherwise there was a lot of negotiating attempts,” she laughed. “My daughter shopped. But then she got smacked with a $100 texting billl a month later!”
But freed from their devices, the family gradually succumbed to Aruba's charms.
One of the high points was a breakfast al fresco, arranged by DePalm Tours, and a family hike through the Arikok National Forest . Of course they explored Aruba's famous caves, the homes of former pirates, some say, but with intact Arawak Indian hieroglyphics from the 14000's. The golf courses of Aruba were a compensation of sorts, because Orlando's family are golf addicts.Continued on the next page