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Switch off your phone and connect with the real world!

September 26, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

World Expeditions Travel Group’s school and youth division, World Youth Adventures, has come out strongly against the use of mobile phones during the travel experience – so students can tune into their real surroundings.

World Youth Adventures has developed a mobile phone policy to help students, parents, teachers and schools, curb the use of excessive mobile phone use by students on school trips.

FOMO leads to AMO: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) leads to Actually Missing Out (AMO). That’s the essence of the policy’s message, which strongly advises against the use of mobile phones during the travel experience.

According to World Expeditions chief executive, Sue Badyari, the policy is designed to help students understand the benefits of disconnecting from the online world to maximise the benefits of the travel experience.

“Most students travelling with World Youth Adventures are travelling to a destination they have not travelled to before and taking part in new and different activities,” Badyari said.

“They are being given an opportunity to make longlasting friendships with their travel companions, to learn new skills and understand themselves a little better.”

“They gain important values of teamwork, build self-confidence and develop an understanding of other cultures and ways of doing things,” she said.

“To maximize 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.”

“Quite simply, they need to be off their phones,” she said.

FOMO causes AMO and this picture shows why

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.  They are open to receiving information from all their senses, allowing them to fully engage in the travel experience and to maximize the potential for learning and growth.

“Teachers understand that students build resilience by overcoming challenges they encounter during the trip,” Badyari said.

“When parents insist on being in constant communication, there’s no doubt that this opportunity is diminished.”

“Taking a break from online communication is a rare privilege in this day and age. Many of these young people have not known a time without the pressure of constant online communication.”

“We’ve plenty of anecdotal evidence that a whole lot of stress relief is felt by students who have adopted this no phone policy,” Badyari 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.”

World Youth Adventures advises schools to make arrangements to keep parents and friends in touch with how the journey is going via blogs or Facebook groups that can be updated on rest days in major towns or cities, where access to the internet is commonplace.

The company acknowledges that clear communication between the group, school and parents is essential and staff are equipped with appropriate communication devices.  In addition, there is always an after-hours contact, so the group can be reached in emergency.

World Youth Adventures (WYA) specialises in crafting custom school group adventures and youth adventure travel experiences to more than 100 countries. It has more than two decades of experience offering itineraries that include projects that will help underprivileged communities.

World Youth Adventures is part of the World Expeditions Travel Group.  Other brands include World Expeditions, UTracks, Adventure South, Great Canadian Trials, Tasmanian Expeditions and Australian Walking Holidays.

Edited by Peter Needham

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