Technology use while on vacation affects more than just the type of activities travelers do. According to Wyndham hotels, 54 percent of children believe their parents check their phones “too often” and 32 percent said that they feel “unimportant” when their parents are distracted by screens.
Later this month, the hotel will launch a program that gives traveling families a discount in exchange for locking away their phones.
“We saw parents hopping on a quick conference call in the lobby, and some hotels have had to order extra pool chairs because guests are swimming less and swiping more, eschewing dips in the pool for iPad time on poolside loungers,” Noelle Nicolai, who developed the Wyndham initiative, told Travel + Leisure.
In response, the hotel is offering a five percent discount to guests who opt into the “Reconnected” program at select Wyndham Grand hotels (Clearwater Beach, Orlando Bonnet Creek, Chicago Riverfront, Hotel Galvez, and The Mills House). The offer is available from Feb. 23 through Sept. 3, based on availability.
Guests will receive a lock box to put away their smartphones. The box has a timer and will not open until the time expires.
The new project focuses on the “fun of an analog childhood,” Nicolai said. Guests will also find a blanket fort for kids and an Instax camera in their “Reconnected” packages. There’s also a late-night “Bedtime Brigade” room service menu families can share together while, the hotel hopes, reading stories in the fort.