TPG Lounge Poll: Could You Survive a Year Traveling Without a Smartphone?

Dec 16, 2018

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Let’s face it: We’re addicted to our screens. And while we say we could totally control our usage if we needed to… Well, we simply don’t want to — especially when it comes to travel. Now VitaminWater, in a move to test this theory, is offering up a contest to win $100k if someone can give up using their smartphone for a full year.

When we found out about the contest, we were immediately curious to find out just how feasible the challenge would be for our frequent-flyer following, knowing that the travel process can be especially dependent on our personal devices these days.

Lots of people like the convenience of having their boarding passes at the ready, cellular data on deck for last-minute travel adjustments, rideshare apps one click away and the ever-evolving quality of smartphone cameras.

So, we reached out to the TPG Lounge Facebook group to get a feel for their thoughts.

More than 800 lounge members responded to the poll asking if they could go without their phones for a full 365. A big chunk of them — about 62% — said no, leaving only about 38% of respondents saying that they could take on the challenge.

The Un-phased Bunch

Surprisingly, some commenters were confident about being able to live without their phones for a year, despite the poll results. Here’s what they said about approaching the situation.

Hotspot and a laptop. *Shrug*” — Jayson T.

I traveled before smartphones existed.” — Tracie F.

Give me money to keep me from having to talk to people? That sounds ideal.” — Amanda B.

“Challenge accepted.” — Moiz M.

As long as I have my laptop or tablet I can accomplish the same tasks.” — Nick S.

Hold the phone! 🧘” — Mary Ruth S.

The Not Interested Bunch

A few lounge members wrote about the circumstances not being attainable for them in their daily lives, whether it was because of work or simply because the money wasn’t enough.

You mean you want me to use a PAPER boarding pass? It’s like the stone age.” — Bill F.

On Call at the hospital so zero chance!” — Craig W.

It will have to be a lot more than $100k… lol that’s nothing..” — Chuck H.

The instructions to enter the scroll-free life solutions™ contest are simple. You’ll have to post a photo to Twitter or Instagram telling vitaminwater® why you need a break from your smartphone, and what you would do with all that time. Include the hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest.

If you’re one of the confident ones who want to enter the contest, you can do so anytime within the contest period, which ends on January 8, 2019 at 11:59pm ET. Once the contest period is over, a panel of judges will choose one person to embark on the 365-day journey without a smartphone for the chance to win six figures.

You can read the full contest rules including restrictions and a contest rubric here. The usage of smartphones and tablets will be restricted, including devices that are not yours. The company will also provide you with an 1996-style phone to occupy you throughout the year.

Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy

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