Want to Travel, Explore and See New Places? Turn Off the TV.

People often think that being a parent, having a home, and working a full-time job prevents them from traveling, exploring or spending more quality time with family. As a full-time worker, and a Dad who has to pay bills I understand these are responsibilities that often require Herculean efforts to manage. So, with such little time remaining in a personal schedule what can a person do?

One of the most important time savers is to turn off the TV. According to a Nielson report the average American spends “159 hours watching television in the home” each month plus additional time online and via mobile devices.”

That is over 5 hours a day of TV! Now, consider the average TV show has 8 minutes of commercials for every 22 minutes of programming – when the TV is on for five hours a day the viewer is exposed to 80 minutes of just advertisements a day! Yuk.

For years I blamed multiple factors because my weekends had disappeared with housework, my vacation time-off was non-existent and that I could no longer travel, explore and do what I really wanted to do. As I looked at how I used my time I realized the TV consumed several hours a day. When I added it up I was surprised; by turning off the TV I reclaimed 20 hours a week. Time I use on things that are fulfilling like thinking about the weekend, researching a local place to hike or even planning about how I can budget an overseas trip.

Do I watch some TV shows? Yes, a select few, because sometimes you have to relax after a long day. But I watch the TV on my schedule, by watching either delayed shows via a recording device or by purchasing a select few episodes online. By controlling what I watch the TV is not controlling me, or my time.

Folks who write in asking how they can travel, explore and see new places are given the same suggestion – a good start is to turn off the TV.


View from the Rubicon Trail, D.L. Bliss State Park, Lake Tahoe, California

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