Do you suffer from phantom pain when your smartphone is out of reach? Do you feel restless? In other words, are you ready for a digital detox? You’re not the only one. It is now popular to escape from devices in this time of digital excess. While we were always looking for a hotel with Wi-Fi a few years ago, nowadays, we prefer to go on an offline vacation.
In the US, there is almost no escape, as we have electronic coverage almost everywhere (and therefore, Wi-Fi) around us. However, there is no network in 25% of Scotland. There, you are completely closed off from the outside world. A beach holiday in Nicaragua, a trip through Madagascar or Sri Lanka also seem to reasonably guarantee a poor connection. If you prefer more adventurous journeys, head to the Arctic region of Canada or the desert of Mongolia, where coverage is also hard to find. In terms of locations, Turtle Island (Fiji), Butterfly Valley (Turkey), and the Rawah Wilderness (USA) are also good for an offline vacation. Or book one of the many ashrams in India or Nepal, where there is no Wi-Fi and where peace is the central focus.
Best hotels for a digital detox
Would you like to go to a city, a nice beach or a popular nature area where you have no cell phone coverage and Wi-Fi? Then choose a hotel that adopts the digital detox concept.
The Westin Dublin (Dublin, Ireland): They offer Wi-Fi, but you can't use it if you book the Digital Detox package with them! When you check-in you put all your gadgets in a safe. During your stay, you will receive a (real!) newspaper, an in-room massage, and board games. Also nice: when you check out you get a plant that you can take home with you.
Three Camel Lodge (Gobi Desert, Mongolia): This lodge does not need a digital detox concept, because there is no coverage here. If you still want Wi-Fi, you have to travel 310 miles away!
Chiva Som Wellness Retreat (Hua Hin, Thailand): In this beautiful resort in Thailand, cell phones (and other gadgets) are prohibited outside of the rooms. This makes it extra easy to leave your smartphone behind!
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa (Florida Keys, US): No telephones or TVs, but this resort will keep you entertained during your digital detox with card games, books, and fun excursions, among other things. For 16 years and older only.
Heron Island Resort (Heron Island, Australia): There is no internet available at this resort, and also (for many providers) poor cell phone coverage. And with TV-free rooms, you can completely unwind here.
Tips for an offline vacation
Have you already booked your vacation and you will have Wi-Fi in your hotel? Then do your own digital detox with the following tips!
Tip 1: Leave your cell phone in your suitcase Do not take your cell phone with you when you go to the beach, out to eat, or visit attractions. If you don’t have it with you, you will not be tempted to check whether you have messages (or worse: scroll through social media out of habit). You can also take photos with a normal camera. Tip 2: Install an app If you still find it difficult, install an app that helps you to be offline. These apps can block certain apps for you during a set period of time. Tip 3: Check your phone once a day Decide that you will only check your phone at a specific time of the day, and only check necessary messages (are there urgent emails or WhatsApps to answer?) Then put it away again and enjoy the peace. Tip 4: Seek distraction If you tend to mindlessly grab your phone or laptop, focus on other things. Go and do something, such as an excursion or a walk, go swimming or read a book. Tip 5: Tell acquaintances that you are offline What can also help: Before leaving, tell your family, friends, and colleagues that you want to be undisturbed on vacation as much as possible to really unwind. That way you will receive fewer messages and you will not have the feeling that you always have to check whether there is something to read. Tip 6: Try to check the time in a different way Many people also use their phone to keep an eye on the time. Find another way for this, such as a watch, or just don’t check the time at all.
Apps to really go offline
Because digital detoxing is now so popular, there are countless apps that can help you go offline.
#1. White Spots
Companies like Google (almost) always find us. Not only where you are, but also how long it takes you to travel to work, where you live, what your favorite bar is... Would it feel good to sometimes disappear from the 'map'? Or would you prefer to be in a so-called offline zone so that you can’t be reached? This global app shows you where offline zones are located in your area.
#2. Quality Time (Android)
This app keeps track of exactly how much time you spend on your phone. Handy: if you want to be offline on vacation, it also helps you by blocking apps while you want to be offline. Super handy, because then you will not be tempted!
With this app, you set what times (and for how long) you want to be offline, and which apps you are not allowed to open. The app also keeps track of how much time you spend per app per day. If you still try to open a blocked app during your offline time, you will get hilarious push notifications.
Time for your offline vacation? Find your flights now!