The company that brought the travel world trips like the Ultimate 365-Day Adventure and an Eat, Pray, Love-inspired tour just revealed their newest range of trips: Digital Detox Tours.
The kicker? There are literally no digital devices allowed. Re-read that you social media addict. And then re-read it again. Before you clutch your head and scream bloody murder, consider these near-deplorable facts, unearthed by Intrepid Travel:
- 41% of travellers responded that they pick destinations based on what will look good on social media
- 31% said they were so concerned with taking a good photo they missed out on enjoying the exprience
- 28% said they would not stay in a hotel without Wi-Fi
On second thought...a Digital Detox doesn't seem like a half-baked idea. Admittedly, we're living in an era of first asking servers, "What's the Wi-Fi password?" and then for the daily specials. If travel is beloved as a form of escapism, a way of shrugging the daily grind, Intrepid is calling bluff on travellers glued to their smartphones.
How does it work?
The four new tours will be completely free from technology including cell phones, laptops, iPads and cameras. The trips last between 7 to 10 days and will run in four of Intrepid’s most popular destinations; Thailand, Morocco, India and Ecuador.
How is it 'enforced'?
Will I get in trouble?
Yes, you will be the recipient of major stink eye and risk being voted out of the tribe. If this is a concern, a Digital Detox just might not be for you. Hey, we get it...some people just can't hack it. (See what we did there?)
This is how your commitment works: before departing on the Digital Detox trip, travellers will be asked to sign a pledge committing to the Digital Detox challenge, which includes a full week without Internet, cell-phones, laptops and cameras. In turn, participants will be rewarded with a connection they could never find through Wi-Fi. The trips themselves focus on local interaction and include activities such as homestays and hill tribe visits.
7 reasons this is actually a good idea
- You get to be 100% present. Intrepid says these trips were designed after feedback from tour leaders and travellers suggested people are able to develop stronger connections when they unplug and are completely present in a destination.
- What about pictures? There are literally no digital devices allowed but if you must, pack a disposable camera...or a sketch book!
- Consider memories of trips you've taken in the past. Are they actually based on the photos you snapped, rather than your memory? Sadly, I'm totally guilty of viewing Angkor Wat through a view finder.
- Less time posing means less time primping. We mean it! No pictures means there are no bad vacation photos.
- No photographic evidence means less time worrying about getting beach-body ready.
- These trips are the perfect opportunity to pry the phone out of your web-obsessed travel partner's hands.
- Do you need to take the 12 millionth photo of the Taj Mahal anyway?
Where countries are on offer?
Ecuador on a Shoestring - Digital Detox
No phones, no cameras, no wi-fi – just mountains, markets and real life memories. On the Ecuador Digital Detox you will bargain with locals over alpaca wool at the Otavalo Markets, brave a taste of tree worms in the Amazon jungle, catch a sunrise over the laidback town of Banos and soak in the charm of capital Quito.
Departure date: October 10, 2016
Golden Triangle – Digital Detox
Log off, shut down and disconnect from tech on this eight-day adventure through India. Explore Old Delhi by rickshaw, navigate your way through bustling bazaars in Jaipur (without a map), and sample fresh-made sweet treats at a Karauli street market. Of course, no trip to the subcontinent is complete without a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal – best enjoyed through your own eyes, not your camera’s viewfinder!
Departure Date: December 7, 2016
North Morocco Adventure – Digital Detox
Step away from the iPhone, put the camera down, and gently close the lid of your laptop: it’s time for a Digital Detox through Morocco. Rather than seeking out free wifi hotspots or agonising over the perfect filter for that sunset over Moulay Idriss, experience this incredible part of the world in high-def Real Life. Navigate your way through the souqs of Marrakech (minus a map), sip mint tea in the old Fes medina and soak up the scenery of the blue-hued Chefchaouen.
Departure Date: January 10, 2017
Highlights of Thailand – Digital Detox
Take a break from technology on this action-packed ten-day adventure through northern Thailand. Munch on tasty street snacks in Bangkok, befriend an elephant in Chiang Mai, master the art of cooking an authentic Thai curry, and spend an evening with an ethnic hilltribe. No phones, no cameras, no laptops – just you connecting with the world around you. Bliss!
Departure date: November 26, 2016
What do you think?
Would you pay to be disconnected?
Let us know your thoughts - comment below or tweet us!
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