Digital Detox Destinations: 25+ Best Places to Unplug

Need a break from you devices? These places will encourage you to disconnect from your tech and reconnect with yourself (and your travel companions).

A group of people hiking in a lush forest area

7min read

Published 25 March 2024

Flight Centre Author

By

Kristy Papas

Social Media Manager


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Need a break from you devices? These places will encourage you to disconnect from your tech and reconnect with yourself (and your travel companions).


When was the last time you went a day without using your phone, tablet or computer? 

Long gone are the days when a person could easily disconnect from the world and recharge their batteries — thanks in large part to technology. In fact, there’s a strong chance you’re reading this on your phone while listening to a podcast via wireless headphones and sending a message on your smartwatch. 

Now more than ever, we should be increasing efforts to take a break from the digital world — prioritizing relaxing and resetting, and focusing on our physical and mental health and wellbeing. How, you wonder? A complete digital detox: disconnecting from your electronic devices and reconnecting with the outside world (and yourself) on your next travel adventure. 

Whether you want to escape the city or stay, we’re sharing how and where you can unplug across the world. See you later, screen time!



An individual practicing yoga on a beach at sunset
An individual practicing yoga on a beach at sunset
An individual practicing yoga on a beach at sunset

Enjoy some "me time" on a wellness retreat

Lasting anywhere from a few days to a week or beyond, wellness retreats provide an opportunity to, well, retreat — and focus on your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing without any outside distractions. They can be situated amongst the natural beauty of exciting, far-off locations or tucked away in a city nearby.

From budget-friendly to luxurious, wellness retreats give you access to an array of general or specialist areas of focus, as well as accompanying experts. Think yoga, spa treatments, hot springs, art therapy… the list goes on and on. 

A few digital detox destinations to consider for these types of experiences are:

  • Indonesia: This is a popular destination when it comes to wellness retreats, particularly in and around Bali. With access to plenty of beaches and nature, it’s a paradise for yoga, meditation and an array of mind, body and soul experiences. 
  • India: India, like Indonesia, is a beacon of possibilities for travellers looking to do some deep soul searching or a more light-hearted reset. Explore rejuvenation through yoga, spa treatments, personal training and so much more.
  • Canada and USA: Whether you’re looking to get into shape or just want to stay active while travelling, North America is a great spot to combine fitness and sporting activities with a digital detox. This could involve biking or hiking through national parks, surfing, horseback riding, backcountry camping or something more extreme like heli-skiing. 
  • Japan: Why not try the art of forest bathing? It’s less about exercising and more about connecting with nature through all five senses. What you do in this practice is up to you, but may include meditation, walking or breathing exercises. Honestly, you could forest bathe anywhere in the world — but since its origins are deeply rooted in Japan, this is the place to do it. 
  • Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland: These Scandinavian countries are famous for how they do spa experiences, so much so that facilities around the globe have followed suit with some of their offerings. Rest, relax, rejuvenate and calm your mind against some of the world’s most beautiful natural backdrops. You’ll have access to saunas, spas, cold plunges, massages and more.


A group of people walking in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park
A group of people walking in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park
A group of people walking in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park

Treat yourself to a little nature therapy

If the great outdoors fuels you, take the opportunity to disconnect and get outside — this type of digital detox will do wonders for your wellbeing and may require as little as a few hours to achieve. 

It's as simple as doing a walk or hike. You can choose the degree of difficulty depending on what is easily accessible to your location. If you’re lucky enough, this might be a national park or a rainforest — but really any outdoor space will do. The key is getting outside in the fresh air and turning off your devices. 

If you’re up for an adventure, consider checking out these epic (and diverse) options:

  • Banff National Park, Canada: Part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, you can take your pick of over 1,600km of maintained trails. Many of the more famous hikes are easily accessible from the town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise. You can watch the sunset on a riverside stroll or view the beauty of glaciers in the wild. 
  • Yellowstone National Park, USA: Spanning Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, you’ll be able to observe wildlife, explore geothermal areas containing approximately half the world’s active geysers, and admire sights like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.  
  • Fiordland National Park, New Zealand: Part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, this is where you’ll find glaciers, alpine ranges and unique nature and wildlife. Three of New Zealand’s great walks are found here — Kepler, Milford and Routeburn. There’s also many day walk options to choose from.
  • Daintree National Park, Australia: Located in Queensland, tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches and coral reefs abound here. A popular trek is the Mossman Gorge Rainforest Circuit Track — a moderate 3.1km trail that includes waterfall views and birdwatching. (Fun fact: the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest living rainforest in the world!)
  • Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Japan: Japan’s most-visited national park is where you’ll find the iconic Mount Fuji. Shaped by millions of years of volcanic and tectonic activity, you’ve got the option of wandering through forests, exploring lava caves and so much more.
  • MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir Park, Singapore: This park and nature reserve is a popular destination for runners, outdoor enthusiasts and the like. You can go on the treetop walks or make your way around the 11km nature trail loop. The loop, located within a tropical forest, is home to a variety of wildlife including long-tailed macaque monkeys and colugos (flying lemurs).
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica: You’ll feel as though you’re walking through a cloud mist wonderland here. Home to hundreds of mammal, bird, insect and plant species, there are several linked trails that offer beautiful viewpoints of the Continental Divide — where you’ll see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.


A couple checking a paper map for directions while on a road trip
A couple checking a paper map for directions while on a road trip
A couple checking a paper map for directions while on a road trip

Explore the great, open road the analog way

Want the freedom of hitting the road, with or without an end destination in mind? Take a road trip. We suggest you go old-school and purchase a paper road map or two, marking places on it that you’d like to visit along the way. The downside? They can’t communicate current road conditions… but a quick online Google Maps check can help there! Yes, this may go against the whole digital detox concept, but sometimes exceptions are necessary — especially if you want to avoid the stress of getting lost.

Go at your own pace as you take in the sights and sounds of the open road. Some picturesque road trips around the world to consider include:

  • Great Ocean Road, Australia: Starting in Torquay and finishing in Allansford, this 243km journey primarily hugs the coast and offers spectacular sights including the world-famous Twelve Apostles rock formation.
  • Route 66, USA: From Chicago to Santa Monica (or vice versa), this inland route takes you on a journey through no less than eight US states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
  • Ring Road, Iceland: Covering most of the country and drivable in whichever direction you choose, the Ring Road gives you the opportunity to check out waterfalls, geothermal areas, national parks and a lot more.
  • Romantic Road, Germany: Go for a scenic drive through the southern provinces of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. You’ll get to explore historic cities, medieval towns and even a castle.
  • Ring of Kerry, Ireland: Located on the southwest coast of Ireland, this drive will take you past rolling hills, dramatic cliffsides, sparkling lakes and a whole lot more. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s even a cycling route you can take instead.
  • Panorama Route, South Africa: This route connects several cultural and natural points of interest (such as Blyde River Canyon and Echo Caves), as well as other activities. It’s a 160km trip within the province of Mpumalanga — surrounded by the Drakensberg mountain range.
  • Cabot Trail, Canada: This looped trail takes you around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. Your journey will take you from amazing ocean viewpoints to quaint fishing villages.
A group of travellers kayaking in Antarctica's Terra Nova Bay
A group of travellers kayaking in Antarctica's Terra Nova Bay
A group of travellers kayaking in Antarctica's Terra Nova Bay

Go off the grid in a remote location

If the word “remote” comes to mind when you think about disconnecting, you might just be onto something. It’s safe to assume that being somewhere remote means you’re likely to have restricted access to a lot of things that we usually take for granted — including phone reception and internet service. 

This doesn’t mean you have to go off the grid, exactly. Instead, these digital detox destinations could take the form of a remote island or a far off, harder to get to place. And you guessed it… we’ve got options here, too:

  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador: With their unique plant and animal life, these remote islands in the Pacific Ocean allow you to forget about the day-to-day and immerse yourself in nature.
  • Cook Islands, South Pacific: Known for their beautiful beaches, warm weather and hospitable culture, the Cook Islands were made for spending time in the great outdoors participating in the likes of scuba diving, snorkelling and more.
  • The Faroe Islands, Denmark: Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, this archipelago is comprised of 18 islands connected by road tunnels, ferries, causeways and bridges. With their mountains, fjords and waterfalls, they attract plenty of travellers and outdoor enthusiasts (including birdwatchers and hikers) who are in need of a digital detox.
  • Greenland: Modern technology is scarce on the world’s largest island, which also lies in the North Atlantic Ocean. Without it, you’ll get to take in some absolutely stunning sights and sounds (including majestic fjords and glaciers) and learn about its indigenous Inuit culture.
  • Lady Elliot Island, Australia: Yes, the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is located here… but that doesn’t mean this spot (which just so happens to be a highly protected “Green Zone”) doesn’t deserve to be on our list of digital detox destinations. With so much to see and do, you won’t even notice you don’t have cell service.
  • Antarctica: Reachable by ship or plane from the southern tip of South America, this remote continent is the perfect place for a digital detox. Without an established phone network, you’re provided the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking scenery and unique wildlife.
  • Bhutan: Nestled in the Himalayas, this Buddhist nation has a strong focus on spirituality and tranquility. Pair that with patchy WiFi and telephone signals (due to its location), and you’ve got the perfect environment to disconnect. 
  • Scottish Highlands: Located at the northern end of Scotland, this area offers impressive and wild scenery — allowing you to get lost amongst the many lochs, mountains and castles.
A large group of friends dining at a restaurant
A large group of friends dining at a restaurant
A large group of friends dining at a restaurant

Disconnect against a city backdrop

A complete digital detox may not be possible for everyone. Whether you’re pressed for time or wanting access to some creature comforts, there are lots of opportunities to disconnect from WiFi and everyday life while staying closer to home. 

Plenty of establishments offer a plethora of packages, programs or business practices to support this need, including:

  • Hotels: From having guests hand over their digital devices at check-in time to providing phone-free communal areas such as pools and spas, this is an option to consider. Some hotels even offer more in-depth digital detox packages.
  • Restaurants: Some dining establishments actually have no-phone policies. Honestly, eating out (solo or otherwise) shouldn’t require rules or regulations for you to realize that this is the ideal way to unwind over great food with even better company.
  • Museums, art galleries and theatres: This one may be a no brainer, but these kinds of places typically require you to have your phone out of sight (and out of mind), making them the perfect option. Spend a few hours of your day or night soaking up and getting lost in your preferred forms of art, entertainment and culture.

 

Ready to switch off and recharge? Check out our current deals or speak to a Flight Centre travel consultant about your next vacation today!

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