Last updated: 05:07 PM ET, Thu May 12 2016

Digital Detox Tours Let You Completely Unplug

Tour Operator | Janeen Christoff | May 12, 2016

Digital Detox Tours Let You Completely Unplug

PHOTO: There are no phones, laptops or even cameras allowed on a Digital Detox Tour. (Photo courtesy of Intrepid)

Intrepid Travel has launched four new tours to some of its most popular destinations created with the goal of disconnecting travelers from the Internet and reconnecting them with the world. Intrepid conducted its own research in partnership with OnePoll to survey 1,500 Americans on how they feel about using their mobile phone while traveling. The results were eye opening and have led the tour operator to launch a new range of tours focused on a digital detox.

“Now more than ever people are really struggling to detach from the digital world during their vacations,” said Leigh Barnes, regional director for Intrepid Travel in North America. “We wanted to enable travelers to really unplug and focus on making meaningful connections with their fellow group members and of course, the local people.”

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Past research has shown that participating in a Digital Detox allows people to develop deeper friendships and view the world from a new perspective, among many other mental health benefits.

The results of Intrepid’s survey most importantly found a reliance on technology that was causing people to lose out on the opportunity to connect with the experience they intended to have on vacation. Thirty-eight percent of people said that they had missed a life moment because they were too busy on their phone and 31 percent admitted that they had been so concerned about snapping a good pic that they missed out on experiencing a moment.

The survey also revealed how dependent travelers were on their phones. A full 74 percent of respondents said that their phone was never more than three feet away from them. Eighty-four percent said that their phone/technology is distracting when it comes to daily life – 24 percent even said that they have tripped, fallen or walked into a pole while staring at their phones – and 41 percent that they have chosen locations to visit based on whether or not the spot would look good on social media.

Half of respondents also said that they spent more than one hour searching for Wi-Fi access while they were on vacation (30 percent indicated that they spent more than two hours).

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The infographic below goes into more detail about the survey.

The four new tours in the digital detox program are Ecuador on a Shoestring – Digital Detox, Golden Triangle – Digital Detox, North Morocco Adventure – Digital Detox and Highlights of Thailand – Digital Detox. These trips are are completely free from technology, including mobile phones, laptops, iPads – and even cameras.

Trips are between seven and 10 days long and visit some of the company’s most popular destinations. Before leaving, travelers are asked to sign a pledge committing to the digital detox challenge – as a reward, they receive a trip where they can focus on interaction and activities and make a true connection that they couldn’t get through the Internet.


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