March 1 marks the “National Day of Unplugging,” which means you should probably ditch your phone, pronto.
Though it’s not always easy — a Pew Research Center study notes almost half of smartphone owners consider the devices something they “can’t live without” — switching off phones, tablets, and laptops can feel incredibly freeing. But before you power down your myriad screens in the name of unplugging, consider carving out a few minutes to book a digital detox getaway.
Scores of hotels, resorts, and other vacation properties offer digital detox packages where you can hand over your devices and spend a few hours — or days — tech-free. Ahead, find five such getaways to keep the National Day of Unplugging spirit going for more than just 24 hours.
Getaway was founded in 2015 to help an increasingly plugged-in population kick their tech addictions — or temporarily, at least. The company operates groupings of tiny houses in the woods outside of New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., and they all come with one very important amenity: cellphone lock boxes.
Upon checking in, guests place phones (and other devices, if necessary) in the box, then refrain from opening it for the rest of the trip. Untethered, Getaway campers are invited to go birdwatching, identify plants, and enjoy other tech-free activities that are conveniently laid out in an in-cabin activity booklet.
Grand Velas, Mexico
Call it the gamification of unplugging. Mexico’s Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers a digital detox package where families can trade in their devices for wristbands that grant them access to free activities. One bracelet, for example, can be exchanged for a tour of the property’s flora and fauna. Other activities include snorkeling tours, bike tours, facials, and massages.
Guests can only receive their electronics back if they’ve earned four bracelets, or in other words, have participated in four activities. The icing on the cake? The hotel’s mandated attire. Detox participants must wear t-shirts that read “We are digital detoxing.”
Nayara Springs, Costa Rica
Once you’re checked into Nayara Springs, prepare to have your devices confiscated. The Costa Rican hotel safely stores your beloved belongings while you get outside and become one with the rainforest.
A digital detox special includes a complimentary yoga class, a meditation session, and an early birdwatching walk. A “Nature Escape” spa experience — which is enjoyed in a private, open-air pavilion — tops it all off.