With the rise of social media, the allure of sharing your travel experiences veers far beyond the simple “wish you were here” to the immersive “here’s what I’m doing right now.” It may be tempting to constantly check in with the wide world when we travel, but it’s often at the expense of being in the here and now and truly connecting with the people and places you’re visiting.
So pack your bags, make one last post, and then dive into the world of unplugged travel with any of these nine adventures. Instead of digital connections, they encourage connecting in a deeper way.
Descend into Hells Canyon
On your journey into Hells Canyon, on the border of Oregon and Idaho, you’ll hear plenty of crashing whitewater, but no ringing phones. The deepest river gorge in North America has a way of blocking cellular service, so forget the social media updates and focus on the rugged landscape of rocky peaks and pine forests as you navigate churning rapids along the Snake River with ROW Adventures.
Get lost anywhere
Black Tomato’s Get Lost experiences take visitors to unknown, uncharted destinations with no cell service to totally disconnect and explore through them while discovering the world around you—as well as a part of yourself that you never knew existed. Decide what kind of environment you’d like to get lost in, or roll the dice and let Black Tomato take the reins. The staff tracks your journey and provides the kit you’ll need to successfully accomplish your task, so you can let go of the details and use your wits to become an explorer.
Camp on Namibia’s Hoanib River
The forbidding nature of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is one of the most pristine shorelines in the world. It may be bleak and littered with the skeletons of whales and ships, but it’s also beautiful. Who cares about the lack of Wi-Fi when you’re staying here, in a Wilderness Safari tent with a shaded outdoor deck, along the dry Hoanib River between rugged hills and enormous sand dunes at the edge of the continent?
Log off for a weekend in England
Surrender your tech at the beginning of a three-day weekend retreat in Somerset, England, and get a tool kit of tricks to carry on healthier habits when you head home. The focus of the It’s Time to Log Off retreat is looking up at the world instead of looking down at a smart-phone screen, and mindfulness practices include yoga, nature walks, and creative activities.
Sleep in style in Patagonia
Go glamping in the wildness of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park at EcoCamp Patagonia. You’ll stay in a sustainable geodesic dome and dine on locally sourced food and Chilean wine, while day trips take you adventuring around the region. In Patagonia, there may not be Wi-Fi, but you’ll find a better connection through being immersed in your surroundings.
Live like Russia’s reindeer herders
Travel to Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula, far above the Arctic Circle, on Intrepid Travel’s new Russia expedition. Here, you’ll stay in a camp with no Wi-Fi access among the mossy pastures, low-lying shrubs, and vast lakes of the remote tundra and learn about the life of the Nenets people. The indigenous tribe of nomadic reindeer herders calls this region “the end of the world.”
Marvel at Alaska by sea
All of UnCruise’s small-ship adventures in Alaska venture out to discover wildlife up close, spectacular landscapes shaped by glaciers over millions of years, and off-the-beaten-path places where guests can head into the wilderness by foot, kayak, and skiff. Once the ships leave their initial port (Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan), however, there’s no Wi-Fi or cellular service.
Explore the beaches of Belize
Spend time on a deserted island without dealing with the hard parts: hunting for food and arranging rescue. Part of a Belize adventure with National Geographic Expeditions takes place in a safari-style beach camp on Half Moon Caye, an island with zero connectivity within Lighthouse Atoll. Take to the sea in sea kayaks for snorkeling adventures and relax. Your rescue is already arranged.
Trade Wi-Fi for wildlife in Antarctica
You’ll want to bring your camera along on a journey with Abercrombie & Kent to the White Continent, but tuck the phone and laptop away unless you love working offline. Without digital screens competing for your attention, you’ll be free to enjoy the sights of towering icebergs, impressive glaciers, abundant wildlife, and the expertise of naturalist guides to get a deeper understanding of the region.
>>Next: Outdoor Adventures Near Cities Around the World
Jill K. Robinson Jill K. Robinson writes about travel and adventure for AFAR, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Outside, Sierra, and more. She has won Lowell Thomas, Society of American Travel Writers, and American Society of Journalists and Authors awards for her work.