Tech-Free Tourism: The Rise of Digital Detox Holidays
It’s by no means a new suggestion that an extended use of a screen can be particularly damaging to both our metal and physical health. Scientists have been warning us for years about the damaging effects of spending too much time glued to the screen. Now, in 2019, with technological advances progressing at an ever-increased rate, those feeling the strain of a continual connection to the web have discovered a new way to escape.
Digital detoxing is the latest solution to achieving a renewed sense of vigour in your life.
Screen time: the issues
On every trip we take or every activity we participate in, we are greeted by a new form of technology. A recent report has suggested that more than four billion people globally are connected to the internet, while at least 83 per cent of British adults are active on social media. In 2019 however, the question is starting to circulate, ‘is this ‘all-day everyday’ connection to social media damaging to both our mental and physical health?’.
Dr Kiki Leutner, lecturer at the University College of London, carried out a study regarding the impact of technology on mental health. In her report, in which she assessed the impact of screen use, she found that those tested had suffered effects of lack of concentration, diminished social skills, and a disconnection from reality. One study carried out by the National Institute of Mental Health found a strong correlation between the use of social media and depression, while another recognised a connection between continual phone checking and high levels of stress. In America, researchers have pointed to the fact that just one hour a day using a screen can translate into unhappiness in teenagers. Melatonin, the hormone which inhibits sleep is also diminished by looking at a screen, which is why using it late in the evening prevents us from getting a good night’s sleep, suggests scientists at Harvard Medical School.
Using technology is obviously a huge benefit to our everyday life and its use has unlocked a new way to learn and communicate. That said, overuse has proved to be harmful to the human body and brain. Therefore, many holiday goers across the globe have sought out the digital detox, or ‘tech free tourism’ holiday.
Enjoying your time: the issues
A recent Guardian study discovered that a typical smartphone user connects with their device almost 40 times in a 24-hour period, with the average adult spending approximately six hours devoted to their companion.
There are two main things to consider prior to setting off on your tech-free holiday. The first, is do you think you can trust yourself without using your phone? If this is a no, then the best thing do is just leave it at home — just make sure you have a sat-nav or an OS map. Secondly, look up what is available to do at the destination you’re going to. You can probably expect the likes of the following:
- Arts and crafts.
- Wine or gin tasting.
Digital detoxing: the issues
The world is a stunning place and some of the most breath-taking and idyllic views coincide with a lack of phone and internet signal. Okay, so you can’t upload to your Instagram story during the moment — but is that not the best thing? We often become to absorbed in making ourselves constantly accessible, answering messages, replying to emails, and taking phone calls. However, a new generation, desperate to escape from the rat race, just for a while, have encouraged the rising trend in tech-free tourism.
The question is, where do you begin? The last thing you want to do is book a holiday that doesn’t fit you, as a person. If you do, you are likely to be bored after the first day and end up reaching for the phone. If hiking is your thing, why not consider going to the Lake District or even further North. Did you know Scotland has 282 Munros, which are mountains taller than 914m. Completing them all, known as ‘Munro Bagging’, is a challenge which has been conquered by more than 6,000 people. Alternatively, if it is a time of peace and tranquility you require, then explore the various yoga resorts throughout the country and the vast number of spas.
The best way of taking advantage of a tech-free tourism holiday is to remove all temptation. If this is going to be the very first holiday of this type, then we suggest searching for accommodation which specialises in digital detoxing. There are copious hotels throughout the UK which exist as off-grid establishments. Instead of relying on being fully connected to mains, they operate depending upon LPG supply. By opting for one of these choices you can’t reach out to your comfort blanket, the television remote, when things get tough.
Across the country there are a number of tech-free tourism destinations, and here are just a few:
- The Scottish Highlands: find a cottage and enjoy fishing trips and long walks.
- Brecon Beacons National Park: many glamping sites here embrace mindfulness and nature.
- Lundy Island: on the south-west coast, you’re surround by water to feel truly disconnected.
- Saddell: a small Scottish village with secluded cottages and lodges to rent.
- Northumberland National Park: here, you can rent a tipi or yurt in tranquil woodlands.
- Herm Island: The White House Hotel encourages yoga and star-gazing — it’s also free of TVs!
The most refreshing aspect of tech-free tourism is the way it allows to you retake control of your own life. No longer is your mood and schedule based around a simple piece of technology — you decide what you do. The health benefits, including increased mental positivity and reduced stress levels speak for themselves. If you decide to take the holiday completely off-grid neglecting a hotel and instead opting to camp, then you might want to consider your method of cooking. So, grab yourself a gas bottle from us and you can pitch a tent or pull up a caravan anywhere, knowing that you can have gas on tap.