You may remember what an adventure it was back in the day to check into a hotel or a resort and find out it had internet access. Once upon a time in the '90s and Early Aughts, wi-fi and its precursors were serious getaway perks. Fast-forward to today and we're paying out the nose to escape it.
Researchers at James Cook University in Australia have just published an examination of how "digital-free tourism" is changing, and in many ways growing. If you've ever heard the phrase "digital black hole" and felt a yearning in your heart, the new tourism economy may be for you. Travelers can pay top dollar for access to technology blackout zones, with not even a cell phone signal for miles around.
Mostly this kind of offering has been reserved for expensive getaways, and the market remains small. The research team is taking a rise in media coverage as indicating a rise in interest, but only in areas like North America and the U.K. "We know from previous studies that Asian countries have high levels of mobile phone use and strong expectations of connectivity," said lead author Philip Pearce in a press release. "So studies within these groups and their attitude to being disconnected may show us a different picture."
Of course, if you're feeling overwhelmed and unable to unplug, you don't need to jet to a remote tropical island to achieve uninterrupted clarity and relaxation. Try adjusting your phone notification schedule — until we all can afford some real digital detox, start small and build healthy habits from there.