In a world that is so well-connected, there are times when we feel like unplugging and just living in the moment while enjoying where we are without having to connect to the outside world.
We all need digital detox sometimes, but sometimes the need is overlooked because almost 80% of our life is spent through the world wide web. Whether it is for work, connecting with friends and family when you live overseas, or simply just the fact that you're bored of your reality.
So in this post, some fellow bloggers and I are compiling a list of top-notch places to unplug and live in the moment. The places you can consider going for a digital detox, some spots that can give you a chance to disconnect just so you can reconnect better with your routines.
22 Top Destinations for a Digital Detox
In the era where Instagram exists, it's rather hard to unplug and get off the grid, even if that's something you need. Whether you admit it, there's always some urgency for vanity. However, whether you like it or not, a digital detox is something we all need every once in a while.
It is an opportunity for us to improve our interactions with our surroundings. Instead of chatting through Whatsapp, Telegram, or whatever chatting platform you use to connect with your beloved ones, try to live in the moment and look them in the eyes.
Distract yourself with some fun activities that make you forget to check your smartphones for a while. Breathe, because apparently, some people are too stressed to even think about inhaling the fresh air around them.
If you struggle to unplug, maybe it's time to find a new destination to live in the moment. Here are some excellent spots to unplug, relax, and forget about your smartphones for a while!
1. Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture, Japan
Take a break from the world and relax at an onsen experience in Japan. Onsens are natural hot water from geothermally-heated springs. The water contains natural minerals and is known to provide therapeutic properties. Onsens are a beloved part of traditional Japanese culture and are still used today.
Most onsens in Japan are separated by gender and bathing naked. This is the rule that gets many people who are visiting Japan a bit nervous. There are dressing rooms where people can take off their clothes, secure their belongings, and cover themselves with a towel. Cell phone use is prohibited in the dressing rooms and onsens.
The best onsen town is the famous Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma prefecture, Japan. Guests can enjoy three different public bathhouses. By purchasing the Santo Meguri Tegata coupon, guests can walk to the Sainokawara open-air bath, Goza no yu, and Ohtaki no Yu at a significant discount. There are numerous trendy boutiques, gourmet cuisine, and timeless elegance in the town that visitors can enjoy while they walk to their next relaxing bath.
One of the best ways to unplug and forget social media is by relaxing for a few hours at an onsen in Japan.
2. Manali, India
If you're looking to spend some in nature and go on a digital detox, then there's no better place than Manali.
Situated within the Indian Himalayas (or Himachal Pradesh), this beautiful town is set upon the Beas River and is surrounded by striking mountains.
It's a destination many people escape to once the rest of India starts to experience unbearing hot temperatures. With fantastic hiking trails, breathtaking scenery, and wildlife at every turn, it's one of the best places to unplug and live in the moment!
The WiFi is pretty spotty too, so you'll have no excuse but to put your phone down and appreciate the beauty of this area. Some of the best places to visit in and around Manali include Jogini Falls, Nehru Kund, and the Rohtang Pass. You'll also want to go trekking in Manali Wildlife Sanctuary and enjoy the views from Lion King Rock!
After spending some time out in nature, you can head into Manali (or Old Manali, which is right next to it) and grab some food from the variety of awesome restaurants available. There are plenty of fantastic market stalls to visit too!
3. Koh Rong, Cambodia
Koh Rong, often described as an ‘island paradise', is located a few hours' boat ride from the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia.
Although it may no longer be as untouched as it once was, Koh Rong still offers a lack of roads and chaos, which paired with its white dream beaches and divine turquoise waters, make it a top getaway location.
If you really wish to spend a week on Koh Rong doing absolutely nothing, it's very possible. The white sandy beaches are stunning, perfect for reading a book or tanning. There are also hammocks dotted across the island, which offer perfect napping spots.
There are plenty of snorkeling opportunities, and diving is seriously popular, with the Koh Rong Dive Centre offering PADI courses and fun dives. You can also rent a kayak and check out “small island” (Koh Toch) or some more beautiful beaches.
When the sun goes down, head to the quieter spots of Koh Rong such as Coconut Beach or Long Set Beach. Watch the ocean around you light up as you swim and splash around with bioluminescent plankton.
There are no ATMs on Koh Rong and nowhere accepts cards. Make sure you take out plenty of cash before you arrive!
4. Bario, Malaysia
A small town that consists of around 16 villages in the Kelabit Highlands in Sarawak, East Malaysia, Bario is one of the recommended places you can go to unplug for a digital detox.
The internet reception is only available within a radius of 500 meters from Bario town square, and you could only get it by paying for the limited internet service in town. Otherwise, you probably won't get any connection at all as no SIM card receives any signals in the area. Be sure to bring enough cash with you as there is no ATM in Bario. Local people usually fly on a day trip to Miri just to withdraw some money.
Despite all the limitations in terms of the facilities, you don't have any reason not to enjoy your time in Bario to the fullest. Situated close to the border of Malaysia and Indonesia in Borneo, Bario has top-notch greenery that gives you no choice but to live in the moment.
Rent a bike to explore the villages around Bario, just be sure to bring a map with you as you can't rely on GPS without the internet. Stop by the Twin Pioneer CC plane wreckage, which is still well-preserved since it skidded on Bario land in 1964.
To enhance your experience, you can plan your trip to Bario around June or July as they have an annual festival called “Pesta Nukenan“, a three-day event that showcases the local food and culture around Kelabit Highlands.
5. Kangaroo Island, Australia
From mainland South Australia, the ferry to Kangaroo Island crosses a moody stretch of water called Backstairs Passage. It might only be a 45-minute cruise to the island port of Penneshaw, but crossing this mysteriously named channel takes you to another world.
There is something untamed about Kangaroo Island. From the turquoise water and long white beaches at Emu Bay or Vivonne Bay, where you can find your own patch of sand, to rugged coastline and bushland in Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island compels you to live in the moment and take in its natural beauty.
The island's name gives away another of its treasurers. Yes, there are lots of cute Kangaroo Island kangaroos with their dark, thick fur, but the island is also a haven for koalas, echidnas, wallabies, goannas, a huge variety of birds, dolphins and Australian sea lions.
See golden sunsets at Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse, walk over towering sand dunes at Little Sahara, marvel at the lichen-stained boulders at Remarkable Rocks or kayak down the still dark water of Harriet River. The remote beauty of Kangaroo Island is the perfect place to turn off your phone and charge your senses instead.
6. Fitzroy Island, Australia
Idyllic Fitzroy Island is the perfect place to unplug, unwind and relax on a palm-fringed beach, swim or snorkel in crystal clear water or hike in a lush, cool rainforest.
The internet is patchy, but the island is so beautiful you'll probably forget to check your phone.
Located in Australia, around 29 kilometers off the coast of Queensland, Fitzroy Island is a National Park and one of hundreds of tiny islands on the Great Barrier Reef surrounded by coral reefs and calm, turquoise waters. It's also the home of Nudey Beach, voted Australia's best beach in 2018.
You can reach Fitzroy Island on the ferry from Cairns. Visit on a day trip or stay in comfortable 4– star accommodation at the Fitzroy Island resort.
Camping is also an option if you want to get back to nature. The campsite near the jetty is just meters from the beach and provides drinking water and cold showers.
When you stay on Fitzroy Island, you'll fall asleep listening to the wind blowing through the trees, the birds in the forest, and the water lapping the shore.
7. Lady Elliot Island, Australia
Lady Elliot Island is a fantastic Queensland holiday destination for a digital detox. You'll easily leave your phone behind on this Australian island on the southern Great Barrier Reef as there's no mobile phone reception and no Wi-Fi (except a slow connexion at selected spots)!
If you need to make a phone call, you'll have to do it the old fashion way: you can purchase a phone card to use the public phone. But you won't miss your phone when you see all the activities available on the island.
A trip to Lady Elliot Island is all about exploring the underwater world. Boat tours are organized for scuba divers and snorkellers, but you can also simply explore the lagoon straight off the beach with your masks or on foot.
There's always something special to enjoy. After the turtle nesting (November to February) and hatchling seasons (February to April) comes the peak manta ray season (May to August) and the humpback whale migration (June to October).
The resort is very low-key and a fantastic place to relax. It's on a tiny island, so you can live in the moment and never stress about the time. The only struggle you'll face is choosing what activity to do next!
8. Tahiti, French Polynesia
With the island's stunning blue waters, incredibly diverse ocean life, and flourishing mountainous interior, French Polynesia's remote island of Tahiti is one of the best places to unplug and live in the moment.
The island is located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, and there's definitely no shortage of incredible excursions to embark on. For example, visitors looking for an adventure can hike to various lookout points and chase beautiful waterfalls around the island, such as the famous Fautaua Waterfall.
Meanwhile, surfing enthusiasts of all levels can take advantage of the enviable waves Tahiti regularly enjoys or simply watch world-renowned surfers who often descend on the island.
If you prefer to relax at the beach or swim amongst all the aquatic creatures, Tahiti is fortunate enough to experience tropical weather year-round. This means temperatures between 70-83°F, and nearly every day is ideal weather for a beach day.
For these reasons and so many more, an island getaway to Tahiti is the perfect place to escape the world's chaos and unplug for a bit.
9. Bieszczady Mountains, Poland
There is a saying in Poland about dropping everything and going to the Bieszczady Mountains. One of the least discovered mountains in Poland, they still have its own atmosphere.
Located on the Polish-Ukrainian-Slovak border, Bieszczady Mountains attract people with their history, nature, and more!
If you are looking for a place where deer will come close to your house in the morning, and a fox will slip between tents in the evening, the Bieszczady Mountains are perfect. A lynx, a wolf, or a bear is a bit more difficult to meet, but they also live in this region.
The Bieszczady are not just mountains and beautiful landscapes, they're also a state of mind. It is very easy to get away from everyday life looking at the meadow, forest or mountain rivers. There are no supermarkets in the Bieszczady Mountains, only small local shops. The signal range on the phone is pretty weak, but it is not difficult to forget about it and get carried away by the spirit of the mountains.
Bieszczady Mountains are one of the Polish hidden gems that are worth visiting! Great summer, inspiring spring, and relaxing autumn – Bieszczady!
10. Anglesey Island, Wales (UK)
Anglesey Island is one of the top destinations in the UK for a digital detox. The amount of green space, sandy beaches, and remote locations in North Wales make it an ideal destination for those looking to disconnect from electronic devices.
Beautiful bays surrounded by volcanic rocks with views of Snowdonia National Park and the Irish Sea are ideal for relaxing. There are numerous secluded spots away from the tourist crowds.
One of the best things to do in Anglesey is a short hike to the tidal island – Ynys Llanddwyn. This tiny island is a haven for those seeking dramatic views of the unique Welsh coast, which contains some of the world's rarest rock types. When you start admiring the beautiful scenery, you will forget to check your phone for notifications.
This island is also perfect for surfing, especially along the west coast. The endless views of the Irish Sea and surfing on big waves are a great way to put your phone away and simply enjoy the moment in a beautiful location.
11. Isle of Skye, Scotland (UK)
Famous for its rugged coastline, windswept landscapes and rich wildlife, the Isle of Skye is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
It's a perfect place to find peace and relaxation. There are plenty of amazing places to visit on the Isle of Skye to appreciate the unparalleled beauty of nature.
The Isle of Skye is a hiker's paradise. There are many hiking trails for all abilities around this island. Also, you can go wild camping under the star in the remote and distant part of the island.
One of the best attractions on the Isle of Skye is the picturesque Fairy Pools. It is a web of small waterfalls renowned for clear turquoise blue water against the backdrop of majestic mountain ranges of the Cuillin Mountains. Apart from marveling at the view, you can take a dip in the water in summer.
The iconic pinnacles of Old Man of Storr on the Trotternish peninsula are one of the best-known rock formations in Britain.
Also, not too far from there is the Quiraing – one of the most dramatic landscapes in Skye. It consists of a large grassy surface, a sharp pointy pinnacle, and a unique rock formation that looks like a medieval keep.
12. Murren, Switzerland
Car-free and nestled in the Bernese Alps, Murren is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.
With no cars allowed in the village, you can really decompress and enjoy the slow pace of life. The stunning mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and skiing. The milk is fresh and there's a chance you might see some wild animals!
The main tourist highlights in Murren are the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant, the Bond World 007 exhibit, and the views of Mont Blanc. The Piz Gloria is featured in the James Bond film, “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” and contains the Bond World 007 exhibit, dedicated to the life and work of James Bond author, Ian Fleming.
The views of Mont Blanc from the Piz Gloria are some of the most spectacular in all of Switzerland. The second tourist attraction is the Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is famous for its subterranean glacial Trümmelbach Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Europe.
If you're looking for a digital detox, Murren is the perfect place to disconnect from technology and recharge your batteries.
13. Trolltunga, Norway
If you're looking for a place to truly unplug and live in the moment, the Trolltunga hike is the perfect destination. Situated high above a pristine lake in the heart of Norwegian wilderness, Trolltunga (literally meaning “Troll tongue”) is a rocky outcropping that offers breathtaking views in every direction.
The hike itself is no easy feat, but it's well worth the effort for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It takes 10-12 hours round-trip and is suitable for reasonably fit people.
Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you return home. Trolltunga is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and you won't even be tempted to answer your work emails here. The main purpose of your phone on this hike will be to take pictures and save the experiences that you'll be having.
As an additional bonus, there are quite a few spots on the hike where you won't get cell coverage, so you'll simply be forced to unplug.
So put down your phones, disconnect from the internet, and head to Trolltunga for a hike that will refresh your body and mind.
14. Pyrenees Mountain, France and Spain
The stunning Pyrenees Mountain range is the perfect getaway for relaxation and nature therapy. Spanning the borders of France and Spain, the mountain range also surrounds the country of Andorra offering visitors a unique array of experiences during any season.
Numerous hiking trails span the entire length of the range, with some beautiful sights within the national parks requiring little effort to reach. In the winter, ski resorts open their doors to visitors looking to hit the slopes. During the summer, these same facilities turn into mountain biking meccas with trails ranging from easy to very technical.
The Pyrenees is also known for its many natural thermal baths and spa retreats. The bains (baths) have a range of wellness treatments and therapies for many ailments. For the ultimate unwind, take a soak in the hot therapeutic waters while admiring the surrounding mountain views.
From hiking trails, national parks, ski resorts and thermal baths, the Pyrenees Mountains are the perfect place to escape and unplug from everyday life.
15. Geronimo Trail, NV (USA)
Do you love road trips, scenic drives and want to get off the grid? I mean, really off the grid?
If you have driven the famous, so-called Loneliest Road in America (in Nevada), you know that there are several towns, attractions, and even cell service along the route. P.S., that is NOT lonely. Now, let me introduce you to the true, real loneliest road in America.
In the extreme southeast corner of Arizona, head east from Douglas on the Geronimo Trail. It is a fairly smooth unpaved road (4WD vehicle is strongly recommended), and after 90 minutes, you will reach a mountainous overlook with the state boundary marker (between Arizona and Nevada).
During my hour-and-a-half Geronimo Trail drive, I saw three other vehicles. Heck, on that Nevada “lonely road,” I saw more than three cars parked near the welcome sign.
But, my friends, I have better news if you really want to disconnect. Because for the next 90 minutes, in the southwestern New Mexico corner, you might see even fewer vehicles. I saw zero!
No cars or trucks, no farms, no signs of civilization (other than the road). And definitely no cell service. Enjoy the quiet!
16. Southern Utah, UT (USA)
If you're looking for one of the best places to unplug and live in the moment, Southern Utah should be near the top of your list!
From national parks and coral pink sand dunes, to hoodoos and slot caves, you will never run out of adventures in Southern Utah. The cell service is often hit-or-miss in these areas, but they are so beautiful and serene that you won't even miss it.
Belly of the dragon, peekaboo slot canyon, toadstool hoodoos, and wire pass are just a small handful of the locations that should be on your Utah bucket list. If you are wondering where to stay, Kanab, Moab, St. George, and Cedar City are all great towns to base your adventures out of.
The next time you need a great adventure to help your digital detox and unplug from the world, definitely consider Southern Utah as your destination!
17. Stanley, ID (USA)
If you're looking to escape to pristine wilderness, consider visiting Stanley, Idaho, the gateway to the incredibly rugged Sawtooth Mountains. The town itself is tiny- with less than 300 residents- so besides its “downtown” district, you'll be hard-pressed to get cell service or high-speed internet.
Instead, go on any of the stunning hikes in the area, like the Alice Lake trail. This can either be completed as a 12.5-mile day hike or 21.3 mile backpacking trip, which will take you to several turquoise-colored alpine lakes and offer views of jaw-droppingly jagged mountains.
For another outdoor activity, consider kayaking in any of the 300 lakes scattered around the Sawtooth Basin. One of the most popular places to get out on the water is Redfish Lake, where you'll find kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle board rentals, as well as a lodge to grab an ice cream cone after all that paddling.
No trip here is complete without relaxing in any of the hot springs in Stanley, natural and geothermal pools in absolutely breathtaking settings. For example, consider visiting Sunbeam, where you can form your own pool with river rocks and soak in the steamy waters- and the incredible surrounding views- of Stanley's dramatic mountains and valleys.
18. Montréal, Québec (Canada)
Montréal, Québec is a great place to disconnect and just live in the moment. There are so many fantastic things to see and do that you won't be reaching for your phone – except maybe to take some pictures!
Spend an afternoon enjoying the lush green expanse of the Parc du Mont-Royal. After climbing a few flights of stairs, take in the stunning panoramic views of the city and the St. Lawrence River from the Belvédère Kondiaronk terrace. Next, visit Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, which is gorgeous inside and out.
A visit to Vieux Montréal is a must! See the amazing architecture of the Hôtel de Ville de Montréal (City Hall) and the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. The old port bustles with a fair-like atmosphere – you can even take a ride on the Ferris wheel for more great city views.
The Montréal Botanical Garden is one of Montréal's top attractions, and a great place to spend a few hours on a nice day. Explore the garden's 20 themed outdoor gardens, and don't forget about the exhibition greenhouses. The Chinese Garden is an incredible sight, complete with several pagodas and a collection of bonsai trees.
19. Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Tucked away on the Oaxaca Coast of Mexico is the beautiful beach town of Puerto Escondido. Often described as “Tulum 20 years ago”, Puerto Escondido draws in a relaxed crowd of surfers, yogis and anyone who wants to take it slow – and this is the sort of place you have to take it slow.
Because this is a developing part of Mexico you won't find chain hotels or mammoth resorts monopolizing the beaches. You also won't find reliable internet, which can go down for days, making this a perfect place to unplug and explore all the town has to offer!
Playa Zicatela in the south end of Puerto Escondido is known as the Mexican Pipeline and is one of the world's top surf beaches among professionals. For the non-surfers, the town has six other beaches, great for swimming, paddling, and relaxing.
Puerto Escondido offers something for everyone, from mezcal tastings to bioluminescent lagoons and the most beautiful sunsets. There's so much to experience here, it's easy to see why travelers choose this spot to get away.
20. Anguilla, The Caribbeans
The small Caribbean island of Anguilla is the perfect destination for a complete digital detox. The island is about 16 miles long and boasts miles of white sand coastline, ideal for decompressing by the sea.
Anguilla is usually pretty quiet, even in the peak of tourist season, because it isn't accessible by cruise ship and the hotels and resorts on the island are relatively small. To get to Anguilla, most people fly into St. Maarten and then take a ferry over.
Be aware that the restaurant and entertainment options are limited. To make your trip more budget-friendly, you can buy groceries at the Carrefour in Sint Maarten and cook some of your own meals.
If you're looking to unplug in Anguilla, stay near the beach so that you can spend as much time as possible in and near the salt water. Take a long enough trip that you can adjust to living in the moment, practicing travel self-care, and spending your days wandering up and down the coastline.
While you're there, take at least a half day to visit Little Bay–a spot so beautiful and tucked away that your work emails will be the last thing on your mind.
21. Rodrigues Island, Mauritius
Mauritius is a well-developed island paradise with good internet. But when Mauritians feel they need to step away from terminally online hot takes, they know just the spot.
Rodrigues is a smaller island 600 kilometers east where Mauritians come to experience the Mauritius of the olden days; waves crashing on the reef, a rooster crowing, goats blocking the road, and fishermen cleaning their catch after a long night in the lagoon.
Don't get me wrong—there are plenty of things to do in Rodrigues that aren't listening to rural noises. You can get a good adrenaline kick from climbing the via ferrata, ziplining, or learning how to kitesurf.
For calmer activities, Rodrigues is famous for its many accessible hiking trails, safe swimming areas, cultural experiences, tiny islets, unique flora, giant tortoises, and fruitarian megabats. You can leave your phone at home because the island is small enough to navigate with just a paper map.
Conversely, if you need to be online you won't find yourself completely cut off from the world in Rodrigues. But this small island lets the choice be up to you without the need to trade in too much comfort.
One of the best places to unplug is the breathtaking ice continent – Antarctica.
When you're looking at the untouched beauty of snow-covered mountains will make you forget about posting on social media. Most people visit Antarctica by cruising from South America. Wireless internet is usually available on these ships for a fee, but there's no Wi-Fi on land.
The ships are usually smaller in size, giving passengers an opportunity to meet other travelers. The thousands of penguins, seals, and whales are the perfect distraction from the routines of everyday life.
When you're kayaking with seals, walking with penguins, or braving the cold water in a polar plunge, the magic of Antarctica will completely encompass you. The elegance of icebergs and sea ice stays with you long after the trip ends. Your memories are more powerful than any Instagram post.
Being in a place that many people will never see, located thousands of miles from the closest city, is a truly humbling experience.
Why You Need to Unplug through a Digital Detox Sometimes
The idea of the world being connected is fascinating, but it also comes with a price. Taking a break from technology is almost necessary as it allows you to unplug yourself from the world wide web, and focus on real life.
Digital detox has many benefits, from physical to mental health. It can improve your attention span and allow you to have a good quality sleep, which can also improve your mood and ability for human interactions. So, why not do it in the best destination to do so that will let you live in the moment for a while?
So, do you practice a digital detox every now and then to get off the grid and take a break from the digital world? Do you have a favorite destination to go to disconnect yourself from Whatsapp and all digital platforms there? Share in the comment below, and cheerio! 😉
Marya The BeauTraveler
I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017, and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.