Une personne dans un hamac à l'ombre des arbres avec une vue spectaculaire sur une montagne

Watching your favorite series while answering an email from your manager and talking on the phone with your mom is your superpower? What if, for the time of a trip, you left your computer, tablet, Netflix and their harmful blue lights at home? There is no shortage of arguments to organize a disconnected vacation: enjoy the moment, reconnect with your loved ones or simply relax! So, are you ready to go on vacation without internet and without phone? Follow the guide to make your digital detox holiday a success!

Hyperconnectedness, a global plague

How much time do we spend in front of screens ?

Do you know how much time you spend per day on the Internet on average ? 2 hours, 5 hours, 10 hours ? A We Are Social study reveals that the global average is 7 hours a day ! In other words, the average human being spends 42% of their waking time on the Internet in front of a screen.

Of those hours, more than half would be spent on mobile. Android users would thus spend more than 4 hours a day with their nose glued to their phone. Do the numbers seem huge ? So do we! But then, how to disconnect when we have become so dependent on our electronic devices ?

The harmful effects of screens

Do you think you have nomophobia ? This term refers to the fear of being separated from your cell phone or not being able to use it anymore. An unknown scourge until recently, nomophobia seems to be affecting more and more people.

Yet, screens are not without impact on our health :

  • poor posture ;
  • eye strain ;
  • sleep disturbances ;
  • sedentary.

If you’re interested in the topic, find out below in detail how your smartphone impacts you. The video is in English, but turn on the French subtitles if you need !

Preparing for a disconnected vacation

What better time than during the vacations to put your phone aside and reconnect with reality ? During this time, you are normally more relaxed, don’t have to be present for your work and are therefore completely free to organize your time as you wish !

In the following, we’ll give you some tips on how to succeed in your digital detox on vacation.

Preparing for a vacation without the Internet

Start by scheduling an absence message on your work email so you won’t be disturbed while on vacation. Give a few things about your current tasks to a colleague so they can respond to emergencies for you while you’re away.

Also, arm yourself with paper guides and maps before you leave for a fully disconnected experience ! We recommend opting for sustainable tourism guides like TAO Guides or My Ecothentic Guide.

When packing your suitcase, also remember to take along something to occupy your evenings or rainy days without a screen : books, card games and other board games.


4 Ethik’Hotels to disconnect

To live the experience to the fullest, why not plan an accommodation that offers you the perfect setting to forget your electronic gadgets ?

We recommend 4 eco-friendly hotel addresses for your disconnected vacation :

  • Maraica (Mexico) : an ocean view, an exotic setting, a swimming pool and a mountain range nearby, you’ll be spoilt for choice to make the most of your disconnected vacation at this Ethik’Hotel on the Mexican coast ;
  • Arctic TreeHouse Hotels (Finland) : what if, instead of watching TV, you chose to admire the Northern Lights ? With the bay windows in the rooms of this eco-lodge, it will be a child’s play !
  • Ecohotel Los Mikos (Colombia): the only way to reach this accommodation located in the middle of the nature is to take the boat. In our opinion, this is the ideal address to enjoy a digital detox away from any civilization ;
  • Terre des Baronnies (Hautes-Alpes): take advantage of this old renovated hamlet to go hiking, observe the stars, do yoga and fully disconnect. To project yourself in your next vacation, discover our stay in this gite in the heart of the Baronnies Provençales.

Want more inspiration for a change of scenery? Check out 9 eco-lodge addresses in Europe.

Setting the rules

Before you leave, set the rules for your disconnected vacation and offer your travel companions the challenge with you ! Here are some of our recommendations for a successful digital detox during your vacation :

  • leave your laptop, tablet and other electronic gadgets at home. Take only your smartphone to make calls and access a few must-have apps ;
  • define the applications you are allowed to use. For example, you can allow yourself the GPS function on your smartphone so you don’t have to carry around paper maps. Choosing your hikes on VisoRando or checking your bank account balance and booking references for your vacation can also be acceptable. Why not also keep an app for music and podcasts that don’t involve looking at a screen ?
  • If you allow yourself a little time on social networks or entertainment platforms (like Netflix and Youtube), set a limited slot or daily maximum time. Same treatment for your emails, try as much as possible to leave them for your return.

Feel free to adapt this example, it’s up to you to define your rules and what you think is feasible and necessary for you !

How to keep busy on vacation without the internet ?

Enjoying outdoor activities

Take the opportunity of your disconnected vacation to work out and quit your sedentary lifestyle. Hiking, running, biking, kayaking, sailing, there is something for everyone. All you have to do is choose your favorite activity to move your body, discover your vacation spot and forget about your phone for the time of a getaway.

Discover all our ideas for green activities, perfect for a disconnected and eco-responsible vacation !

Forget the alarm clock and watch


Happy coincidence, it’s probably your smartphone that serves as your alarm clock and watch in normal times. During your disconnected vacation, forget about the time ! Try to reconnect to your natural rhythm : wake up when your body is ready and eat when you are hungry. You’ll know more about yourself when you get back from vacation : are you more of a morning person, an evening person ? How many hours of sleep do you really need? You may even rethink your daily routine afterwards.

This is even more possible and conceivable on bad weather days. To find out more, read our article about holidays in the rain.

Spending time in nature

Why not live your digital detox to the fullest ? Reconnect with nature by walking barefoot in the grass, smelling the pine trees in the sun, feeling the sand under your feet or dipping your feet in a frozen waterfall. There are plenty of ways to rejuvenate yourself in touch with nature, and take the time to fully relax.

Prioritize real exchanges

Farewell to digital messages ! Make the most of the people around you: your family, your friends, your spouse, your guests. Spend quality, relaxed time together and forget about your usual worries to fully reconnect to the present moment.

Reconnecting with your adventurous soul

The advantage of holidays without the Internet is that you don’t spend your time in front of a screen. The downside is that you’ll have to forget your old reflexes, like searching for a restaurant on Trip Advisor or a must-do activity in the area on Google.

Why not take this constraint to be a little more creative ? Ask locals or stop by the tourist office to choose your activities. Trust your instincts when selecting your restaurant. At worst, if it’s a bad experience, you’ll have memories to tell when you return !

Read, read, read !

Take the time to read the books that you never normally have time to open. You’ll see the benefits to your sleep by opening a book instead of Instagram before bed. Who knows, maybe you’ll adopt some new habits when you get back from vacation? If you’re in need of inspiration we’ve put together a book selection on the topic of… travel.


and a lot of tips to organize your unplugged vacation! Where will you try this screen-free adventure? Tell us in comments!

Anne Chéné
The first collaborative platform for access to sustainable tourism. Discover our eco-responsible accommodation addresses for your next vacation!
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