Phoneless vacations are growing in popularity as vacationers struggle to escape the daily grind. According to Market Watch, U.S. workers find it difficult to unplug from technology to truly enjoy their vacations.
“Vacations can provide the quantity of time that quality relationships require,” said Katie Denis, vice president the nonprofit organization American Project: Time Off. “But if you are vacationing with your job, you’re missing out on the benefits that travel provides.”
The 2018 Alamo Rent A Car Family Vacation Survey recently found that only 37% of Americans completely unplug from their work while they’re on vacation. Just one year ago, approximately 53% of Americans completely unplugged themselves from their jobs while taking time off.
Yet it isn’t only work life that’s keeping Americans from enjoying themselves. It’s also social media.
Although 92% of employees report that vacationing is important to them, approximately 37% of Americans according to the Alamo Survey said they didn’t change how much they used social media while on vacation. What’s more, up to 43% said they’d like to take a break from social media such as Facebook, which has 1.97 billion active users worldwide every month.
It’s for this reason that phoneless vacations are not only becoming increasingly popular but are also selling out.
Travel companies such as Off The Grid offer travel groups with lodging, daily breakfasts, and itineraries with no phones allowed. The adventure company OARS has also been using its location in Idaho’s River of No Return as a selling point because the location offers no cell service.
The low prices of these vacations are also a key selling point. A number of yoga retreats offer phoneless vacations in Portugal beginning at $550 for one person. For $90 a night, the beach resort Punta Placer in Mexico offers an off the grid vacation without phones or Wi-Fi.
“Our research shows that the majority of U.S. families believe the biggest benefit of taking a family vacation is spending time together,” said Rob Connors, the vice president of brand marketing at Alamo Rent A Car. “But many people aren’t taking full advantage of their relaxation and quality time together on vacation because they’re distracted by work and, more recently, social media.”
Millennial Americans are more affected by the distraction and pressure of social media. For instance, more than 500,000 young adults have been on Birthright trips to Israel. Young adults will often feel pressured to post about their vacations on social media to show they were having a good time or to show where they’ve been like a social resume.
However, those who unable to unplug while they’re on vacation are also more likely to take fewer vacations. Phoneless vacations offer travelers the ability to truly enjoy their time away from the pressures of work, life, and social media.
“Ultimately,” said Connors, “we hope to inspire families to really take the time to unplug and focus on what matters most — one another.”