Ever the innovator, Intrepid Travel just revealed their newest range of products: Digital Detox Tours. And this time, they're really pushing the envelope.
Admittedly, we're living in an era of first asking servers, "What's the Wi-Fi password?" and then for the daily specials. If travel is beloved as a form of escapism, a way of shrugging the daily grind, Intrepid is calling bluff on travellers glued to their smartphones.
The real question is, are you going to be able to sell your client on a trip they won't be able to Tweet, Instagram or brag about on Facebook? You have questions and we have answers. Read on before deciding whether clients will agree to leave the selfie stick at home.
How does it work?
The four new tours will be completely free from technology including cell phones, laptops, iPads and cameras. The trips last between 7 to 10 days and will run in four of Intrepid’s most popular destinations; Thailand, Morocco, India and Ecuador.
How is it 'enforced'?
Before departing on the Digital Detox trip, travellers will be asked to sign a pledge committing to the Digital Detox challenge, which includes a full week without Internet, cell-phones, laptops and cameras. In turn, participants will be rewarded with a connection they could never find through Wi-Fi. The trips themselves focus on local interaction and include activities such as homestays and hill tribe visits.
How to sell your client on a Digital Detox
- Key selling feature: Trips were designed after feedback from tour leaders and travellers suggested people are able to develop stronger connections when they unplug and are completely present in a destination. The goal is to be living, savouring, experiencing, and adventuring all while being 100% present.
- What about pictures? There are literally no digital devices allowed but if you must, pack a disposable camera...or a sketch book!
- Consider this: ask clients how many of their trip memories are actually based on the photos they snapped, rather than their memory. (Trust me, I'm totally guilty of viewing Angkor Wat through a view finder.)
- Less time posing means less time primping.
- These trips are the perfect opportunity to pry the phone out of your web-obsessed travel partner's hands.
- No pictures means there are no bad vacation photos.
- Do you need to take the 12 millionth photo of the Taj Mahal anyway?
If all else fails, this probably isn't the right trip for your client. (And that's okay!)
Tell me where these tours are going!
Ecuador on a Shoestring - Digital Detox
No phones, no cameras, no wi-fi – just mountains, markets and real life memories. On the Ecuador Digital Detox you will bargain with locals over alpaca wool at the Otavalo Markets, brave a taste of tree worms in the Amazon jungle, catch a sunrise over the laidback town of Banos and soak in the charm of capital Quito.
Departure date: October 10, 2016
Price: $740 CAD
Log off, shut down and disconnect from tech on this eight-day adventure through India. Explore Old Delhi by rickshaw, navigate your way through bustling bazaars in Jaipur (without a map), and sample fresh-made sweet treats at a Karauli street market. Of course, no trip to the subcontinent is complete without a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal – best enjoyed through your own eyes, not your camera’s viewfinder!
Departure Date: December 7, 2016
Price: $850 CAD
Step away from the iPhone, put the camera down, and gently close the lid of your laptop: it’s time for a Digital Detox through Morocco. Rather than seeking out free wifi hotspots or agonising over the perfect filter for that sunset over Moulay Idriss, experience this incredible part of the world in high-def Real Life. Navigate your way through the souqs of Marrakech (minus a map), sip mint tea in the old Fes medina and soak up the scenery of the blue-hued Chefchaouen.
Departure Date: January 10, 2017
Price: $945 CAD
Take a break from technology on this action-packed ten-day adventure through northern Thailand. Munch on tasty street snacks in Bangkok, befriend an elephant in Chiang Mai, master the art of cooking an authentic Thai curry, and spend an evening with an ethnic hilltribe. No phones, no cameras, no laptops – just you connecting with the world around you. Bliss!
Departure date: November 26, 2016
Price: $1,895 CAD
What do you think?
Is this product a winner or a tough sell?
Weigh in on the conversation - comment below