For many, the idea of travelling to a new place without technology can seem very scary, but it can be well worth it. Travelling without technology is a way to have a break from technology and helps you to engage with the local culture of a destination. It can be hard to do. You can’t search for the sites you want to see, you can’t check Snapchat to see what other people are doing, you can’t post those enviable travel photos on Instagram, and can’t use Google Maps to navigate.
Do Some Research
If you’re nervous about going to a place that you don’t know much about, do some planning. Decide on some of the sites that you want to see, a restaurant or two that you want to try, and a place to stay, so that when you arrive you don’t have to go into a panic.
Write down the addresses of each place and work out where they are on a map. This will get you sorted for your first few hours, whether you want to travel around a bit or just settle in Villas in Mykonos for a digital detox, or give you some back-ups in case things don’t go as planned.
Do some research about the culture of where you’re going too so you don’t accidentally offend anyone. Look up a handful of basic phrases in the native language that can help you, like asking for directions.
Bring Offline Entertainment
Take a book, a game, a journal or something else to do during your downtime. Perhaps you want to read a long novel or work on a craft project, but don’t usually have the time. A trip without your phone is the perfect opportunity.
Ask Locals For Help
If you ask someone for directions, you might end up talking to them for ages, as well as being pointed in the right direction. The people who live in an area will usually have better advice than you can find on the internet anyway. Ask someone local for a restaurant recommendation and you might find a spot that serves the best local cuisine, instead of trying the top-rated place on Yelp and being disappointed by a tourist trap. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching people you don’t know, ask your taxi driver or a server in the restaurant you’re in for some suggestions. Personal recommendations can help you avoid the overrated tourist places with long lines and no personality, and instead find more exciting places with more character.
Bring A Map
Paper maps have become all but obsolete, but if you don’t use Google Maps, you will need one. Find the right map for your trip. If you’re exploring a city, get a map from the local tourist office. For a road trip across America, the best maps are from AAA. Draw on a star where your hotel or other important sites are and head out. If you get lost, a site or road on the map can help to guide you back.
Find A Way To Document
For lots of people, their phone while travelling is for documenting their trip. If you want to really go tech-free, get a journal or an old-school camera to use instead of your phone. Reading your journal entries later on can bring back the happy feelings and memories from your adventure. Using a real camera will let you document your trip without a phone. A polaroid camera can be even better. You get to see each photo immediately, and it will make you think about each shot instead of just snapping away without thinking about it.
Print Travel Details
It might seem obvious, but without your phone, any travel information about things that you’ve booked in advance and any confirmations will need to be printed out. Print out flight information, hotel reservations, museum tickets, and anything else important that you would usually keep on your phone. An accordion folder can be helpful to keep all these documents organized.
Get Local Currency
In a lot of countries, credit card machines aren’t easy to find in smaller stores or restaurants. By taking local currency with you, you can avoid a panic if you don’t have the cash to pay with. With the technology that is meant to prevent credit card fraud, you can easily find yourself blocked from using your cards or getting money out of an ATM when you’re abroad. To make sure you don’t get stuck without money, get local currency before you travel. Call your bank to make sure they know where you’re travelling and when, so they don’t block your spending.