To travel today often means to travel with a smartphone. Like a trusted friend, your smartphone knows where to go, where to eat (especially where not to eat) and when the next sale on flights to Hawaii is coming up.
To travel with a smartphone means to travel with your camera, a tether to a digital realm and a gateway to near-unlimited knowledge (thanks, Internet!).
To travel with a smartphone is convenient and (arguably) necessary given today's era of hyper-connectivity and share-happy culture. But for every Like or Favourite your smartphone provides, there's a shortfall to come with it.
Remember said gateway to near-unlimited knowledge? Well it's also a pathway to this thing called an "inbox" and "text messages" and "phone calls" -- some of the things many travellers try to escape from in the first place.
It's not easy for Canadians to give up their phones. Roughly eight in 10 smartphone owners say they don't leave home without their mobile device, according to a 2012 Google survey. Nearly 35 per cent of the survey group say they've become so addicted they'd rather trade in their TV before parting with their device.
Who needs a TV when you've got a Netflix app, right?
Factor in the 65 per cent of Canadians who suffer from "nomophobia" -- that sense of panic people feel when they're away from their phone and internet access -- according to a Rogers Innovation Report and you've got the making of a group of people in need of an intervention.
Okay, perhaps intervention is too strong of a word. Maybe some people just need a digital detox. A retreat from technology if you will. Well, as the internet will tell you, there are plenty of beautiful places free of Wi-Fi. There are also a couple of options in Canada for those desperate for a departure from all things digital.
The Best Places For A Digital Detox In Canada
O NoirFlickr: Viola Ng
Echo Valley Ranch
Loden HotelLoden Hotel
Emerald Lake LodgeEmerald Lake Lodge
HI-Mosquito Creek Wilderness HostelFlickr: Mark Hill Photography
Like this article? Follow us on Twitter Follow @HPCaTravel
Related on HuffPost:
Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
The gold standard of detox retreats, <a href="http://www.canyonranch.com/" target="_blank">Canyon Ranch</a> has become synonymous with relaxation, rejuvenation and total luxury. The all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa caters to the rich and famous, offering the best in healthy cuisine, spa servies, body work, fitness activities, and spirituality and meditation facilites. The resort also offers educational opportunities to help you make a long-lasting commitment to healthy living. One-week all-inclusive stays start at $11,740 per person.
Shambhala Ranch Retreat, Ukiah, California
<a href="http://thedigitaldetox.org/" target="_blank">The Digital Detox</a> (whose company motto is "disconnect to reconnect") offers regular tech-free getaways to the peaceful Shambhala Ranch Retreat in the Mendocino hills of Northern California. The restorative trip includes yoga, meditation, hiking, art, and organic cuisine -- no devices allowed. The intimate retreat is open to a maximum of 14 guests, who stay in luxurious private rooms in the large ranch-style lodge. Four-day stays range from $500-950.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Caribbean
The small Caribbean island group of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is encouraging travelers to leave their gadgets at home when they come to enjoy the tropical beauty of the island on their vacation. The islands offer a <a href="http://discoversvg.com/index.php/fr/home/latest-news/565-digital-detox-in-svg" target="_blank">digital detox vacation package</a>, complete with a tech-free travel guidebook and life coach who will guide you in learning not to let technology control your life.
Jacada Travel African Retreat, Tanzania & Mozambique
Experience the beauty of nature and the tranquility of a technology-free existence, try this <a href="http://www.jacadatravel.com/t/example_trip/chic-african-retreat" target="_blank">12-day African retreat</a> from Jacada Travel. The group trip starts with a safari on the Selous Game Reserve -- one of the largest faunal reserves in the world, and ends with some R&R on the stunning beaches of Mozambique. And of course, enjoy spa treatments and yoga for extra de-stressing. 12-day packages from $12,248 per person.
Via Yoga Retreats, Mexico & Costa Rica
With luxury yoga retreats in Costa Rica, Sayulita, Mexico, and Todos Santos, Mexico through the year, <a href="http://www.viayoga.com/index.shtml" target="_blank">Via Yoga</a> offers the ultimate wellness retreat and digital detox package. Although you don't have to give up your gadgets, yoga retreat attendees who turn in their iPhones upon arrival receive a 15 percent discount. In addition to beachside yoga, pilates and meditation classes, guests can also enjoy surfing and outdoor activities. Retreat rates start at $2,395 per person.
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, New York
On the shores of Lake Placid, surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains, the rustic yet luxurious <a href="http://www.lakeplacidlodge.com/" target="_blank">Lake Placid Lodge</a> is the perfect place to escape the distractions of everyday life. With the "Check-In to Check-Out" package, you can check in your devices upon arrival and use the rest of your trip to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, outdoor activities, and the hotel's many amenities. Private cabins start at $375 per night.
The Westin Dublin Digital Detox Package, Dublin, Ireland
Dublin may be a major metropolitan city, but that doesn't mean you can't do a little unplugging on your next trip to Ireland. The luxurious, five-star <a href="http://www.thewestindublin.com/digital-detox" target="_blank">Westin Dublin's digital detox</a> package includes breakfast in bed, in-room massage, detox survival kit, and a safe to lock your gadgets away in, so that you can enjoy tranquility and peace in the heart of downtown Dublin. Rates start at $227 per person per night.
Jacada Travel Wellness Getaway, Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica
Head down to tropical Costa Rica to get away from the business of your everyday life and enjoy a little R&R. The retreat takes travelers through the Cloud Forests and then on to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. All-inclusive <a href="http://www.jacadatravel.com/t/example_trip/wind-down-wellness-getaway-costa-rica" target="_blank">10-day packages</a> from $5,957 per person.
Camp Grounded, Anderson Valley, California
This summer camp for adults promises visitors a chance to get back to childhood -- with campire songs instead of YouTube videos and board games instead of Angry Birds, The Digital Detox's <a href="http://campgrounded.org/" target="_blank">"Camp Grounded" </a>is all about technology-free summer fun. This June, 200 grown-up campers will unplug for four days of outdoor activities and nostalgia in the California redwoods. Four-day stays start at $340 per person.
World's Best Spas For Stress Relief
Harem Escape, Marrakech, Morocco
This luxury Moroccan getaway for women comes with everything you could want in a wellness getaway: Yoga, meditation, spa treatments, organic fine dining, a gorgeous setting and poolside lounging. <a href="http://www.harem-escape.com/" target="_blank">Harem Escape</a> describes itself as an "oriental paradise where [guests] are encouraged to leave behind the stresses of the world" -- and it's undoubtedly the perfect place for stress relief. The intimate property (it contains just nine rooms) is nestled on 24 acres of desert grounds just outside the vibrant city of Marrakech. All-inclusive prices start at $545 per person per night.
The Farm at San Benito, Lipa City, Philippines
<a href="http://www.thefarm.com.ph/" target="_blank">The Farm at San Benito</a>, a Batangas resort, prides itself on offering top-notch holistic healing services in a stunning island setting. It's easy to see why it was rated the "Best Medical Wellness Resort in the World" by SENSES Germany: Luxurious facilities are surrounded by beautiful jungles, gardens and pools. Try the five-day detox cleanse package, a supervised nutritional and therapeutic program, for intensive stress relief and a kick-start to a healthier lifestyle. The four-night, five-day detox cleanse starts at $1,925 per person.
The Island Experience, Ilha Grande, Brazil
<a href="http://www.theislandexperience.com/" target="_blank">The Island Experience</a> is an unusual health and adventure program where guests can get healthy and relieve stress on the beautiful island oasis of Ilha Grande, off the coast of Brazil. The seven-day program is a combination of adventure spa, yoga retreat and fitness vacation program, designed to "detox your body and de-stress your mind." Contact for pricing information.
Spa Eastman, Eastman, Quebec
Detoxify your mind, body and spirit while surrounded by the natural beauty of the Eastern Townships at <a href="http://www.spa-eastman.com/en" target="_blank">Spa Eastman</a>, a Nordic-style luxury spa in the Quebec countryside. Visitors can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of thermotherapy at Eastman-les-bains, as well as traditional spa treatments, gourmet health food, and outdoor activities. Try the Health & Wellness Immersion package -- which includes meetings with a nutritionist and kinesiologist -- for a total detox experience. The seven-night Health & Wellness Immersion package starts at $2,065 per person.
Ananda In The Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India
A luxury hotel and spa in the foothills of the Himalayas just might be the perfect place to recharge your health and lower your stress levels. At <a href="http://www.anandaspa.com/index.html" target="_blank">Ananda In The Himalayas</a>, guests can spend their days practicing yoga and meditation, eating organic health food, and exploring the tranquil forests surrounding restored Viceregal Palace. Try the yogic detox or stress management package for a wellness immersion. The seven-day stress management package starts at $550 per person per night.
Coworth Park Hotel & Spa, Ascot, England
Detox and de-stress in "Downton Abbey" style at the luxurious Coworth Park Hotel & Spa, which offers an array of health and wellness services as well as traditional English rituals like afternoon tea and horseback riding. The spa at the five-star luxury hotel was <a href="http://www.coworthpark.com/spa" target="_blank">rated</a> the #1 hotel spa in the UK by Conde Nast Traveler. Although the hotel doesn't offer extended detox packages, you can easily create your own wellness getaway with a combination of spa treatments (try the Spring Clean Spa Day Detox), healthy meals and walks in the garden. Double rooms start around $468 per night.
Gaia Retreat & Spa, NSW, Australia
This well-known Byron Bay wellness retreat center, co-owned by Olivia Newton-John, has hosted celebrities like Oprah for detoxing getaways. Guests stay in luxurious bungalows set in the subtropical forests of bungalow bay, while enjoying spa services, yoga and meditation, naturopathy sessions and organic cuisine. Try the five-night refresh package or the seven-night restore package for total pampering. Five-night refresh retreats start at $3,273 per person.