Accidentally leaving your phone behind is a traveler’s worst nightmare. But what if you purposely left it behind? Would you have a better trip if you weren’t glued to your phone, snapping selfies and choosing where to eat based on Yelp reviews?
Group tour company FTLO Travel invites travelers to do just that, offering Phone-Free Departures. These trips are designed to help participants completely disconnect and focus on the experience without distractions—plus encourage travelers to be open to spontaneity by leaving behind Google Maps.
Founder and CEO Tara Cappel says they launched the phone-free trips to help travelers connect. “In today’s digital age, we have become increasingly dependent on our smartphones, and it is negatively impacting our mental well-being and our ability to be present.” Cappel hopes that by removing phones, “travelers can fully engage with the destination they’re visiting and build new relationships with like-minded trip mates.”
Participants on the trips will be provided with printable maps and itineraries to help them navigate the destination, and trip leaders will still have cell phones.
FTLO Travel won’t be searching participants’ suitcases for contraband phones—these trips will operate on an honor system, and travelers can still use their phones in emergencies or if they need to contact someone back home. FTLO Travel recommends bringing a digital or disposable camera instead of a phone camera to capture memories from the adventure.
The phone-free trips start in 2024 and will be available to book in a variety of destinations, including:
- Havana, Cuba
- Costa Rica
- Tuscany and Rome, Italy
- Oaxaca, Mexico
Prices for the trips start at $1,999 per person.
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