The past two years have made it possible for many people to work from anywhere. Remote work, workation, working on the road – all this is no problem with a stable Internet connection. But as work and leisure increasingly merge, so does the need to simply be “unavailable”.
That’s why many hotels and travel providers are now specializing in “digital detox”. This trend also offers an opportunity for vacation rental companies.
What does “Digital Detox” mean?
The term “Digital Detox” was coined in 2012 by Levi Felix and Brooke Dean in California’s Silicon Valley. They founded the organization digitaldetox.com with which they want to promote a healthy balance between life and technology.
A digital timeout is a deliberate break from technical devices, especially cell phones and laptops. Reasons for wanting an “offline time-out” can be stress due to constant accessibility, the pressure to be present on social media, general information overload due to the Internet, but also concerns about electromagnetic radiation.
During vacations without the Internet, guests can leave behind not only stress at work, but also time guzzlers like social media, streaming services and instead relax in peace. Especially for younger generations who have grown up with cell phones, laptops and technology this is a completely new experience.
Offline vacation: Here’s how it works
There are different levels of Digital Detox. Not everyone wants to be completely offline, while others would even do without running water and electricity for a few days.
A “Soft Detox” would be, for example, no internet, cell phone or laptops or limiting their use to only certain times. Those who want to offer a stricter form of “Digital Detox” ask their guests to hand over their cell phones and technology when checking in.
However, some accommodations, such as many mountain huts, are so remote anyway that there is no reception and sometimes not even electricity.
Digital Detox as an opportunity for short-term renters
For you as a vacation rental owner, offering a Digital Detox is an opportunity to address another target group. Especially if your accommodation is a bit remote, has thick walls and wifi and cell phone reception are poor, conscious marketing in the direction of “Digital Detox” can boost your business. Thanks to the demand for an undisturbed offline vacation, you can turn an apparent disadvantage of your accommodation into an advantage.
But you can go one step further and avoid electronic radiation as much as possible and install a mains isolation switch in all rooms so that guests are not exposed to radiation. Some accommodations also use environmentally friendly and preferably untreated materials in their furnishings.
How to make your vacation accommodation fit for Digital Detox
To ensure the safety of your guests, you should at least have a landline phone for emergencies or a neighbor to contact in case of problems.
Here are ideas to consider when equipping your accommodation:
- Don’t have a TV or a Wi-Fi router.
- Provide all important information in the guest folder or as a notice.
- Offer maps, information about excursions, etc. in paper form.
- If necessary, signpost areas where smartphones and laptops are allowed.
- Refrain from using digital alarm clocks & watches, preferring mechanical devices instead.
- Set up a corner as a library and provide newspapers, magazines and books to check out.
- Go for natural, untreated materials in the furnishings.
As you can see, a Digital Detox is like a little trip back in time. Especially if your vacation rental is a bit nostalgic anyway and you’re concerned about poor cell phone reception and unstable Wi-Fi, then you can benefit from the Digital Detox trend. This is especially true for accommodations that are a bit remote or buildings with thick walls.
Make a virtue out of necessity!