With the overwhelming presence of social media and less than joyful news these days, there has been an up swing in the number of off-the-grid experiences booked by vacationers. If the thought of this fills you with dread, I ask that you open your mind to an unforgettable and refreshing experience that you probably didn’t know you needed. In a recent blog post, I have documented my stay at an off-the-grid rustic cabana in a remote island off the coast of Belize – read it here.
Many of the trending luxury glamping experiences are often off grid, or at least missing a few modern conveniences. Below I have collated a list of things that can make your stay just a little more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Power Bank – now a lot of the off grid experiences lack Wi-Fi or a good cell reception, however it’s still nice to have a charged device to take photographs to document the memories without being glued to technology. It’s also useful to have enough charge on a phone to make a call in the unlikely event of an emergency.
- Rechargeable bug zapper and torch – I recently stayed in the tropics in a rustic overwater cabana (full blog post here) which had no air conditioning, just a fan to keep you cool. Being of British origin with a low heat tolerance, I was deeply concerned that the lack of air conditioning would cause a mass exodus of mosquitoes into our cabin. Despite the insect problem not being terribly bad, this device definitely saved us a few big bites. It can be charged up during the day (useful if where you are staying utilizes solar energy) and lasts all night. As insects are “zapped” you can often here a little pop which is comforting to hear they are not hitting you up. They’re attracted to the neon light it emits. This device can also be used a torch, which is useful if you have to navigate your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
- Grayl water filter bottle – this is magical! If you don’t have a supply of fresh clean water, this item really is a life saver – you fill it up with any water source you have access to, be it well water, Rivers or streams etc., and push the plunger down, and boom! Safe water to drink! We are actually taking this on our upcoming trip to French Polynesia as an alternative to bottled water which is consistently $7+ a bottle!
- Microfiber Quick Dry Towel – When you do not have access to a new supply of fresh dry towels every day like you might do at a luxury resort, these microfiber towels are worth their weight in gold. Not only do they dry incredibly fast but they rarely get that stale musty smell that regular towels often exert when they’ve been left out wet for a while. If you are going anywhere in the tropics where the humidity is elevated, I highly recommend bringing one. They’re also incredibly lightweight and take up much less space than normal towels. My favourite brand is dock & bay as they do lots of fun colours and prints, and you can also buy bundles which offers great value for money. You can find them on Amazon here. However there are lots of options if you go into any camping or outdoor store.
- Solar Powered Charger– this is all provided you’re not going to the arctic circle in winter when you’ll likely be expecting 24 hours of darkness. That’s not to say that you need to be going to a very sunny location, often just a bit of sunshine for a couple of hours is enough to trickle charge a phone.
- Elastic washing line – I bought this one from Amazon for less than $10 and it’s so versatile! It comes with two hooks on the end and an assortment of pins/pegs. With the hooks you can easily hook it around pillars, chairs, anything and use it to dry towels or clothes without worrying about them flying away. You can also use it on something like a kayak to tie down a bag or cooler, or keep your towel on a sun lounger, the possibilities are endless!
- Mosquito Repellent – a good bug spray can make or break your vacation, and if you’re going to the tropics usually one with a high concentration of DEET is most effective, however please be aware that these can take the colour off clothes and shoes so use with caution! I also used a DEET free spray in Tulum, Mexico this past year where the sand flies were abundant, and I’m glad to report I didn’t get one bug bite for the entirety of my trip while using the spray – find it here.
- Cordless speaker – ideally one that has a slot for a memory card so you don’t have to sync to your phone or music player and drain the charge on two devices. Using a memory card allows you to load on your favourite tunes beforehand. This one from Amazon is small, lightweight, has a SD card slot and is also Bluetooth compatible if you wanted to use it at home with other devices.
- A good reading book – I know I speak for many others when I say that I don’t usually find time to read much in a normal work week. Use this time to relax with that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand all year, and with no distractions!
- An open mind! Often our best memories come from when you take that step outside of your comfort zone. Nearly everyone I have spoken to following their first off the grid experience said they came back feeling even more refreshed and full of energy than they had expected. There’s something that can be said for getting back to nature and away from the busy hustle and bustle of our busy lives. It’s also a great time to bond with family members amid conversations that you might not normally have been prompted in everyday life.
Other tips and tricks
If your accommodation is near water, you can hang your drinks in the water to keep them cool (or rather cooler than sitting out in the sun). I saw someone doing this while staying at a rustic overwater cabana off the coast of Belize (link article here) and it worked tremendously well. You can use any sort of bag, I recommend using a reusable one and making sure that it won’t come loose, we don’t need to be littering the oceans any more than now!
Let me know in the comments if you plan to book an off-the-grid experience!
Disclosure: chasetherainbows.com participates in affiliate advertising programs as a way to earn revenue. Some links to products and services are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you click an affiliate link and finalize a purchase. Thank you for your support.