With warmer days on the rise, employees are cashing in their vacation time, packing their suitcases, and undoubtedly regretting their passport photos. Items that are not making it into the suitcase? Laptops, tablets, and even cell phones.
Just five years ago a resort could not expect to stay open without Wi-Fi. The opposite is now the case.
According to Forbes, in an age where media constantly surrounds us, travelers are now choosing more secluded spots and retreating to the hidden corners of the globe for some much needed R&R.
Vacation doesn’t just mean getting away from your job, but also the buzz of a text message, those pesky Facebook notifications and yet another voicemail for a wrong number. Better yet, vacation is now seen as a time to block out the digital noise and spend some quality time with mother nature and the people right in front of you-- what an antiquated concept!
What’s more, overtly touristy activities and hot spots have cooled. Today’s traveler no longer wants to be herded on a tour with hundreds of other foreigners—they long to delve into the local scene and walk away with a culturally enriching experience signature to the destination they chose to visit.
THAILAND: If you’re overworked and overstressed, balance out at this underrated, underdeveloped paradise.
- Explore the surrounding islands
The Phang Nga Bay island group has 67 islands and is located between the island of Phucket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. One of the most famous islands is Khao Phing Kan, which many call the “James Bond Island” because the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun was shot there. Home to the protected Ao Phang Nga National Park, beautiful scenery abounds in every direction. The park also safeguards the largest area of the native mangrove forest in Thailand.
- Ride through the jungle
Rent a motorbike or a scooter for as little as 200 Baht (that’s just under $6.00) and blaze your own trail! Head to Koh Lanta and stroll down the main roads, or, venture further out for a grand adventure. Since the area is largely underdeveloped, the mountains and forests are free to thrive and provide a challenge for those biking and hiking—but the captivating scenery is worth the burn!
- PRO TIP from an Equity Estates Local Host
“In the past, some Equity Estates members have really enjoyed the Gibbon sanctuary. Guests get the opportunity to volunteer for the sanctuary where they get to care for rescued gibbons. Additionally, the area is jam-packed with Thailand’s cultural heritage and visitors can explore local temples, village markets, and learn about Buddhist history and philosophy. When finished, feel free to mosey down to the coast for some snorkeling fun over the coral reefs where turtles and sparkling reef fish flourish. Other Equity Estates members have had a blast on John Gray Hong’s starlight sea canoe trip. They saw fantastic limestone scenery, monkeys, mud skippers, hornbills, and – well you’ll just have to see the rest for yourself!”
COSTA RICA: If you need to recharge, consider this your outlet!
- Explore the Nicoya Peninsula
Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is one of the world’s Blue Zones. Visitors will find breathtaking beaches, bright sunshine, and residents who live longer and happier lives than the average. The land is rich with unique, nutrient-filled fruits, which may attribute to the fact that the cancer rate is the lowest in the country. The area is not heavily populated and thus remains largely untouched – perfect for exploring! Monkeys, sloths, marine turtles, iguanas, dolphins, and manta rays are just a few of the critters found in this region. The Nicoyan towns are also celebrated among wellness and yoga devotees. They are called “digital detox” spots because the remote location allows people to unplug themselves from their devices and get in touch with their inner selves.
- Drive to Cabuya Island
While the natives who are most familiar with Cabuya are supposedly dead, their spirits live on in the island. The island is also a cemetery that can only be reached at low tide. Legend says the island is haunted by ghosts and those who are brave enough will light a candle and take a walk along the shore. Want to know more about this local legend and others? Each Equity Estates member has access to a local host wherever they go. They are local, long term residents who can help find hidden gems and off the beaten path activities.
- PRO TIP from an Equity Estates Local Host
“The hike to the top of the active Rincón de la Vieja volcano is strenuous and challenging, but extremely rewarding. I consider it to be one of the best hikes in Central America. On the way up, you’ll see plenty of classic Costa Rican vegetation and wildlife- monkeys are often very active along this trail and it is marked with several beautiful waterfalls. There’s a ton of geothermic activity here, including boiling mud pots, hot springs and steam vents.”
*Heading into its 10th successful year, Equity Estates is the first and largest equity destination club in the U.S. Equity Estates is a vacation home alternative, offering all of the benefits of home ownership without any of the hassles. Its investors enjoy years of concierge supported travel before they divest. A globetrotter’s dream with more than 60 private luxury homes spanning 25 countries, Equity Estates' mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns.